Khuzani Mpungose is one of Mzani’s biggest names in the Maskandi community and the country. The musician has a massive following of loyal fans. After receiving nearly one million votes from Ukhozi FM listeners, Khuzani bagged the Song of the Year for 2020. Briefly.co.za takes a look at the Nkandla man’s rise to the big-time.
1. Early life
Khuzani was born in Nkandla, north of KwaZulu-Natal on 3 December, 1989. His full name is Khuzani Nkosikhona Innocent Mpungose.
Khuzani is the second-born child of three and his parents are Muziwephahla Mpungose and Sizakele Mpungose.
Khuzani started school in 1995 and attended Mvayiza Primary School in Mandaba village in Nkandla until 1998.
He left that school in 1999 and attended Sibhakabhaka Primary & High School, also in Nkandla, until 2002.
He completed his matric at Sibhakabhaka in 2009.
3. Early music influence
As a child, Mpungose was heavily influenced by the music of Mgqumeni (Ibhova likadikadika) & Mtshengiseni Ngcwensa (Indidane). These influences resulted in the muso pursuing a career in the Maskandi genre.
4. Shooting to fame
Maskandi artist Mgumeni Khumalo passed away on 19 December, 2009 while he was still working on his album. His record label Izingane Zoma Music chose Khuzani, who was 20 years at the time, to complete the album because his voice resembled Mgqumeni’s.
That album, called iSecret, went on to win in the South African Traditional Music Awards (SATMAs).
Striking while the iron was hot, Khuzani released his debut album titled Bahluleke Bonke. He dropped another a year later. That album, called Amampunge, created waves in the maskandi industry.
Today, Khuzani Mpungose is regarded as Inkosi kaMaskandi, the King of Maskandi, by many fans.
6. Industry rivalry
Mthandeni Manqele - Igcokama Elisha is Khuzani’s biggest rival in the industry. iGcokama Elisha is one of the most popular South African musicians in the Maskandi music genre. His real name is Mthandeni Sibusiso Manqele.
The feud between the artists has resulted in violent confrontations between fans. In 2017, KZN MEC for Arts and Culture MEC Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi asked for peace among the artists' followers.
Sithole-Moloi made a heartfelt plea after a closed meeting between Khuzani ‘Indlamlenze’ Mpungose and Mthandeni ‘iGcokama Elisha’.
The purpose of the meeting was to resolve the feud between the two artists, which has been going on for a while.
Their rivalry had become a source of violence outbreaks.
During the meeting, both artists agreed to ensure they no longer used sarcastic and defamatory content in their songs.
7. Major accomplishment
In that same year, Khuzani won the much-coveted prize of closing the very popular annual Maskandi Music event, Khuphuka Ne zakho Sibone Inkunzi, and Khuzani won himself the R100 000 prize voted for by fans.
Khuzani also scooped the Best Maskandi Album, Best Selling Album & Best Song of the Year at Amantshontsho Kamaskandi Awards 2017. At the South African Music Awards that same year, Khuzani won Best Maskandi Album for Khuzani – Inyoni yomthakathi.
8. Song of the year
Khuzani made history when he accumulated over 900 000 votes from Ukhozi FM listeners for Song of the Year. Ijele by the musician became the biggest song in the country, to mixed reactions from South Africans across Mzansi.
Briefly.co.za previously reported that Khulekani 'Mgqumeni' Khumalo was admired by many young South Africans as they grew up with his music.
He sadly passed away at the age of 27 after suffering bad health, according to a report by News24.
The musician released his fifth album, Magic, in 2008 and it sold 78 000 copies within a month of its release. However, his family was still left financially crippled after his untimely death.
Khuzani Mpungose, a Maskandi musician as well, grew up thinking Khulekani was amazing and inspiring and decided to reach out to his family this festive season.
Khuzani visited Khulekani's gogo and gave her R10 000 to ease her burden this Christmas.
The older woman was very grateful and happy and admitted she had been going through a tough time.
"I am grateful to God and know that wherever God and my grandson are, they are smiling down on me this day."
Briefly.co.za gathered that Khuzani called on Maskandi fans to put their money where their mouths are and support local artists and their families.
The young man said there must be unity to help prevent artists from dying penniless.
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Source: Briefly News