South African music duo Mafikizolo is set to perform at the Harare International Conference Centre with Oliver Mtukudzi on December 19. The “Khona” hitmakers are expected to bring the festive mood to their local fans considering that December 19 would be ‘shutdown’ Friday for most workers. The group has performed in the country before and left lasting impressions with their stagework and timeless hits like “Emlanjeni” popularly known as “I will meet you at the river”.
Their combination with Oliver Mtukudzi is likely to bring fireworks to HICC and leave lasting impressions. Mtukudzi is currently riding high with his new album “Mukombe Wemvura”. Show organiser Simba Madziwa of Simmad Entertainment said they have prepared a spectacular festive season ignition event for music lovers.
“It will be the last day at work for most workers and they will be in festive season mood. Mafikizolo is a talented duo and we want people to begin their festive season in style. We promise a good show because we have many spices on the programme. Tuku will ensure that the visitors are well complemented,” said Madziwa.
Mafikizolo is a renowned regional group.
Their name may mean ‘new kids on the block, who just arrived yesterday’ in Zulu, but Mafikizolo is no newcomer. This vibrant, stylish group that created a delicious dance brew by mixing old and new South African sounds, have released seven hit filled Afro Pop albums, sold over a million copies, picked up countless awards, and is undoubtedly one of the most successful groups in South Africa.
According to the group’s biography, apart from the eight SAMA awards and many other awards they have received, career highlights include going multi-platinum, performing at Nelson Mandela’s 46664 AIDS charity shows in Norway and Cape Town, travelling to London, Japan and around Africa; meeting Nelson Mandela and performing for Thabo Mbeki. The Mafikizolo journey began after Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla Nciza met at talent shows in their township Kagiso in Western Johannesburg where they would imitate R&B acts like Aaliyah and Boyz II Men. Soon they decided to create their own band.
They recorded under the coveted Kalawao Jazmee label; releasing two albums (Mafikizolo – 1996 and Music Revolution – 1997) before their breakthrough came with their third offering, 1999’s Gatecrashers, with the big hit being the dance track called ‘Lotto’. Lotto was also remixed by American house legends Masters At Work and released on the club scene globally. “Gatecrashers” was also significant for featuring their first Afro Pop track, “Majika”, the success of which prompted a gradual move from the Kwaito style for which they were famous, Afro-Pop, which they describe as a version of kwaito that fuses traditional South African music, township jazz, gospel and mbaqanga with the beats and bounce of today’s dance floor sounds.
Mafikizolo’s major breakthrough came when they spiced their Afro Pop sounds with kwela and Marabi music of the 50’s and 60’s, made famous by the likes of Hugh Masekela and Miriam Makeba. The result of this inspiration was their 2002 release, “Sibongile”, named after the Zulu word for ‘Thank You’, to thank God after surviving a horrible car crash. “Sibongile”s first single was a love song (that is now a classic and is played at every wedding) “Ndihamba Nawe” that was based on a track by 50’s diva Sophie Mgcina and simply states ‘when I leave this place, I’m leaving with you boy/girl’. The album was a massive success, selling over 350 000 copies and winning them the first two of their eight South African Music Awards.