Heavy K on be­ing the best fa­ther and over­com­ing chal­lenges

He’s had to deal with his mom’s death, his son’s dis­abil­ity and be­ing shamed for his weight, but hit­maker Heavy K won’t let any­thing get him down

DRUM - - Contents - BY QHAMA DAYILE PIC­TURES: MARTIN DE KOCK

HIS mother dy­ing just six hours be­fore his son was born, learn­ing his beloved child had a dis­abil­ity and run­ning the gaunt­let of strangers con­stantly ridi­cul­ing him for his weight . . . It would be enough to break many a man but Mkhu­l­uli Siqula – Heavy K to his fans – is used to hard­ship.

He may live in a posh es­tate in Midrand, Jo­han­nes­burg, and drive a green Mer­cedes-Benz C63 and a matte-black Mer­cedes-AMG GL 63 but he hasn’t for­got­ten the days when his mom sac­ri­ficed ev­ery­thing for her chil­dren to put food on the ta­ble.

He un­der­stands why she did it though – he too will do any­thing for his kids and is fiercely pro­tec­tive of his vul­ner­a­ble lit­tle boy. Two-year-old Juju was di­ag­nosed with cere­bral palsy, a con­di­tion that af­fects mus­cle tone, move­ment, mo­tor skills and some­times brain func­tion.

The multi-award-win­ning house DJ and his fi­ancée, Ntombi Nguse, took their son to a pae­di­a­tri­cian when he woke up fever­ish when he was a year old.

“He wasn’t walk­ing or crawl­ing. We thought he was just a lazy baby but the pae­di­a­tri­cian saw some­thing dif­fer­ent,” Ntombi tells DRUM as the cou­ple opens up about how things are go­ing with their son. That visit to the doc­tor changed their lives. “Juju can’t walk or crawl. We thought the rea­son was be­cause he was slightly over­weight but it was more than that.” Ntombi (22) blamed her­self for Juju’s con­di­tion and be­came de­pressed af­ter he was di­ag­nosed, she says.

“I thought maybe I’d done some­thing wrong dur­ing my preg­nancy. I went into a re­ally dark space and I was di­ag­nosed with clin­i­cal de­pres­sion. I re­lied on med­i­ca­tion and the sup­port of my hus­band.”

But it wasn’t long be­fore the young cou­ple de­cided to pick up the pieces and start learn­ing all they could about their child’s con­di­tion. “I want to give my son the best treat­ment so he’s the best ver­sion of him­self,” Heavy K (26) says, adding they reg­u­larly take Juju for check­ups and phys­io­ther­apy.

“We have spe­cial shoes for him to help stretch his legs,” Ntombi says.

Heavy K says he wants oth­ers to learn from their ex­pe­ri­ence. “Right now I need to be a hit­maker, a fa­ther, a hus­band and be there for my fam­ily. I don’t have time for neg­a­tiv­ity. Our child isn’t any dif­fer­ent from other chil­dren – he fol­lows in­struc­tions well. He just strug­gles to walk.”

HEAVY K spends a lot of time with his young fam­ily. The cou­ple has a sec­ond child, Yuri, born a year af­ter Juju, and are fo­cused on be­ing the best par­ents they can be. But there are chal­lenges. He re­calls an in­ci­dent when he was per­form­ing his new song, Ngi­bonile, with Somizi Mh­longo on Idols SA last year and Juju had a seizure and had to be rushed to hospi­tal. “It’s very dif­fi­cult at times. Af­ter the per­for­mance I rushed to the hospi­tal.”

While the cou­ple ini­tially strug­gled af­ter learn­ing about Juju’s con­di­tion, they’ve learnt to live with it. There’s no air of sad­ness about the pair, who plan to get mar­ried this month.

Heavy K met the love of his life at a club in Gra­ham­stown in the East­ern Cape in 2014. He was smit­ten from the word go but she didn’t make it easy for him.

“I come from a sta­ble fam­ily and my par­ents in­flu­enced the way I view wom-

en. They re­ally loved each other and the girl I saw had some­thing that re­minded me of home,” he re­calls.

He ap­proached her af­ter his set but Ntombi wasn’t im­pressed.

