Khuli Chana hails SA rap icons in chronicled doccie

'Labour of love and celebration of SA's cultural tapestry'

Masego Seemela Online journalist
Hip hop heavyweight Khuli Chana highlights the lives of great South African hip hop musicians through his new documentary, Maftown Heights Untold Stories.
Hip hop heavyweight Khuli Chana highlights the lives of great South African hip hop musicians through his new documentary, Maftown Heights Untold Stories.
Image: Supplied.

Khuli Chana is preserving the history of SA hip-hop and plans to ensure that rap titans such as the late AKA and Riky Rick are not forgotten in many years to come.

The 41-year-old musician on Thursday night hosted a screening in Rosebank, Johannesburg, of his new documentary, Maftown Heights Untold Stories, offering chronicles into the lives of great Mzansi hip-hop artists

The four-part documentary will premiere on Saturday on Channel O, with new episodes dropping weekly.

“Africa’s diverse cultures and traditions are at risk of being diluted or lost in the face of globalisation. By telling our own stories, we maintain a direct connection to our roots, passing on the essence of our identity to future generations,” he said.

“It’s so beautiful to watch how SA hip-hop is redefining and cementing itself in the global scene.” 

Real name Khulane Morule, he was born in Mmabatho, North West, becoming one of the trailblazers in local hip-hop subculture motswako. He serves as executive producer alongside Refiloe Ramogase.

"Maftown Heights Untold Stories has been in the works since 2020. It’s been a labour of love and a celebration of the cultural tapestry that has shaped the South African music scene," Ramogase said.

"We aim to honour the legacy of the artists who have inspired a generation [some of whom are no longer with us], and to provide a platform for their voices to be heard in an authentic and compelling manner.

"We believe it will resonate with long-time fans and newcomers alike, providing a deeper understanding of the festival’s significance and its role in the broader cultural landscape."

Image: Supplied.

Married to popular personality Lamiez Holworthy, Chana's unique sound and style has seen him collaborate with  everyone from Cassper Nyovest to AKA.

“It’s very important to remain a student in the game; staying curious and hungry is key. In the words of Maglera Doe Boy, ‘the come up never stops’ because the pinnacle doesn’t exist,” he said

“AKA is immortalised to me. He was loud about his love for me and that got me super charged. Ricky Rick shared our vision which was to unearth young talent and shine a light on our culture.

“One of my most memorable moments of AKA was when he closed a show we did in 2015. He was at his optimum when it came to performing. The same with Riky. I remember how he shut it down at our Homecoming festival in Mahikeng… that moment will always go down as one of his most epic performances.” 

Chana next plans to help equip artists with the knowledge on how to create a more sustainable business for themselves within the music industry.

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