Mandoza – Celebrity and Kwaito Musician – Johannesburg

Mandoza’s unique vocal style and delivery add real impact to Mandoza’s lyrics. “Most of my songs are about the ghetto life. It’s about what’s happening in the ghetto the way people dress, the way we drink, the music we listen to, just the way we do things. Even though I’m now successful, I always must remain connected to my roots. If I move out of the ghetto, I still need to go back and see my mother and make sure she’s all right and after that I’m going to chill with my friends. The ghetto is where I get my lyrics. People must hear what I’m saying and understand it. The best kwaito describes the life black people are leading. The only problem is that many kwaito artists are doing it for a quick buck and not the love of it like us, talking about important things.”

And few albums in the pretty over-subscribed kwaito market do this as well as 9115 Zola South and Nkalakatha. Indeed the latter has earned Mandoza a 2001 South African Music Award for Best Kwaito Music Album. The album’s title song was also named Song Of The Year at the same awards event, in a category that’s entirely based on popular opinion. This, along with Mandoza’s scooping of five of the 10 categories at the 2001 Metro Music Awards – Best Kwaito Artist, Best Male Vocal, Best Album Nkalakatha, Best Styled Artist, Best Guitar Picks and Song Of The Year for his smash hit “Nkalakatha” confirm once and for all his superstar status.