S mash hit duo

THEY might not be the kind of musicians who appear in your monthly high-profile magazine or newspapers, but Maskandi duo Shwi NoMtekhala are certainly making waves.

THEY might not be the kind of musicians who appear in your monthly high-profile magazine or newspapers, but Maskandi duo Shwi NoMtekhala are certainly making waves.

The multi-platinum-selling duo is back again in the music business with the smash hit album Uyoba Unenhlanhla . After releasing their biggest flop in 2007, they took a break - but now they are back with a loud bang.

The latest album will really fix their foothold in the traditional music arena.

Mandla Xaba, who is famously known as Shwi, was quick to defend their failure...

"It was not our aim to release a flop. The company had initially told us that we would not release anything that year.

"Later they changed their minds and we were not given enough time to work on the album. We like to to be able to take pride in whatever we do."

Mtekhala. whose real name is Rodgers Magubane, said the new album consisted of fresh maskandi rhythms blended with mbaqanga sounds.

"We have explored different sounds, while retaining the old style of maskandi and at the same time modernising it to deliver a unique maskandi," Mtekhala said.

" This time we pulled up our socks and, more than that, had enough time to tune our sound."

Like many musicians they speak about their personal experiences in their songs - the hardships of growing up without a father.

"Take songs like Wangisiza Baba,Woza Baba and Angimaz'ubaba tackling the issue of growing up without a father figure. We thought it a very interesting subject since we both lost our our fathers at an early age," Xaba said.

After struggling for years Shwi NoMtekhala turned things around in 2005, when they dropped Wangisiza Baba that made headlines nationwide. The album blew the nation away, with sales exceeding half a million copies.

In 2006 they came back with Angimaz'uBaba that also did exceptionally well.

The group has won three South African traditional music Awards and two South African Music Awards. Their other albums include Ukufa and Dustbin.

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