Touchline. Picture: Facebook

Thabo Mahlwele knows how to make a name for himself. The rapper and singer calls himself Touchline. If you grew up in the townships, you would know that the name Thabo is always nicknamed Touch, and his skill in the game of soccer had him playing on the touchline.

“When I started making music I knew I was going to touch people with my lines then it all came together like that,” the 26-year-old said.

The Tembisa-born star chose music as a career path over soccer because he didn’t think the game was his purpose.

“It just wasn’t the place where I was going to live my best life. As talented as I was, I just didn’t see it for me, and when things didn’t come together, I knew it wasn’t my destiny.”

Mahlwele has always been a fan of music. From a young age he had ambitions to play the keyboard and begged his parents to get him one.

“But I only learnt how to play when I was much older. I’ve always been into music, writing Eminem-style lyrics from the time I was 13.”

For him to finally sign up with Mutha- land Entertainment was two years in the making. Mahlwele was discovered by Muthaland while he was performing at one of the Moshito music conferences.


“The chief executive called me the Monday afterwards and wanted me to work with them. I dodged them for two years, but eventually we linked up again last year. My vision was clear and he was clear, and it just made sense for us to do this thing together.”

The rapper, poet and singer said his first release, Ung’Phethe Kahle, took just a few hours to make.

“My producer and I had come from a night out and we met some cool women, who were vibing with us, and we made a song about it. It basically translated into how we were feeling that day.”

Mahlwele is working on an EP that might turn into a full album.

“The material is there; it's good and ready, but we're still deciding if it should be an EP or an album. We'll see how things go in the next month.”

This weekend he will be performing at the Ikwekwezi FM 35th Birthday Bash and doing a performance on Live AMP for Freedom Day.

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The Star