Sunday World

MZAM­BIYA RISES FROM THE DEAD

- AMOS MANANYETSO

WHAT do you do with the rest of your life when you had achieved more than some re­tired artists in their en­tire work­ing lives at the age of 12?

South Africa ’ s most cel­e­brated kwaito child star Mzam­biya, real name Nkosi­nathi Zwane, will an­swer that ques­tion next month with a new al­bum launch.

Af­ter tak­ing the coun­try by storm at the turn of the cen­tury with his hit song Mele Sen­zeni, Mzam­biya (27) went to hell and back and sur­vived to tell the story with his new yet to be ti­tled al­bum.

His de­but al­bum Still I Rise earned him nom­i­na­tions for best kwaito song at the Sa­mas and best mu­sic video at the Chan­nel O Africa Mu­sic Video Awards.

Life then took him on a labyrinth that in­cluded com­plet­ing his stud­ies, wit­ness­ing a sui­cide, ven­tur­ing into the con­struc­tion busi­ness and found­ing a non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion. Af­ter that, he went into a lull. Mzam­biya ’ s come­back to the en­ter­tain­ment scene was through dance tal­ent spot­ting show Jika

Ma­jika late last year. Iron­i­cally, he was also spot­ted on an­other youth tal­ent show, Jam

Al­ley, be­fore he burst onto the mu­sic scene.

It was at this stage that South Africa ’“s king of kwaito ” Arthur Mafokate pounced to re­vive this Soweto na­tive ’ s mu­sic ca­reer.

“I started work­ing with him in se­cret in Jan­uary, ” said Mafokate.

“I chose him be­cause he has been there, done that and proved his tal­ent to the world. He now un­der­stands the in­dus­try bet­ter. I can safely say he has ma­tured.

“He ’ s one of the best-sell­ing young­sters in the coun­try. I couldn ’ t ig­nore some­one who sold more than 200 000 copies on their first al­bum.

“He has proved him­self as a real artist. He ’ s fea­tured in movies and is pre­sent­ing a TV show.

“Some­times, it ’ s bet­ter to deal with peo­ple who ’ ve seen it all.”

Mafokate, who re­cently re­vived the ca­reer of erst­while kwaito star Ish­mael Morabe, said Mzam­biya ’ s new al­bum was “beau­ti­ful ” and would ap­peal to both hard­core and new-age kwaito fans.

“The al­bum will have 12 songs that were writ­ten by Mzam­biya and pro­duced by me, and fea­ture Ish­mael and Techno T, among other top pro­duc­ers,” said Mafokate.

“We re­ally put an ef­fort be­hind it. I hope the public will re­ceive it with the same pas­sion.”

Mza­mibya ’ s al­bum will be launched in Mahikeng in May.

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