At the age of 12, Mzambiya became the youngest Kwaito artist in the country when he was discovered by Nimrod Nkosi during the Jam Alley times. Now 12 years later in the industry, Mzambiya chats to Youth Village about growing up in the industry, taking a break to go back to school, his new album and becoming a businessman.
YV: Who is Mzambiya?
Mzambiya: Mzambiya is just a boy next door born in Zola Soweto which is also home to other famous kwaito artists like Mdu, Zola, Mandoza and Bricks amongst others. My real name is Nkosinathi
YV: You have been in the industry since childhood, how has the journey been for you?
Mzambiya: I have been rather educational in everyway because I came into the industry with nothing but raw talent and not having enough a slight knowledge of the music industry. All I had to offer was the music and talent. Throughout my journey I had to learn how to stand on my own and fortunate I had a widespread of influence to other youngsters like aboMsawawa and Mshoza amongst others who came after me. But more than anything it was a good journey and I’m still going strong. It also gave me the opportunity to work with amazing people like Kabelo Mabalane and today I am a proud owner of a record label.
YV: What has been some of the highlights of your career?
Mzambiya: When I was nominated for best newcomer award at the South African Music Awards in 2000 and there after nominations just came pouring in, being able to tour the world and seeing people from foreign countries singing along to my songs.
YV: Some of your fans are quiet curious about where you have been
Mzambiya: I just came back two years ago from a four year break after parting ways with the record company I was with and went back to school to finish my matric. I have realized that people will not take you seriously if you do not have education. In 2009 I released my album still I rise with kabelo Mabalane featuring artists like Howza amongst others and got nominated for best kwaito album at the SAMAs and best video award for the Channel O Music Video Awards.
YV: Any challenges?
Mzambiya: It is very hard when you have to go out there and entertain the crowd, which is why most artists resort to drugs because of the pressure from both the fans and the media. I had a very great support system, which is very vital especially when you work in such an industry. As a child there were times when I I went a little astray but the principles I had kept me grounded.
YV: You have worked with some of the country’s finest artists, earlier you mentioned Kabelo Mabalane, how were the experience?
Mzambiya: As we all know Kablelo went from a druggie to an amazing ambassador, I was very fortunate when he approached me and offered an opportunity to work with him. I was supposed to be a third member of BlackJack but I was at school and there were contract issues with my recording label. Whereas Howza and I we are on the same page when it comes to a lot of issues. We have the same dreams for the future
YV: You have a new album, who did you work with?
Mzambiya: The album is called 24 Game Plan and was inspired by my age and it has been produced by my record label. I am featuring Kabelo on track 11 called Iskhokho. I also worked with Mr Mbethe who has been my pillar of strength from my rise into fame and now my business partner and I’m also featuring a guy called D from Pretoria. The album shows more maturity as it is a fuse of Jazz, Kwaito and Old Skool. I’d love to work with Black Coffee
YV: Who would you want to feature in your next album?
Mzambiya: Obviously Black Coffee, Thandiswa Mazwai, Hugh Masekela and probably go out of SA and feature the likes of Salif Kheita and Oliver Mtukudzi.
YV: From Mzambiya to Nkosinathi, who is Nkosinathi?
Mzambiya: Nkosinathi is a perfectionist, introvert but he loves beautiful things. Has respect and that is how I was raised. Nkosinathi has never been Mzambiya.
YV: Being a child star, did you get any love from the girls when you were still in school maybe?
Mzambiya: I’ve had girls, stalkers and I still get the attention but I think a girl that would be mrs Nkosinathi /my better half, would be hard working , out of the street and simply smart. Girls my age nowadays are advanced, they like fun and they are entitled to their own share of fun not that I am saying it is a wrong thing.
YV: What inspires you?
Mzambiya: Life, people and situations. I read a lot too. I am basically inspired by reality, people are so ignorant lately. Composers also compose songs that relate to sex and alcohol than anything else even though we are faces with issues like poverty and HIV amongst other social problems that affect the youth. I am not against partying songs and stuff but we need more positivity.
YV: Your involvement with SADC, tell us about that?
Mzambiya: I approached SADC after seeing a girl who killed herself when she thought she had failed matric when she actually hadn’t. I also had a family member who committed suicide and I do not think people should take their own lives and somebody had to put an end to this. The relationship had to be put on hold because I had to go back to school and also record my album.
YV: Any other projects that you are involved in?
Mzambiya: I have started a Mzambiya foundation which is about doing good for the less fortunate. I have just shot a video with the students at Boston College and through the foundation we are trying to build toilets for those less fortunate to promote good hygiene.
YV: Any advice to young people out there?
Mzambiya: Not even the sky is the limit. As long as you still breathing anything is possible. Be driven, go out there and do what you want to do. Got gave us domination over everything. Nomayini you can do it