Evergreen Mafikizolo to shake festive season

Nhlanhla Nciza and Theo Kgosinkwe. / Supplied
Nhlanhla Nciza and Theo Kgosinkwe. / Supplied

The festive season, parties, weddings and even funerals wouldn't be the same without the sound of Mafikizolo.

The duo celebrated their 20th anniversary in the entertainment industry by releasing their ninth album titled 20.

Singer Nhlanhla Nciza said the album is a celebration of their journey in the industry.

"The album is a beautiful celebratory story. We wanted to capture our older and new fans because our songs have always been appreciated by everyone. We are saying thank you to our fans for the support," she said.

The new album, which has blues and swing elements, was recorded with a live band.

"There is a bit of Afro pop, kwela and marabi, which have become our trademark. They say you must not fix something that is not broken and we are not going to mess with our winning formula," said Nciza.

The album features a remake of Miriam Makeba's classic Walila - and they deserve a round of applause for doing justice to the song.

Mafikizolo wooing music lovers at a previous concert. The stylish singing duo from Kagiso on the West Rand have released a new album, '20', to celebrate their 20 years in the industry. / MBUZENI ZULU
Mafikizolo wooing music lovers at a previous concert. The stylish singing duo from Kagiso on the West Rand have released a new album, '20', to celebrate their 20 years in the industry. / MBUZENI ZULU

In a bid to ensure that their music grows globally, Mafikizolo have left Kalawa Jazmee for international record label Universal Music.

"As a child, when you grow up, you leave your parents' house and make your own - there's no bad blood between us and the record label.

"As the people who made us, they want to see us grow. That is why we still feature some of their artists," Nciza said.

The latest album is their fourth without Tebogo Madingoane who was killed in a road rage accident a few years ago.

The three came together in the 1990s but Nciza and the other band member, Theo Kgosinkwe, are childhood friends from Kagiso on the West Rand. Kgosinkwe actually recruited Nciza.

"We started singing other artists' songs but later decided to write our own," Kgosinkwe said.

Kgosinkwe initially wanted to be a producer but when the two of them were the only remaining members of the original group, Nciza convinced him to sing.

In 1996, a friend of Kgosinkwe's who knew Oskido managed to book a meeting with the legendary producer.

"We went with our demo to meet Oskido but he asked us to sing for him instead. And that was it," Nciza said.

They were informed that a third person would be joining their group and that is when they met Madingoane.

Their first album,Mafikizolo, went platinum. After Madingoane's death, they released four albums: Van Toeka Af,Six Mabone, Re-United and the latest, 20.

The duo decided on solo careers in 2008. Kgosinkwe released his album titled I Am while Nciza released two, Inguquko (Change) and Iingcinga Zam (My Thoughts).

In a personal setback, Nciza lost her daughter Zinathi, aged five, in a car accident in December 2009.

The tragedy had a very negative impact on the songstress. After two years of ups and downs, the duo reunited in 2010.

Both artists reckon that what has kept them relevant throughout the years is that they move with the times while staying true to themselves.

Individually, the artists have also played a big part in setting fashion trends.

Mafikizolo have made Sophiatown pantsula fashion look cool again with their colourful attire.

Known for her eccentric but stylish dress sense, Nciza started her own fashion label, NN Vintage in 2011.

It was officially launched at the Johannesburg Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Nciza said her fashion sense draws inspiration from different African countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa.

Nciza added that she designs all the "glamorous" clothes herself.

Kgosinkwe has never been afraid to experiment and gives other "straight" men the courage to look fabulous.

He is quite the fashionista who always, effortlessly, manages to pull off the classic, tailored look while maintaining a fun and appealing style.

Music lovers and supporters can look forward to another decade of good music from these two stars.