Mduduzi Edmund Tshabalala (17 January 1978 – 18 September 2016), also known as Mandoza, was a South African kwaito recording artist. He was known for his contributions to the Kwaito genre and his numerous hit singles, including "Nkalakatha", Tornado, "Sgelekeqe", "Ngalabesi", "Godoba", "Tsotsi Yase Zola" and "Indoda", which topped the charts in South Africa and all over the African continent. His second album Nkalakatha, released in 2000, became the biggest selling album of his career, selling 350,000 units.

Mduduzi Edmund Tshabalala

(1978-01-17)17 January 1978
Soweto, South Africa
Died18 September 2016(2016-09-18) (aged 38)
Johannesburg, South Africa
Resting placeWestpark Cemetery, Johannesburg
NationalitySouth African
Spouse(s)Mpho Mputhi Tshabalala
Musical career
Years active1990s–2016
Associated acts

Early lifeEdit

Mandoza was born in 1978 in Zola, a township in Soweto,[1] where he lived with his mother, his grandparents and two sisters. He never knew his father, his mother claiming that he was murdered the same year Mandoza was born. When he was sixteen years old he was charged with stealing a car and received a one-and-a-half-year sentence, which he served in Diepkloof Prison.[2]

Music careerEdit

When he was released from prison, Mandoza formed the group "Chiskop" along with three childhood friends, S'bu, Siphiwe aka General and Sizwe. His talents were discovered by Arthur Mafokate, also known as the King of Kwaito. Mandoza was first played on air by DJ Sipho Mbatha, known as Sgqemeza, of Durban Youth Radio and then of Ukhozi FM. Mandoza strived to give an inspirational message to Kwaito. He used his music as a way to encourage young South Africans to achieve their goals. His song "Uzoyithola Kanjani" means: "how are you going to get it, if you don't get up and go for it." He credited much of his success to his mentor, Glenn Morris, who helped him during his drug addled early years.[3]

The group signed its first record contract eight years after its formation and released their debut album, Akusheshi, later followed by Relax. Although Chiskop achieved great success and was widely seen to be at kwaito's forefront, Mandoza also started a solo career. In 1999 he released the top-selling (more than 100,000 units sold) album 9II5 Zola South, for which he gained a 2000 FNB South African Music Awards Best Newcomer nomination.[4]

He then released his second album Nkalakatha in 2000, produced by Gabi Le Roux, which won multi-platinum status. The title track became a crossover hit and reached the top of the charts on both traditionally black and white radio stations. This album won the Best Kwaito Music Album category and the album's title track won the Song of the Year category at the South African Music Awards in 2001.[5] Mandoza also won in five of the ten categories at the 2001 Metro Music Awards: Best Kwaito Artist, Best Male Vocalist, Best Album, Best Styled Artist and Song Of The Year.[citation needed] Also in 2001, Mandoza won the Best Artist – Southern Africa category at the Kora All Africa Music Awards. Other Big Hits from the Nkalakatha album Included Virstaan & Sikhathi Sewashi Feat Tokollo Tshabalala Aka Magesh From The Kwaito group TKZee. In 2003, Mandoza participated in the documentary film SHARP! SHARP! – the kwaito story, directed by Aryan Kaganof and released his fourth big-selling album Tornado Mandoza was voted 77th in the Top 100 Great South Africans in 2004.

In February 2005 it was announced that Mandoza would play a major supporting role in a new South African-made rugby union-themed feature film, Number 10, which would be directed by Academy Award nominee Darrell James Roodt. It was also announced that Mandoza would be contributing to the film's soundtrack.[citation needed]

Mandoza sang in several of South Africa's many languages, including English, Afrikaans, Zulu, and Xhosa, giving him wide appeal with South African listeners.[5] Mandoza's music tried to "put a more constructive message into Kwaito."[6] Originally, Mandoza did not like the kwaito style, because of its lack of a message and tendency to focus on dancing and pleasure rather than on the plethora of social problems that exist in South Africa, even after apartheid ended in 1994.[citation needed] Mandoza also recorded Rap/Metal collaboration with Croatian rock singer Dino Jelusic on songs "Bad to the Bone" and "In Our Blood". "In Our Blood" is a song dedicated to rhinos killed in 2015.


Mandoza died on 18 September 2016. According to his family, he was being treated for pharyngeal cancer prior to his death and had lost his eyesight.[7][8][9] Mandoza waited in vain for at least three hours for an ambulance at his home, as a last resort his manager used a private vehicle to transport Mandoza to hospital but he died in the car just before arriving at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.[10][11][12]


  • 2001 South African Music Awards (SAMA) Song of the Year for Nkalakatha
  • 2001 South African Music Awards (SAMA Best Kwaito Album
  • 2001 Metro Fm Music Awards Best Kwaito Artist
  • 2001 Metro Fm Music Awards Best Male Vocalist
  • 2001 Metro Fm Music Awards Best Album
  • 2001 Metro Fm Music Awards Best Styled Artist
  • 2001 Metro Fm Music Awards Song of the Year
  • 2001 Kora All Africa Music Awards Best Artist – Southern Africa
  • 2002 South African Music Awards (SAMA) Best Music Video For Godoba
  • 2002 South African Music Awards (SAMA) Song of the Year For Godoba
  • 2006 Channel O Musical Video Awards – Best Collaboration Video ("Music") (with Danny K)[13]
  • 2012 Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAS) Best Music Video With Ees
  • 2012 Channel O Musical Video Awards Best Kwaito Award For Ayoba With Ees
  • 2013 Nominated For Best Kwaito Album Sgantsontso

Solo albumsEdit

  • 1999 9II5 Zola South
  • 2000 Nkalakatha
  • 2000: Nkalakatha (The Boss Remixes)
  • 2001: Godoba
  • 2002: Tornado
  • 2004: S'gelekeqe
  • 2004: Same Difference – (with Danny K)
  • 2005: Phunyuka Bamphethe
  • 2006: Ngalabesi
  • 2007: Champion
  • 2008: Ingwenya
  • 2010: Real Deal
  • 2011: So Fresh
  • 2013: Sgantsontso


  1. ^ "The Truth About: Mandoza". New Zimbabwe. 4 December 2009. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  2. ^ Molele, Charles (18 March 2007). "Cracks in Mandoza's flashy image". Sunday Times.
  3. ^ Clark, Grant. "Kwaito: The Voice of Youth". BBC World Service.
  4. ^ "Mandoza". Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  5. ^ a b Rouvanne. "Mandoza – Nkalakatha". Peak People: An Inside Look.
  6. ^ Clark, Grant. "Kwaito: The Voice of Youth", BBC World Service.
  7. ^ "Kwaito luminary, Mandoza dead at 38". eNCA. 18 September 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  8. ^ Entertainment, TMG. "It's not Mandoza's time. He still has a purpose, says his wife". Times LIVE. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  9. ^ "Mandoza had lost his sight when he died | IOL". Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  10. ^ Entertainment, TMG. "Mandoza waited three hours for an ambulance, says his manager Kevin Ntaopane". Times LIVE. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  11. ^ "ANC mourns passing of Kwaito legend, Mandoza | IOL". Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  12. ^ Zack, More. "Remembering Mandoza… The Kwaito Star died 38". 8C. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  13. ^ BBC: Channel O Spirit Of Africa Music Video Awards 2006