“I knew who he was but I wasn’t in­ter­ested in dat­ing a celebrity,” she says.

“She was also not happy about me ask­ing her out at a club so I be­came ar­ro­gant and left her alone,” Heavy K in­ter­jects. “She didn’t care that I was a fa­mous DJ – she wanted me to ask her out the right way and not make her feel cheap.”

A year later Ntombi moved to Jo­han­nes­burg to study mar­ket­ing and the two met again through a mu­tual friend.

“I couldn’t be­lieve I was see­ing her again – I knew then it was meant to be,” Heavy K says. “I got her num­ber and pur­sued her for four months be­fore she gave in.”

Ntombi says she saw an­other side of him. “He was kind, car­ing and per­sis­tent. He went out of his way to show me how much he loved me. I didn’t make it easy for him!”

More than a year into the re­la­tion­ship Heavy K pro­posed to Ntombi in their stu­dio at home. “I played her a song and I got on my knees and asked her to marry me. She never saw it com­ing,” he says.

The cou­ple plan to have a civil cer­e­mony this month and will have a wed­ding with all the trim­mings in Oc­to­ber.

EV­ERY­THING hap­pens for a rea­son, the muso be­lieves. And the same ap­plies to the fact he lost his beloved mother, Thobeka, just as Ntombi started hav­ing con­trac­tions with Juju. “While Ntombi was in hospi­tal, I got a call from my fa­ther say­ing my mother had fallen from the bed and passed away.”

Heavy K says his mother hadn’t been ill but had de­vel­oped stom­ach prob­lems af­ter eat­ing some meat.

He’s sad his mother never met his son but there’s some­thing spir­i­tual in a life be­ing lost and an­other one start­ing at al­most the same time.

He knows she would be proud of him and how much his mu­sic has changed his life and that of his fam­ily.

Heavy K is es­pe­cially proud of be­ing able to buy his fa­ther a house in Al­goa Park in Port El­iz­a­beth, al­low­ing him to move from the four-room home in Veeplaas where Heavy K grew up.

His dad, Phindile, was a welder who rode his bi­cy­cle to work for 18 years and earned just R200 a week, but those days are over. His fa­ther now drives a Mer­cedes-Benz C200, lives in a smart house and no longer works, thanks to his son.

“My fa­ther worked hard for his fam­ily and I make sure he’s reap­ing the re­wards now. Ev­ery month I give him a R12 000 ‘salary’,” he says.

He can cer­tainly af­ford it. Heavy K is re­spon­si­ble for some of the big­gest hits in the coun­try and has scooped a num­ber of awards. Yet he makes a point of stay­ing grounded and re­mem­ber­ing where he came from. He also tries not to take to heart the cruel re­marks peo­ple make about his weight.

“I’ve been hurt,” he ad­mits. “But I’ve learnt to be strong be­cause my wife and fam­ily love me the way I am.”

The Drum­boss, as he’s some­times known, is work­ing on an al­bum due for re­lease in April. “It fea­tures the likes of Sean Paul, Wizkid, Davido, Cassper Ny­ovest, Bu­cie, Nok­wazi, Tiwa Sav­age, Eddy Kenzo – just to name a few.”

He’ll also be re­leas­ing a live DVD of his great­est hits and plans to fill up the Tick­et­pro Dome in Jo­han­nes­burg for the launch of the al­bum.

All in all, it’s go­ing to be a busy year for Heavy K, both at home and on the decks. “I work like a slave,” he says, “be­cause I want to live like a king.”

Heavy K with his fi­ancée, Ntombi Nguse, their younger son, Yuri (mid­dle), and Juju.

ABOVE and ABOVE RIGHT: Heavy K and his fam­ily live in a beau­ti­ful home in a posh es­tate in Midrand, Jo­han­nes­burg. RIGHT: Boys and their toys . . . Heavy K is clearly a Mer­cedes-Benz fan!

ABOVE: The mu­sic pro­ducer with his dad, Phindile. He’s thrilled that he’s been able to buy a house and a car for his fa­ther. ABOVE RIGHT: Heavy K shared this snap on In­sta­gram of him­self as a kid. He said he never gave up on his dream – which is why he’s suc­cess­ful now (TOP RIGHT).

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