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Switch On The Night

The Beats

27 Mar 2018

Remembering Mandoza

South African kwaito legend Mduduzi Tshabalala, AKA Mandoza, passed away on the 18th of September after a battle with cancer. He left behind a musical legacy that not only broke records, but broke through cultural barriers in South Africa. His uplifting messages across multiple languages gave him an unparalleled appeal in our young democracy. We’re going to run through some of his key tracks to remind you what made him a South African music legend.




This breakout track off his second album took Mandoza’s already successful kwaito career to massive new heights. The 2000 track blared out of every radio station, sport stadium and nightclub the moment it was released. It still gets a huge reaction every time it comes on and is considered by some to be SA’s unofficial national anthem. The song also won Mandoza the Song of The Year title at the 2001 Metro Music Awards, as well as the South African Music Awards.

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The 2001 track was a tongue-in-cheek take on the rise of feminist ideals - a cheeky response to the Destiny’s Child hit Independent Women. The song featured Kwaito legend Mdu, and proved that Mandoza’s success was no fluke. He had now become an established force to be reckoned with in the music industry.


The title track and lead single from his 2002 album, Tornado, was a well-deserved boast track comparing himself to the force of a tornado. The combination of a thick bass line and a powerful string chorus was a winning combination for his signature grizzly vocals that ripped through the track.

As a man who came from humble beginnings in Soweto, he represented hope for a generation of young South Africans. His impact on the country was recognised when he was selected to be included in the list of 100 Great South Africans based off a nationwide poll in 2004. He will always be remembered as an artist that used the power of music to bring people together through song and dance.






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