Buffalo Souljah. Picture: Supplied

All eyes are on Africa this year. “And it's time be it through music, dance or fashion,” said dancehall and reggae artist Buffalo Souljah.
After a break from the industry, the Izandla Phezulu hitmaker said the world's attention was on Africa.

“It is the sponsor of our traction right now, worldwide. The future is in African individuals and artists."

Buffalo Souljah, whose real name is Thabani Ndlovu, is gearing up to host his authentically African One Man Band Show. The reggae and dancehall artist, and record label executive for the United Nations of Africa Music Group (UNA), has been in the industry for 20 years.

The last time he experienced an authentic dancehall and reggae one-man show was when his role-model Lucky Dube was still alive, he said.

The 10 times award-winning artist has been popular in the South African dancehall, Afrobeat and hip- hop scene, working with mega stars such as Da Les, Cassper Nyovest and AB Crazy.

“I’ve always been pushing other artists and it’s only now that I'm focusing on my brand. Those who follow me would have noticed that I went back to Zimbabwe to put some Zimbabwean dancehall artists on the map,” said Ndlovu.

“The One Man Band Show is me finally saying that after all these years that I have been performing on the African stage I am finally hosting a reggae concert,” he added.

Buffalo Souljah, a dancehall/reggae artist. Picture: Dumisani Sibeko

His role models, Dube and Bob Marley, have had a major influence on his own craft. Ndlovu said he went through a phase in his career when he decided to stop performing because the business of music was hurting his pocket.

“I once quit for a whole year, in 2013. But when I called it quits, so many unexpected opportunities came along,” Ndlovu added.

He was chosen to represent Zimbabwe at the ONE campaign in the US by Bono of U2 and was one of the African musicians who performed for former US president Barrack Obama in Washington

“I was nominated at the last Channel O awards and won. So much happened in that year that I ended up coming back to the music industry.”

Ndlovu pointed out that the industry had consumed many artists and he wanted to avoid making reckless decisions.

“A lot of artists get involved in cocaine and drugs and whatever Fortunately, I am tough enough not to end up in all that. My upbringing was tough,” said the 37-year-old.

The musician said he was sometimes frustrated when there were setbacks while he was releasing music, but they had helped him to revamp himself.

“The thing with me is I have never stuck to just reggae and dancehall songs. I have always worked with hip-hop artists. My breakthrough song in South Africa and in Africa was Izandla Phezulu, which was called ‘dirty sound’, but is now known as trap music. My fusion was to cross over without forgetting my reggae roots,” he said.

Buffalo Souljah will perform his One Man Band Show at the Newtown Music Factory (former Bassline) next month.


The Star