Big Zulu is a South African actor, songwriter, and rapper. He is known for his killer rap lyrics, although the title of The King of Rap, which he got at the contest held by Back to the City in 2013, was among the events in his career that propelled him further. Back to the City is one of the biggest hip events in Africa, if not the largest. So, who is Big Zulu?
If you follow Mzansi hip hop, then you will know Zulu is now the undisputed rapping inkabi pantsula. He has managed to transform a word associated with crime (inkabi meaning hired gun, a terminology associated with violent deaths of taxi bosses countrywide) to being a cool name that is lighting up the entertainment industry in South Africa. He did not want to simply add up the numbers in the game when he came into the scene. Now, he is doing exactly what he has aimed.
Big Zulu profile summary
- Full name: Siyabonga Nene
- Date of birth: 7th April 1987
- Place of birth: Bergville, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
- Big Zulu age: 33 years old as of 2020
- Nationality: South African
- Instagram: @bigzulu_sa
- Twitter: @BigZulu_ZN
- Facebook: @BigZuluSA
- Relationship status: In a relationship
- Occupation: Actor, songwriter, and rapper
- Famous for: Having the title of The King of Rap from the contest held by Back to the City in 2013
- Contact for booking: Bigzulu86@gmail.com
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Big Zulu biography
Born and raised in Bergville, Big Zulu always loved music from a young age. During that time, Maskandi and Scathamiya music had a significant influence on his passion. Some of the artists he liked were Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Phuzekhemisi, and Imithente.
Big Zulu did not jump straight into music as soon as he could do so. He was first a taxi driver until 2008 when he decided to dive into the music scene. In 2009, Siyabonga Nene began writing, creating, and performing his own music in the Inkabi rap genre.
He spent six years as an independent artist until he signed with Universal Records after the likes of Ntokozo Sithole noticed him. Since then, Big Zulu has managed to work with big names such as Zakwe, Maraza, PRO, Cassper Nyovest, Emtee, Sjava, and Kwesta Dakar. He has even worked with Damien Marley. In 2018, he landed the gig of being a Brentwood ambassador. Brentwood makes the iconic pantsula pants.
Under Universal Records, he debuted his Big Zulu album in 2018, and it is an incredible piece of work that documents his life and experiences. Away from music, he has been an actor on several popular soapies in SA, such as Isibaya, Uzalo, and Isithembiso. He has also featured on One Mic, which is the hip hop show that airs on SABC 1.
Big Zulu songs
The following are some of this legendary Rap King songs:
- 100 Bars
- Ang'Mazi Umama
- As'Dlali Ney'Ngane
- Big Zulu Ak'Laleki
- Big Zulu Ama Million
- Dear Nhlupheko
- Donsa Nkabi
- Do You Know
- Intombi Zama Wololo
- Isala Kutshelwa
- Lomhlaba Unzima
- Nkabi Nesgubhu
- Nam'Angaz Nje
- Ongena Dosi
- On My Mind
- Ungqongqoshe Wongqongqoshe
- Ushun Wenkabi
- Ubuhle Bakho
- Vuma Dlozi
- Wena Wedwa
- Wema Dlamini
Big Zulu girlfriend
Sorry ladies! Zulu has a girlfriend, Lebogang Makenete, and they live together at the Big Zulu home in Newtown. The two have a daughter. Unfortunately, the relationship has been plagued with drama several times. For instance, in 2018, Zulu was arrested by the Gauteng police for allegedly assaulting his baby mama. He had an affair with PR guru Bulelwa Nazo while separated with Lebogang, and as a result, got another baby (son Shaka) with Bulie.
During the video shoot of the remix of his song Billion, Big Zulu Ama Million remix, there was a shooting incident where, allegedly, two people were shot after an altercation. It is reported that the shooting happened at Westbury, Johannesburg. Kwesta, one of the artists who was at the shoot, issued a statement on social media, but the rest, including Big Zulu, did not. An investigation is underway.
From a taxi driver to a big hit in the hip scene, Big Zulu has shown that nothing is impossible with determination. Scandals aside, one can learn great lessons from Siyabonga Nene. We wish him all the best.