Busi Mhlongo bio, age, songs, albums, cause of death

Busi Mhlongo bio, age, songs, albums, cause of death

Well known as the Queen of Maskanda, Busi Mhlongo was a South African legend worth her salt. Her songs such as Izizwe, Baba We, Ntandane, and We Baba Omncane put her name on the map, making her a legend whose live performances are not forgotten to date, almost ten years after her demise.

Busi Mhlongo
Image: facebook.com, @Busi Mhlongo - The MELT 2000 years
Source: UGC

The talented South African musician was well-known. During her time in show business, she collaborated with the likes of Hugh Masekela, Phillip Tabane, and Mabe Thobejane. She was one of the few talented artists of her time who could manage to match amazing vocals with electric performances.

Profile summary

  • Full name: Busisiwe Victoria Mhlongo
  • Birthdate: 28 October 1947
  • Birthplace: Inanda, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
  • Occupation: Composer, actress
  • Style: African Traditions, Afro-Pop, Worldbeat, South African pop
  • Husband: Early Mabuza (deceased)
  • Children: One daughter
  • Brothers: Jabulani, Ndaba Mhlongo (deceased)
  • Date of death: 15 June 2010
  • Place of death: Durban, South Africa
  • Cause of demise: Cancer

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Early life and family

Busi singer was born in Inanda, KwaZulu Natal, on 28 October in 1947. Although much is not known about her parents, it is known that her mother, Flora Mhlongo, passed away in the year 2001.

Her siblings are Jabulani and Ndaba. Ndaba also passed away.

Did you know that Busi Mhlongo and Somizi Mhlongo are related? Somizi is Busi's nephew.


The Queen of Maskanda began her career in the entertainment industry while she was young. She began singing in choirs and concert groups while still in school.

A Gallo Music talent scout soon discovered the star. She then moved to Johannesburg, where she made her first recording. Her 1963 rendition of 'My Boy Lollipop' soon became a national hit.

She also performed in musicals and also was a soloist in several jazz groups such as Early Mabuza's Big Five.

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In the year 1968, Busi travelled to Lourenco Marques (Maputo) with Alfred Herbert's African Follies. She impressed some Portuguese musicians who were touring Mozambique. The Portuguese musicians then invited her to join their band and return to Portugal with them. Busi accepted the offer and moved to Lisbon.

Image: facebook.com, @Busi Mhlongo - The MELT 2000 years
Source: UGC

While in Portugal, she sang in various bands, nightclubs and also performed in musicals.

It was in 1972 that she moved to London to sing with Afro-jazz band Osibisa.

In 1979, she came back to South Africa during an African tour with Ms Letta Mbuli. For a significant part of the 1980s, she was based in the Netherlands.

In 1990, she came back to KwaZulu Natal and formed a band with South African musicians. The band's name was Twasa, and they toured Holland and Belgium.

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The romantic life of Busi Mhlongo

Before leaving for Portugal in the year 1968, Busi got married to drummer Early Mabuza. The couple had a daughter.

In a sad turn of events, shortly after Busi arrived in Portugal, she received news that her husband had been murdered. As she had gone into exile, she could not go back to South Africa to attend her husband's funeral or to take care of her daughter.

Busi singer
Image: facebook.com, @Busi Mhlongo - The MELT 2000 years
Source: UGC

Busi Mhlongo songs

The artist was one of the most talented artists of her time. Her tracks not only oozed enthusiasm but were also educational. Her songs carried messages about South Africa's struggle for freedom and justice.

Some of her most famous songs include the following:

  • Yehlisan' Umoya Ma-Afrika
  • Inzinzswa
  • We Baba Omncane
  • Uganga Nge Ngane
  • Yiswe Wabant' a Bami - (featuring Lokua Kanza)
  • Indiza - (featuring Oumou Sangare)
  • Yaphi' Imali Yami
  • Lua Lua - (featuring Max L" sser's Ark)
  • Ntandane
  • Umenthisi
  • Ting-Tingi
  • Mfaz' Onga Phesheya
  • Song For Doc - (featuring Baba Serakoeng, Mabi Thobejane, Madala Kunene)

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Busi Mhlongo albums

Her most famous collections include:


  • Release date: 5 February 1999
  • Label: M.E.L.T. 2000

Yehlisan Umoya Azania (In The Mix)

  • Release date: 2009
  • Label: M.E.L.T. 2000

Afro Melt Volumes - The Talented Ones

  • Release date: 2011
  • Label: M.E.L.T. 2000

Indiza - Voyages Through New Sounds

  • Release date: 2002
  • Label: M.E.L.T. 2000


  • Release date: 1990
  • Label: Munich Records

We Baba Omncane (in the Mix)

  • Release date: 2011
  • Label: Munich Records


  • Release date: 3 September 2003
  • Label: Columbia Records

The Urbanzulu Remixes

  • Release date: 2005
  • Label: M.E.L.T. 2000


As a talented artist, Busi received several awards.

In 2003, she received three awards at the F.N.B. South African Music Awards:

  • Best Female Artist;
  • Best Adult Contemporary Album (Africa);
  • Best African Pop Album.

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She also won a Kora Award for Best Artist- Southern Africa.

On 27 April 2011, State President Jacob G Zuma conferred her with the Order of Ikhamanaga in Silver for her contribution to the field of music.

In October 2007, the South African Broadcasting Corporation held the South African music benefit concert to honour Busi and celebrate her birthday. The concert was also held to raise funds for her hospital bills.

Busi Mhlongo songs
Image: facebook.com, @Busi Mhlongo - The MELT 2000 years
Source: UGC

Busi Mhlongo funeral and cause of death

The artist passed away on 15 June 2010 at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban, South Africa. She died of cancer. Her memorial service was held at Durban Playhouse on 23 June, 2010.

She was laid to rest in her late mother's grave at Phoenix Cemetery on 26 June 2010. Her brother, Jabulani, said that it was Busi's wish to be laid to rest with her mother.

While honouring her life, President Zuma, in his condolence message, quipped:

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She transformed the Maskanda guitar music of migrant Zulu mine workers into an instrument of peace. Her music carried poignant messages of South Africa’s struggle for freedom and justice. She ensured her compositions defied categorisation and emphasised the universality of the human race. Her love for music kept the flames of hope alive during our country’s struggle for democracy. Her music encouraged and influenced a range of contemporary South African artists. She inspired the nation and let the world know of South Africa’s quest for freedom.

Nearly ten years after her demise, Busi Mhlongo is still remembered and honoured. She made a mark in the South African music industry, and her influence will still be felt generations to come.


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Source: Briefly News

Lynn Kandie avatar

Lynn Kandie Lynn Kandie is a reporter with 5 years of experience in writing. Before joining the team in 2018, Lynn wrote for Kenyan media platforms and several other websites. She graduated from the University of Nairobi in 2019 with honours after pursuing a BSc. in Meteorology. She is currently studying for a Master's degree in the same field. Lynn specialises in writing celebrity biographies, listicles and teasers for popular TV shows. Contacts; +254707596322, lynnkandie27@gmail.com

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