Laduma! From upcoming soccer star to musical maestro: Meet Thabo 'Touchline' Mahlwele

Laduma! From upcoming soccer star to musical maestro: Meet Thabo 'Touchline' Mahlwele

- Thabo grew up in a township where he got the nickname 'Touchline'

- He made the choice to follow music over soccer as he felt he would be able to reach more people that way

- He is currently working on an EP that he is hoping will turn into an album

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Calling himself Touchline, Thabo Mahlwele, a rapper and singer who knows how to make a name for himself. The reason behind the nickname comes from growing up in the townships. Growing up in a township one would know that the name Thabo is always nicknamed Touch, and with his skill in the game of soccer had him playing on the touchline.

“When I started making music I knew I was going to touch people with my lines then it all came together like that,” the 26-year-old said.

Thinking the game of soccer was not his purpose, this Tembisa born star chose music as his career path.

“It just wasn’t the place where I was going to live my best life. As talented as I was, I just didn’t see it for me, and when things didn’t come together, I knew it wasn’t my destiny.”

From a young age, Mahlwele was a fan of music. His ambition was to play the keyboard and begged his parents to buy him one.

“But I only learnt how to play when I was much older. I’ve always been into music, writing Eminem-style lyrics from the time I was 13.”

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Mahlwele was performing at one of the Moshito music conferences when he was discovered by Muthaland. Two years in the making, he was finally signed up with Mutha-land Entertainment.

“The chief executive called me the Monday afterwards and wanted me to work with them. I dodged them for two years, but eventually we linked up again last year. My vision was clear and he was clear, and it just made sense for us to do this thing together.”

Mahlwele’s first release was Ung’Phethe Kahle. As he is a rapper, poet and singer this took just a few hours to make.

“My producer and I had come from a night out and we met some cool women, who were vibing with us, and we made a song about it. It basically translated into how we were feeling that day.”

Working on an EP, Mahlwele is hoping it will turn into a full album.

“The material is there; it's good and ready, but we're still deciding if it should be an EP or an album. We'll see how things go in the next month.”

His upcoming events include performing at the Ikwekwezi FM 35th Birthday Bash this weekend, and a performance on Live AMP for Freedom Day.

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