Darkie Fic­tion take the ba­ton from SA greats

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - PEOPLE - CON­STANCE GAANAKGOMO

SONGSTRESS and cin­e­matog­ra­pher Yoza Mnyanda, 24, be­came fa­mous in South Africa last year af­ter send­ing a tweet to DJ Black Cof­fee ask­ing how many re-tweets she needed to have to work with him – and the rest is his­tory.

The UCT grad­u­ate got to­gether with her part­ner, rap­per Kuthu­lak­weNkosi “Katt Daddy” Si­boto, 26, to form the group Darkie Fic­tion in Cape Town. A com­mon goal was to take up the ba­ton from artists such as Boom Shaka, TKZee, Sk­watta Kamp, Cai­phus Se­menya and Letta Mbulu.

Their mu­sic draws from a va­ri­ety of gen­res: kwaito, Afro­funk, neo-soul and hip hop. Af­ter set­ting up the group they set their sights on Joburg.

“We met and formed in Cape Town, but I’m from East Lon­don and Katt is from Port El­iz­a­beth. In Cape Town... there is a cer­tain cap, es­pe­cially for a black cre­ative. We felt like we needed to make a big ‘city of gold’ move. It was like a stab in the dark, just hop­ing for the best,” said Mnyanda.

They said it was the frus­tra­tions they had with the mu­sic in­dus­try, es­pe­cially ra­dio, that fi­nally gave them the nudge to form the group. Ini­tially they pro­duced a kwaito-like sound.

“We started hav­ing the same con­ver­sa­tions and then we de­cided to just be­come a mu­sic duo and try and make a dif­fer­ence in the in­dus­try to­gether. The kwaito thing hon­estly wasn’t on pur­pose, it was in­flu­enced by peo­ple within that genre.

“We didn’t start with the goal of mak­ing kwaito, but we did feel that no one re­ally car­ried on the ba­ton from your TKZees and Boom Shaka. A lot of peo­ple started say­ing, ‘You make kwaito’, so we kind of went with it. What in­spires us are peo­ple that came be­fore us; those kind of peo­ple re­ally keep us go­ing, be­cause that’s mu­sic that ac­tu­ally meant some­thing.

“They had a mes­sage, and it made a dif­fer­ence in peo­ple’s lives. And it wasn’t just talking about, ‘Look at me, I’m so rich’, it ac­tu­ally said some­thing and it did some­thing for peo­ple. It was ac­tivism in mu­sic and that’s also some­thing that we try to do through our mu­sic.”

The duo’s new ex­tended play record, Sob­a­bini: A New Mzansi Evo­lu­tion, fea­tures in Ap­ple Mu­sic’s New Artist Spot­light Cam­paign. The songs on it are Fic­tion Sound, My Ntl­iziyo, Gum­bafaya, Mal­i­bongwe and Bhoza.

Not only are they bring­ing the spot­light back to au­then­tic South African mu­sic, they are com­mit­ted to visual sto­ry­telling through fash­ion, il­lus­trated by the way they shoot their videos.

“I stud­ied screen pro­duc­tion, film, so I’m quite into that, but I would say that I take charge (of shoot­ing), that’s my depart­ment. Katt is more like into the styling and the cloth­ing we wear, and I’m more like con­cep­tual, so we meet in the mid­dle. It’s a team ef­fort,” said Mnyanda.

The duo re­cently made their big de­but at Op­pikoppi and are set to per­form at the #TRACEFest in Joburg next month.


Yoza Mnyanda and Kuthu­lak­weNkosi ‘Katt Daddy’ Si­boto of Darkie Fic­tion are in­spired by artists such as TKZee, Boom Shaka, Cai­phus Se­menya and Letta Mbulu.

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