Award-winning South African music duo, Mafikizolo, consisting of Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla Nciza were in Nigeria recently for the re-launch of entertainment centre, The Dome. They spoke about their latest work, rise to fame and how much collaborating with Nigerian artistes gave them a breakthrough in the global music arena.
Weekend Magazine: This is your second time or so in Abuja after a while. How does it feel being back here and performing at this event?
Theo Kgosinkwe: It feels good. We love Nigeria and we are happy that we are given the opportunity to come thrill our fans. We have been to Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Bayelsa.
Nhlanhla Nciza: We also were at one of the Calabar carnivals. We have been to many places across Nigeria because we have many artistes from Nigeria we have done collaborations with – the likes of May D, Davido and DJ Spinall. We also did something with Yemi Alade recently and something new with Wizkid as well. This is home for us.
WM: How can you describe Nigerians because you might have another impression of us anytime you are coming into the country, how are you treated?
Nciza: This place is always home because the first time we came here it started from the immigration. Before we even entered the checks you hear shouts from various angles , people shouting out names , wanting to take photographs with us. Nigeria is the biggest country in Africa and we have gotten amazing response from them.
Kgosinkwe: We are one of the South African artistes to have introduced young Nigerian artistes to do collaborations with other South Africans artistes. Nigeria is our biggest market.
WM: What should we be expecting from you soon?
Kgosinkwe: We collaborated with Tanzanian artiste, also Jah Prazer and we will be shooting the musical video for the song. After that we will be shooting the musical video we did with Wizkid. We have done a number of collaboration and we will be dropping about five videos.
WM: Your fashion styles are unique. How would you describe them?
Kgosinkwe: (Laughter) We mix African culture with Western culture because we are trying to encourage the South African young people to wear African attires with pride by mixing the African culture with the western culture. It becomes easier for them to start picking African attires.
WM: Do you design your outfits?
Nciza: Yes I do. I have a clothing label called LL Vintage. It is all about making people looking beautifully African.
WM: Has Nigerian fashion had any influence on you and what are your thoughts about the trends here?
Nciza: I think it is amazing because whenever I look at the Nigerian fashion week, I say to myself that we still need to grow back at home [in South Africa]. The designers here are just too amazing. I know many celebrities back home who have worn amazing designs by some Nigerian designers. I have seen the red carpets in Nigeria and how the ladies look on it and how people take African fashion to another level.
WM: You stared quite early on collaborating with Nigerian artistes. Has this had any impact on your music?
Kgosinkwe: Flashback to 20 years ago, our music was well known but we think collaborations take your music to different level and different places and audience that you never had. Our collaboration with Davido opened up the Western market for us, and to Nigeria and the whole continent. We will continue to collaborate with different artistes from different places. Collaborations introduce us to their market and them to ours. If we work together, then we will be able to fuse different audiences to meet the yearnings of our fans.
WM: What is in the offing for your Nigerian fans?
Nciza: We just want to say our album is out and you guys can download it. It has got amazing features and collaborations with acts like DJ Maphorisa. We also have Master Craft on the beat with Yemi Alade on one of the tracks.
Kgosinkwe: We’ve got Wizkid on a track, also Selina Johnson, who is an acclaimed international artiste. We’ve got Jah Prazer from Zimbabwe, Harmonize from Tanzania. So if you want a good and a great album, check ours out. We have been nominated for six awards in South Africa. “Love Portion” is almost on 10 million views now.
Nciza: To our fans in Nigeria continue to support us as much as you supported us when we did “Kona.” We want our biggest selling market to come from Nigeria.