Celebrating the contribution of Mdu Masilela

Mduduzi Masilela is a well-known Kwaito artist. He has fans around South Africa and the rest of Africa. Mdu is a very talented musician and his fans call him ‘the godfather of Kwaito music. Mdu started with Kwaito in the 90s and up to today he is still available for performance although he has not released any album since the early 2000s.

Mdu’s albums were all hits and they were played on national radios all over the country and also in other African countries like Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe. Mdu has been dragged into an argument between Kwaito fans, where they were arguing about who the “king of Kwaito” is between him and Arthur Mafokate. Even today people are still arguing about it and no one knows who the king is.

Listening to Mdu’s music you will feel the quality and deepness of his voice not forgetting the sound instruments of each and every song. Kwaito music would have not survived without an artist like Mdu Masilela. He also helped a lot of Kwaito artists to realise their dreams of becoming musicians.

Mdu had a few groups under his stable, the likes of Mashamplani, Makapkap, and MM Delux to name a few. These groups were also popular in the country and they were very talented. They released a few albums which were hits and today their music is still being played on national radio.

I was listening to Mdu’s ‘No pas no special’ album one day and this is the album that a lot of people were not impressed by. This album according to me it is the best ever Kwaito album that I have enjoyed. All the tracks in the album where very good. The title trach ‘no pas no special’ was actually reflecting on how he grew up as a child and how he struggled to get food as his family was very poor and he also thanked his parents for trying so hard to provide for him even though they were not managing. And then there is a song called “sohlangana e makete’ what a song! The song was so brilliant, not forgetting ‘baba u government’. To mention individual songs is just a waste of time, the whole album was just out of this world.

Reflecting on all popular songs that Mdu ever produced, I cannot point one song and say it is the best because Mdu has produced a lot of good songs. There were times when almost all radio stations were playing Mdu’s songs at the same time during the 90s.

When he started the group called Mashamplani, he had guys like Tokollo Tshabalala, Sbu of Amalawyer fame, and others. The guys went on to be solo artists with the knowledge and experience they acquired from Mdu Masilela. Mdu contributed a lot in the South African Music industry. The man deserves to be honoured with a lifetime award by the South African Music Industry. His contribution is there for everyone to see. To show appreciation, a young artist by the name of Duncan has remixed one of Mdu’s songs called ‘tsiki tsiki’ in hip-hop. The guy is now a popular hip-hop artist in South Africa through his idea of remixing the hit song in to another music genre.

It is time that we honor our artists while they are still alive. We must get away of celebrating them when they are no longer alive.


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