Kwaito star Sipho Ndlovu, better known as "Brickz", was sentenced to 15 years in jail for rape. File picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/ANA
Johannesburg - Some of the lyrics of Sipho Ndlovu aka Brickz Mabrigado’s songs could perhaps give us a glimpse into the dark side of the man regarded as one of the top kwaito stars of South Africa, who this week ended up in prison serving a 15-year sentence for the violent rape of his 16-year-old niece.

From the testimony presented in court, the rape was violent and the victim was also threatened with death by Brickz, who was once considered one of the “bad boys” of the genre and accused of doing drugs and getting himself arrested numerous times.

In his judgment, magistrate John Baloyi said Ndlovu had betrayed the trust of close family members when he raped the victim, adding that rape is a serious offence that is humiliating, degrading and brutal.

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“The rights to dignity, to privacy and the integrity of every person are basic to the ethos of the constitution and to any defensible civilisation," he said.

"Women in this country are entitled to the protection of these rights,” he said, sending a clear message that rape won’t be tolerated.

The lyrics to some of his hits are telling and perhaps shed some light into the dark side of Brickz.

His hit, Sweety My Baby, has lyrics such as Ungas’chosheli ngento yakho, sifunukuy’bona lento yakho, kunini bengitshela ngento yakho, ang’kaze ngayibone lento yakho - meaning we want to see your private parts - with women dancing and shaking their butts.

Looking at those lyrics now, what message were they conveying?

In another hit song, Uandapende, he sings “Uandapende akafuni ukuhlala kufika, makabona labantwana iposition iyashintsha Maubona ama blumas kuba yiChristmas” (which loosely describes male undergarments as things that refuse to remain on the waists of men when women approach).

Was his music the kind of music that disrespected women or promoted a general disdain for societal norms?

But Brickz started his career on a clean slate by singing in gospel choirs before he started performing in a band, where he earned his nickname, Half Brickz, because he was the youngest.

In his debut album, Face Brick, he churned out kwaito songs with some ragga influence that portrayed his own love life and township life.

The album also features a track about his late mother.

Born in Zola, Soweto, Brickz appealed to a generation of youngsters with little or no education, whose only motivation was kwaito music.

He follows in the footsteps of homeboys such such as Mandoza, Mdu, Mashamplani, Mzambia, Msawawa, Zola 7, Brown Dash.

They spoke the language of the streets through their music, developing a big following.

The genre became a sub-culture and a way of life as their music spoke to everyday bread and butter issues.

On his way up he was signed to Ghetto Ruff Records, and had created his own label, Brigado Records.

Ironically, some of the Zola kwaito stars such as Mandoza also had brushes with the law.

But they redeemed themselves after a while and went on to produce even more hits and become role models in their own right.

Sunday Independent