Their name may mean 'new kids on the block, who just arrived yesterday' in Zulu, but Mafikizolo is no newcomer. This vibrant, stylish group that created a delicious dance brew by mixing old and new South African sounds, have released seven hit filled Afro Pop albums, sold over a million copies, picked up countless awards, and is undoubtedly one of the most successful groups in South Africa.Apart from the 8 SAMA and many other awards they've received, career highlights include going multi platinum, performing at Nelson Mandela's 46664 AIDS charity shows in Norway and Cape Town, travelling to London, Japan and around Africa; meeting Nelson Mandela and performing for Thabo Mbeki.
The Mafikizolo journey began after Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla Nciza met at talent shows in their township Kagiso in Western Johannesburg where they would imitate R&B acts like Aaliyah and Boyz II Men. Soon they decided to create their own band. They recorded under the coveted Kalawao Jazmee label; releasing two albums (Mafikizolo - 1996 and Music Revolution - 1997) before their breakthrough came with their third offering, 1999’s Gatecrashers, with the big hit being the dance track called ‘Lotto’. Lotto was also remixed by American house legends Masters At Work and released on the club scene globally. Gatecrashers was also significant for featuring their first Afro Pop track, ‘Majika’, the success of which prompted a gradual move from the Kwaito style for which they were famous, Afro-Pop, which they describe as a version of kwaito that fuses
traditional South African music, township jazz, gospel and mbaqanga with the beats and bounce of today's dance floor sounds.

Mafikizolo’s major breakthrough came when they spiced their Afro Pop sounds with kwela and Marabi music of the 50's and 60's, made famous by the likes of Hugh Masekela and Miriam Makeba. The result of this inspiration was their 2002 release, Sibongile, named after the Zulu word for 'Thank You', to thank God after surviving a horrible car crash. Sibongile’s first single was a love song (that is now a classic and is played at every wedding) 'Ndihamba Nawe' that was based on a track by 50’s diva Sophie Mgcina and simply states ‘when I leave this place, I’m leaving with you boy/girl). The album was a massive success, selling over 350 000 copies and winning them the first two of their eight South African Music Awards. Since Sibongile, Mafikizolo's albums 2003’s Kwela, 2004’s Van Toeka Af and 2006’s Six Mabone (named after the cool cars of the 50’s and 60’s) have all gone multi platinum. "What's beautiful about our albums is that they're a nice package,” enthuses Nhlanhla “There are tracks you can dance to like 'Nisixoshelani' (which features a sample of 80's Italian group The Tarzan Boys) which is about neighbours calling the police because of noise at a party and 'Udakwa Njalo' a traditional wedding song; there are house tracks, but also African ballads like 'Emlanjeni' (that Theo wrote with Hugh Masekela)."
Mafikizolo is in a league of its own; these trendsetters' unique style, sound, choreography, and live act appeals to young and old audiences, and has created a spectacular new flavour of South African music.

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