Skroef drops mop for hip-hop

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

KwaZulu-Natal's Linda Ngwenya, 28, has graduated from mimicking with a broom to singing with a real microphone.

Known to his friends as Skroef, he is stealing many hearts while trying to establish himself as a home-grown hip-hop artist.

A former Durban newspaper vendor, Skroef says he used to work as a cleaner at a Durban shopping mall to earn extra money. During this time he would use the broom as a "mic" to sing. On weekends he and his mates would play at local hip-hop hangouts in the city.

"I would spend the evening mimicking with a broom. I love music. My friends encouraged me to use my talent and become a professional singer.

"Luckily Mina Productions in Durban spotted me singing at a local gig at the Bat Centre and decided to give me a break."

He recently released a 10-track CD Mama Wami. The album is dedicated to his mother because her support for his music never wavered.

The CD has been played on local radio stations and has received warm reviews.

But he says all is not well in the music industry because one's success depends on the record label behind the musician.

"Music compilers at local radio stations prefer the big companies.

"This is hard for newcomers like me. I think the situation should be rectified to give newcomers a chance."

His music has original mbaqanga sound accompanied by an acoustic guitar.

His music is about hardship, social injustice and crime.

"I had been working as sweeper at a sport centre and as a newspaper delivery boy. But that did not take away my passion to pursue my dream."

Skroef comes from Madadeni, outside Newcastle, northern KwaZulu-Natal.