Zanefa Ngidi is a new maskandi singer and guitarist who is set to cause a stir in the music industry.
Ngidi, 26, hails from KwaMaphumulo, KwaZulu-Natal, where the late award-winning maskandi muso Bhekumuzi Luthuli came from.
The young singer has just released his debut album Umona. It will definitely give many musicians a run for their money. Though some tracks on the album are similar to Luthuli and Thokozani Langa's music, Ngidi is no copycat.
Ngidi's brand of maskandi is tinged with beats and rhythms of mbaqanga, with ushameni sound. His music is packed with messages of love and stories about his upbringing. Apart from his good voice, Ngidi is a talented guitarist and maskandi composer.
He says his music talks to both young and old. What sets his work apart from others is the language he uses to grab the attention of the youth.
"My music speaks about real issues that affect the young and old and I do not use lyrics to fight or insult other people. I don't want to predict the future through my music, but I want to sing about things that people have already witnessed.
"Take the song Umona in which I talk about greed. I composed the song because I believe that people spend their time focusing on other people's lives instead of developing themselves."
He developed an interest in this African traditional music genre at an early age. Ngidi was inspired by his idol Luthuli. Before making a breakthrough in the industry, Ngindi worked as a session artist for various groups.
He came to Jozi looking for a job like most musicians do. He says he was fortunate to get a job as a security officer.
"I worked as a security guard because I needed money, but I always knew that one day I would end up in the music industry."
Though Ngidi's parents did not approve of his becoming a singer, he was determined to be one and his hard work saw him rising above many challenges in the industry.