‘Kwaito is under siege’


Music producer and Trompies singer Zayne ‘Mahoota’ Sibika surveyed the South African music landscape after the death this week of kwaito legend, Ma-Willies, then remarked: “It’s like kwaito artists are under siege. You just wonder who is next.”

Mahoota, speaking in London on Thursday where he is billed for two gigs alongside DJ Zinhle and DJ Cyndo this weekend, described Ma-Willies as a “genius”.

More heartbreakingly, Ma-Willies features on Mahoota’s latest big hit, Qolo, off his solo dance album, Phula.

Mahoota revealed: “We were busy in the studio with T Zozo and Professor, just as the lyrics (on Qolo) say ‘abafan’abathathu/ngolweSithathu…’ Ma-Willies was in the kitchen and he heard us singing.

Dj Mahoota vs Vetkuk ft. Ma-willies – Phuliqolo

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“He came over and said ‘I have an idea, let me lay it down’. In one take, he nailed his part and everybody just went mad. He was a genius, his ideas and his voice set him apart from the rest.”

Mahoota, who spent Sunday celebrating his birthday, said he had fielded dozens of phone calls from friends and other artists all convinced that their collaboration on Qolo could be Ma-Willies’ last major contribution to music.

“When I heard the news, I was really devastated,” Mahoota said. “It’s really sad he is gone. As a kwaito artist, it does feel like we are under siege.”

Ma-Willies was helping Trompies’ Jakarumba with his new album set for release next month at the time of death. He had also just completed his own album, Shark is Moving which is due for release soon, according to his former manager.

Recently, the music industry was mourning another kwaito star, Zombo, who revealed he had HIV and was hooked on drugs just weeks before he lost his battle to live.

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DJs Cndo, DJ Zinhle and DJ Vatkuk and Mahoota will be performing at Twilight Niteclub in London (E15 1DD) on Friday, March 21 and on Saturday, March 22 at Starlite Entertainment Centre in Leicester (LE1 2AA). Tickets cost £15.