Mandoza – A Musician, Not Just a Kwaito Artist


We’re talking here about South Africa’s top selling artists, multi-award winners, platinum-selling singers and Kwaito legends.
If you google Mandoza, and before you get to the last letter, there’s a few options, one of them being Mandoza Nkalakata. That’s how you know there is only one Mandoza who performed the Kwaito hit song of all time, Nkalakata.

It’s amazing how one song can bring people so close together. Well, in my experience anyway! I met a guy from Australia a couple of weeks ago. As we introduced ourselves, the minute I said I was from South Africa, he asked me if I knew Mandoza’s “Nkalakata” track. I was so gob struck I said “Man! You know Mandoza?”

To my surprise he was a big fan of Mandoza and had all his albums! He said he saw Shaun Pollock’s (South African cricket player) advert a few years back, with the sound track of the the Mandoza song, and that’s when he fell in love with the music. We’re good friends now but deep down I think that his being an Australian massive fan of my fellow countryman, Mandoza, brought us closer together!

“Sometimes you need to taste yourself with words. You must be careful of what you say.”

Although people are still debating as to whether “Nkalakata” is the best album of all time, my own debate was answered in 2004 when “Nkalakata” was included in the line-up for the South African music Award (SAMA) song of the decade, a category which was created specifically for 2004’s SAMA 10th anniversary.

“You see, that song, Nkalakata, took me to another level. It introduced me to another top world musician. I’m so grateful to be known [internationally]…”

We know what happens when a group disbands.The question is, is one of them going to make it big or will all of them disappear?
Mandoza emerged from a group, Chiskop. He was part of the six albums they produced, but went solo in 2000. It was a wise move! He’s the only one of the group to have been successful ever since. He is working on his 10th album. His latest album, Ingwenya (crocodile), has been received very well in South Africa. From Nkalakata to Ingwenya!

“Sometimes you need to taste yourself with words. You must be careful of what you say. If you call yourself a king you have to become a king. It works for me.”

Mandoza has described his album as very mature.
“I’ve grown in such a way that I’m a dad now. I want all kids to listen to me: I always try to speak sense to them.”

Mandoza has been involved in various collaborations with artists from different genres, Danny.K, Lizha James, from Mozambique, and Baby M from Japan, to name but a few. Talking on the Mzansi Show, he said he has moved from just being a Kwaito artist to being a musician.

Given the collaborations he has been involved with in his career, we can’t deny that he has grown into a versatile artist.

  • Mandoza will be performing in Japan next month, for the first time.
  • Listen to Mandoza’s interview on the Mzansi Show website



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