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Abdul Khoza jumps into music bandwagon as Shemeni

Khoza emphasises he isn’t completely leaving acting

Masego Seemela Online journalist
Actor Abdul Khoza wants to heal people with his music.
Actor Abdul Khoza wants to heal people with his music.
Image: Supplied.

Abdul Khoza is the latest actor to hop onto the music bandwagon, under the moniker Shemeni. 

Known for his roles in Isibaya, Shaka iLembe and The Wife, the younger brother of actor SK Khoza told Sowetan that his love for music piqued when he hit rock-bottom years ago and was unsure where he was headed career-wise.

Through his music, Khoza plans to tackle topics affecting men today – from mental to social issues.

He will drop his debut hip hop EP, R.U.N (Rise. Under. No one), on Monday featuring Zakwe, Duncan, Zulu Black, Jus Jacob, Efelow and many more. 

“For me, it’s about the art more than the artist... this new beginning is bigger than me and I’m glad that I’m responding to the call to help people, particularly men, to heal through positive messages in song,” said Khoza.  

The 35-year-old star believes that although he has excelled in acting, winning many awards in the process, music will make him more relatable to fans.

“Yes, the roles I’ve played have a teachable element to them and depending on how well I play them, people are able to learn or get some sort of positive takeaway from them. What’s different about teaching through my roles and my songs is that I have more creative control over my music,” he said.  

Image: Supplied.

The language he uses in his lyrics was very important in making his music transformation.

“Most of my roles are in isiZulu hence I chose to rap entirely in my mother tongue – something I have pride in. My hometown and cultural background is a huge representation and influence on who I am well known for. My stage name, Shemeni, is to represent the many brave men who work in the taxi industry,” he said.

“A friend of mine was telling me how I am well-known in the taxi industry yet I don’t even own a single taxi... this is obviously the influence I’ve had with the various roles I’ve played and I realised that I can’t put that identity to waste. I want to give these men, who are not only just taxi drivers but they are family men who are working tirelessly to put bread on the table. 

“Without taking much away from other men from different professions, but these taxi drivers face a lot of adversity and any sort of encouragement or motivation will do them good.” 

Khoza emphasised he has no intentions of leaving acting as he has more to offer in African storytelling.  

“Most of the songs have a hip-hop feel to them but there’s one where I sing full Maskandi style. I usually work my messaging around the beat of the song. My hope for this music journey is to ultimately see myself performing live with a band and touring the country spreading nothing but positive vibes,” he said.

“I would like to collaborate with Emtee, KO and Sjava one day – I love their flow and approach to music.”

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