Known as ‘king of kwaito’ to South African Kwaito fans, Arthur has played a vital role in the formation and spreading Kwaito music to all people who loves the music up to today. He was there through thick and thin when people were criticising the kwaito music genre. He was once called names by haters of the kwaito genre when the kwaito music was still being introduced to South Africans in the 90s.
Arthur started his own stable called ‘999 music’ in the 90s to realise his dream of spreading the music to all potential fans. He started with a few unknown artists who went on to become household names in the kwaito industry. A lot of people will remember him with the hit song that was so popular when he was starting out. The song is called ‘vuvuzela’ and a lot of people ended up calling him by this name of the popular song.
Arthur introduced groups like New School, Superster of the are bapala fame Abashante, Ashley Mzolo, Abel Golele, Makhendlas, artists like Stich, the late Zombo, Queen to name a few. The groups at 999 music stable were popular in the whole country and other African countries like Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana. 999 artists were so popular that wherever they went for performing, they were loved by a lot of people. To top it all Arthur himself was an artist and a dancer. He was very talented in both dancing and singing. He also had great dancers. I remember one dancer called ‘JR’ who was from Venda, Limpopo.
Arthur had loads of hit songs that he produced over the years during the 90s and early 2000s. I remember listening to one of his hit songs called “enough” recently, my 5 year old son asked me who was singing the nice song and I explained to him that the song was recorded when I was very young. Listening to that song even now, you will feel the quality and the level Arthur was in during those years in the 90s.
We are so blessed to live during the times where artists like Arthur were doing everything in front of us musically, instead of nowadays music where everything is computerized. During the 90s, it was very difficult to record a song due to lack of advanced technology, but it was good because artists were using all their skills to produce good music.
Indeed Arthur played a role in the South African music industry and a lot of people may argue with me on this but the truth will remain the truth, the man was involved in what we call South African music today. The 999 stable is still producing music and they have newer artists like Kelly Khumalo and others. The stable is doing well musically although their focus is now wider than before where they only concentrated on kwaito music genre.
My favorite group at 999 stable was New School. The group was very talented and today I still own a few of their albums. Kwaito music is the best music in South Africa and that will never change.
There is no way that we are going to wait for someone else to thank Arthur Mafokate for his contribution to the contribution he had on the development of South African Music Industry.
It makes sense to write this article when one of the greatest man in the history of South African music is still alive.