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From hobo to top musician

By Sbusiso Shongwe | Mar 23, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 25 ]

"I had only R300 but I also had a dream" - Once a scared boy, Chronic X is reaping the sweets of his sweats!

HIP-HOP star Chronic X this week related how he narrowly escaped from an initiation school in the mountains of Eastern Cape.

Born Xolani Fani at Dimbaza in Eastern Cape, the musician says he ran away from an initiation school in 2000.

"I had only R300 but I also had a dream: I had to run for my life."

These tales are embedded in his Xhosa/English debut album, Miss SA, and a music video for the track Look At That. Most of the songs in the album are about Dimbaza in Eastern Cape; the streets, the people, the love and the cruelty that left his community in distress.

"But one song that still rings new every time I listen to it is Big Brother," he says.

Big Brother recounts the death of a friend who died as a result of a circumcision gone wrong, which doctors say was pneumonia. But Chronic X is sure that whatever happened in the mountains killed his friend.

"My friend went to the mountain and on the fourth day he was dead. I was scared. He died on Saturday, we buried him Sunday and I was gone on Monday.

"Surprisingly, my parents understood that I had to leave, something they would not have done under normal circumstances and given that I was 17 years old," says Chronic X.

"During that period more people of my youth were dying, some from petty crimes, some from community beatings. But most of them were dying from entabeni and that shocked the whole community. These are untold tales depicting events at Dimbaza in 2000."

Living in fear of death did not sit well with the youngster and Sea Point in Cape Town became his next refuge, backpacking with other homeless people. He pulled himself together and got a job as a waiter.

"The last thing you can do in a city like Cape Town is to feel sorry for yourself. The love of music and my family kept me strong. A hobo who works as a waiter . I would wake up at 5am to wash in the toilets of Golden Acres."

He saved enough to bounce back to music and set up a makeshift studio in his room. Soon underground rappers came in and "one day this Afrikaans boy Jack Parow, the Hosh tokolosh star, comes in and talks about rap, what does he know, but I let him flow", he laughs.

But Joburg was calling. He enrolled at Soul Candi Institute of music. "I got my qualification there and they asked me to lecture in production."

Chronic X came to Sowetan fresh from a live performance on breakfast show Sunrise.

Once a scared boy, Chronic X is clearly reaping the sweets of his sweats!


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Thyini lentwana ayinantloni?hambokoluka mnqund'wakho!

Mar 23, 2012 8:39 | 0 replies

Hahahahaha. And he is proud?

Mar 23, 2012 12:57 | 0 replies

Gwala ndini, sies!

Mar 23, 2012 1:8 | 0 replies

Akukho nto inengqondo ibinophuma kuwe kakade uqhweshe esuthwini. Ndihlala ndisiva kuthiwa amakhwenkwe anemikhuba kodwa akuxelwa lento. Thyini madoda ngumnqundu wenkwenkwe lo. Hambo kweluka wena ncanca yenyosi.

Mar 23, 2012 1:27 | 0 replies

Iyo, the hair not AYOBA

Mar 23, 2012 1:29 | 0 replies

Why black musician always want to use False shocking stories about their life to sale music.

If you want fame to for it,you dont need our sympathy to succed.write nive lyric,accompanied by good rym and tempo then you will reach for the start. Living in poverty ,from jail,ex drug addicts and such stories will note make any album sale

Mar 23, 2012 1:47 | 0 replies

@Sbokoboko-yhooooo hayi umgqibile hahahhha ibingenaphi into yokwaluka emculweni kuqala ??? thsothso uzawubhadla uXolani kodwa ke good luck emculweni wakhe........

Mar 23, 2012 1:51 | 0 replies

kunokuba lenkwenkwe lento iyithetha apha iyititshwe ngalamakhwenkwe agcwele egautini zizinto zabo ezi zokufaka ububhanxa xabefunaukuthengisa amacwecwe qha ke ngelishwa letyhagi ayazanga ukuba akuthethwanjalo amadoda enjongile kunokuba noyise unentloni.

Mar 23, 2012 3:33 | 0 replies

"My friend went to the mountain and on the fourth day he was dead. I was scared. He died on Saturday, we buried him Sunday and I was gone on Monday"

ukhangeleka nathi ebesoyika kakade lo, wafumana into yosithela.

Mar 23, 2012 5:3 | 0 replies

come on people, everyone has its own choice, leave him alone with his makoya style

Apr 16, 2012 4:19 | 0 replies

Hayi bo madodo nqandani nantsi inja isisjijela ngomsila

Apr 17, 2012 10:48 | 0 replies