We had a chance to chat with the super talented, one half of Mafikizolo, songwriter, artist and performer, Theo Kgosinkwe about his colourful music career, some of the most exciting experiences he has had whilst travelling Africa and his upbringing. In this inspiration interview, Theo also weighs in on some of the challenges faced by the SA youth and helps pin point some solutions to the issues.
Theo Kgosinkwe: I’m God fearing, loving and caring
Youth Village: How was your upbringing?
Theo Kgosinkwe: I was brought up in Christian family with good parents who taught me good morals and values, I used to be an active child, played soccer, did athletics at school, was in a gospel choir,a youth club,did gumboots dancing as well, but music has always been my first love
Youth Village: Have you always wanted to be a musician growing up?
Theo Kgosinkwe: Not really I actually wanted to be a radio personality and I also wanted to be a professional soccer player, never thought that one day I’ll be a professional musician
Youth Village: You are a family man what does family mean to you?
Theo Kgosinkwe: family to me means everything, oh I’m blessed to have the family I have, without them I can’t stand, they inspire me, they support me and they love me
Youth Village: You have been in the industry for a long time, what has kept you going, relevant and successful throughout these years?
Theo Kgosinkwe: I have been around the industry for more than 10 years now and I can always say God kept me going and passion love for music as well
Youth Village: What were the challenges you faced before getting your break through?
Theo Kgosinkwe: The challenges I faced before getting my brake through in music were financial, we struggled raising money to do a demo because we were still @ school, the other challenge was that it took a long time after we got signed for people to know the brand, we had to work hard on our music and image
Youth Village: You won the award for Best Afro pop Album for your first solo at the SAMAs, How would you coin that experience?
Theo Kgosinkwe: I was very excited and Grateful to God, because it was God who made it possible for me to have a great 1st solo album by giving me the right team to work with
Youth Village: Coming from one of the most successful Afro Pop Groups in SA with a very huge African footprint what have you drawn from the experience?
Theo Kgosinkwe: Indeed I’ve drawn a lot of experience working with the band, I gained confidence and how to produce my own music and that being humble having a good reputation helps a lot
Youth Village: Outside SA what was the most interesting country you have been to and why?
Theo Kgosinkwe: I would say being to Malawi most African countries because even though they have difficult leaving conditions compared to what we have at home, they work hard and do things for themselves they don’t believe in hand outs,and I would also mention Cuba because the Cubans are proud of who they are, they play their own music (100%)on their radio stations, they support one another by putting their own Country 1st
Theo Kgosinkwe: Yes most of the songs I write are about love and relationship, I guess love and music have a universal language,and it’s because God is love
Youth Village: We recently heard the new Mafikizolo single, which by the way is very nice.. After the hiatus with you and Nhlanhla focusing on solo careers. Where is Mafikizolo musically?
Theo Kgosinkwe: We are very excited to be back with a bang KHONA ,people are loving the song,it reminds me of the Ndihambanawe era,I think we are back to reclaim our spot in the music industry we are on another level now after a six years break
Youth Village: How do you deal with fame?
Theo Kgosinkwe: Fame doesn’t go to my head, it never deed, I’m still the same guy from kasi with a good morals and values that I was taught by my parents, nothing has changed
Youth Village: Who influences you musically?
Theo Kgosinkwe: I would say since I’m a songwriter myself a lot of song writers like ntate Caiphus Semenya, bra Hugh masekela, brother Chicco Sello Twala, Baby Face and Quincy Jones to mention a few, also artist like Usher,Justin Timber Lake and Chris Brown, because they are entertainers like myself
Youth Village: What has been the greatest highlight/s of your journey so far?
Theo Kgosinkwe: Performing with Mafikizolo in Norway for the Nelson Mandela’s 46664 concert, along side Will Smith, Queen and other international artist, and as solo artist I had a few highlights performing with Angie Stone, Antony Hamilton and Joe were some of my highlight as a solo artist
Youth Village: What are some of the challenges you feel are faced by the SA youth today?
Theo Kgosinkwe: I think getting internships (so that you may gain experience is hard for our youth in this country), getting jobs and also our youth of today are involved too much into booze and parties and drugs as well, I’m not saying they should not drink and party, they should also study hard and develop their own programs that could help them as we’ll and challenge the government and NGO’s to support those programs and use their God given talents.
Youth Village: What are some of the solutions to these challenges?
Theo Kgosinkwe: Have youth programs that are supported by the Government and NGO’s, programs for internship for our youth, I would also like to see NGO’s getting involved in our schools with career guidance programs and internship, the level of arts and culture improving more especially in township schools (the are no music lessons or art being taught in our schools)I believe we also need to improve sports in our schools, have right facilities more especially in our township schools
Youth Village: Away from the cameras and the public eye, what are you most likely to be doing? Tell us a little bit about Theo at home away from it all.
Theo Kgosinkwe: I’m a family man,I love spending time with my wife and kids,visit my mom and dad as well and go to church as well because most of the time I’m on the road or perform late hours and I can’t go to church,but yes I love going it with my wife and kids
Youth Village: What is your advice to young people out there? Particularly upcoming artists?
Theo Kgosinkwe: To young people of Mzanzi leave your dream,dream big nothing is impossible,if you have talent use it,ask questions,have passion for your dream,have determination even if your dream might take a while to come through,wait for it because it will surely come,always put God 1st in everything you do and he will do the same to you,without vision people perish,you need to have vision about your life,Dream young people Dream big Dreams
Youth Village: What can we expect from you going forward? Anything you’d like to share with your fans?
Theo Kgosinkwe: To my fans this is going to be a great year for me and Mafikizolo,also watch out for my new artist signed under my new label 360dgr Entertainment,she is going to blow you guys away this year I’m excited bout her project
Youth Village: How can your fans connect with you?
Theo Kgosinkwe: My fans can connect with me by liking my Facebook page Mafikizolo Theo Kgosinkwe, Twitter as Theolyrical .