Nhlanhla Nciza. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha
Twenty years in the music industry is no small feat for popular South African group Mafikizolo, who have continued to re-invent themselves to meet and even exceed the demands of the South African music industry.

Founder member of the group Nhlanhla Nciza has described her career as one laced with opportunity - whether given to her or passing it on to someone else - and that mindset has catapulted her to where she is now.

Nciza, who hails from Kagiso on the West Rand, has expanded her brand and owns a recording studio and a clothing line, while continuing with her onstage performances with her music partner Theo Kgosinkwe.

“I am fortunate to be in these two industries that link. On the fashion side I will be doing fashion shows all over South Africa, along with the Pink Drive on October 28 happening in Inanda, Sandton.”

Nhlanhla Nciza. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha

However, it hasn’t been all plain sailing for Mafikizolo.

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“Passion was our driver. I remember how our first album didn’t work out, our second didn’t work out and even our third album. But, because we had that deep passion and love, we continued,” says Nciza.

“We love what we do. If I have to sing for the next 20 years, God willing, I will sing until I leave this earth. As a unit, anything is possible.

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“We have done our solos before, so there might come a time where we want to revisit that idea, but one thing guaranteed is that as Mafikizolo we will always stick and work together.”

What has kept them together is respect and a shared vision.

“There are still things that we want to achieve as a group and those are not individual ideas, but as Mafikizolo. That is what keeps us going. Once you start saying ‘this is what I want’, you introduce ego. Sharing everything in a group is key,” she says.

Nhlanhla Nciza and Theo Kgosinkwe. Picture: Supplied

“I feel so so blessed daily. It is a humbling feeling that out of a million talented people out there, God chose us. And not only for that moment, but 20 years later, he still chooses us to fly the South African flag. It is such a blessing. The passion that I have for everything I do has kept me going. With everything I get involved with, it starts with passion and love.

“Honestly, I would be wrong if I give all the credit to Mafikizolo. But it is really about surrounding ourselves with a good team of producers and songwriters.

“I feel that is where a lot of people (artists) lack. But once you give the opportunity to someone else, you will always reinvent yourself while also employing someone else,” she adds.

Practicing what she preaches, Nciza has taken in two young DJs from her hometown in Kagiso and has signed them up to her stable #HomeBaseRecords. The aim is to groom young talent and teach them as much as she can so they can understand the industry.

“I love helping out young artists and also building up women. I think with the right push and mentorship they will be able to use this platform to benefit. They are something fresh and unique, something needed in the industry,” she says.

* Mafikizolo will release an album at the end of October and that will be followed by their South African tour.

@AmandaMaliba