A muso who’s all about love and fam­ily

CityPress - - News - PHUTI MATHOBELA phuti.mathobela@city­press.co.za

It is usu­ally women who sacri­fice their ca­reers to take care of the fam­ily. But mu­si­cian and record pro­ducer Zakhele Ma­dida, bet­ter known by his stage name Zakes Bantwini, is tak­ing a break from the in­dus­try to fo­cus on his fam­ily.

Bantwini (36) says he val­ues time spent with his fam­ily more than any­thing else in the world.

“I am mar­ried, set­tled and happy. For the first time in my 13 years in the mu­sic in­dus­try, I am in a good space.”

Last year, he tied the knot with TV pre­sen­ter and vo­cal­ist Nandi Mn­goma, af­ter a three-year re­la­tion­ship.

Bantwini says he didn’t feel pres­surised to pro­pose be­cause he was wait­ing for the right time. The ar­rival of the cou­ple’s now eight-month-old son, Shaka, last year has com­pleted their fam­ily.

Bantwini, a proud fa­ther of four, ad­mits that he was an ab­sent dad be­fore he made the con­scious de­ci­sion to re­de­fine his pri­or­i­ties. He had acted as a “fi­nan­cial fa­ther” to his first three chil­dren, who were born out of wed­lock.

“Lit­tle Shaka made me re­alise how I missed out on rais­ing my other chil­dren. I was never there for them; I thought money was ev­ery­thing. I am try­ing to cor­rect my mis­takes through uShaka.” Bantwini has come to re­alise that he robbed him­self of hap­pi­ness over the years. He is now ap­peal­ing to men to be “re­spon­si­ble fa­thers”.

He main­tains that things hap­pen when a man finds love and a true life part­ner.

“Nandi and Shaka changed my life. Be­fore I met Nandi, I wasn’t care­ful about life; my de­ci­sions weren’t cal­cu­lated. But they turned my mis­takes into a bless­ing,” he smiles.

On his lat­est 12-track al­bum called Love, Light and Mu­sic 2, re­leased last month, he is open about his vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties.

Recorded un­der his in­de­pen­dent record la­bel May­onie Pro­duc­tions, it has re­ceived pos­i­tive feed­back from fans and fea­tures col­lab­o­ra­tions with the leg­endary Hugh Masekela, well-known dee­jays Mapho­risa and Moruti, as well as “new tal­ent”.

The first verse of one of the tracks, Love and Pain, was writ­ten by Nandi, who is also a song­writer. “On that song, an­other fe­male vo­cal­ist, Si­nenhlanhla Mthembu, wrote the cho­rus,” adds Bantwini.

“I am happy for women to ex­press them­selves about love on my songs be­cause they are the ones who have been hurt the most. I have seen fe­males be so vul­ner­a­ble in love.”

Asked why he al­ways sings about love, he says grow­ing up in the 1990s, songs of the year were al­ways slow jams.

“I re­mem­ber how in love peo­ple were. Peo­ple were writ­ing each other love let­ters and get­ting mar­ried ev­ery week.”

He saw a gap in the mu­sic mar­ket as artists were no longer writ­ing love songs.

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