Meet Xihoko’s finest, the protégé of the Legendary Joe Shirimani

Masingita Hlungwani, better known as Mafamba within the music circles, born on the 15th June 1991, hails from the dusty streets of Xihoko outside Tzaneen – Limpopo Province. Mafamba has worked with most of the Xitsonga Traditional Music Industry key players, the likes of Joe Shirimani, Gezani Thomas Mzamani, Mafosi and Enos Nkovani among others. Mafamba is a perfect example that with God, anything is possible.

Mafamba is ready to take his place in the spotlight. Writing Music, Short stories, Novels and Books is something that Masingita Hlungwani was born with. His other dream is to get one of his books published in the near future. In 2009, Mafamba started writing his own Xitsonga Traditional lyrics hoping that one day he will get a chance to record it and many people will get a chance to listen to his masterpieces. This is how his journey started, it is not a surprise because many musicians who are making their mark today, only started by experimenting their sound and touches of their vocals until they got it right. The same can be said about this talented Xitsonga Traditional Artist, he used the same formula until he managed to identify the slot he was meant to occupy within the South African Music Industry.

While he was doing Grade 6, during Life Orientation periods, he would set up a stage and started singing and dancing to the songs of the Legendary Africa Jazz artist – Oliver Mtukudzi. Little did he know that one day he would end up sharing a recording studio with one of the Xitsonga Traditional Music Legends – Joe Shirimani.

Mafamba finally got a chance to record a single with Joe Shirimani titled “Salute”. This single took several South African Radio Stations broadcasting in Xitsonga (Munghana Lonene FM, Alex FM, GCR FM, Mala FM, GT FM, Bushbuckridge and Phalaborwa FM among others) by storm. It was well received by the masses in different places such Tzaneen, Giyani, Malamulele, Elim, Venda, Bushbukridge, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and North West among others.

This massive single followed by a well-packaged album titled “Salute” and it was a success judging by the response from radio and public to date. This song also received legendary status because of the touches by the Xitsonga Traditional Music Legend – Joe Shirimani and Mafosi.

Listening to Mafamba’s debut album “Salute”, one can only assert that this was just the beginning of a great musical journey for the artist supported by a great and capable mentor of Joe Shirimani’s calibre. Working with greats can also mould you into a great individual; this can also be witnessed on Mafamba’s follow-up album.

2016 marked the release of his second album “Gandlati” which took his brand to the higher level with few sing-along songs. The talented Xitsonga Traditional artist draws inspiration from the likes of Oliver Mtukudzi, Hugh Masekela and Joe Shirimani among others.

Mafamba says his music resonates with the masses, and it is the vehicle that will take him to the summit of his unstoppable national conquest. “People say charity begins at home. If you don’t feel what you are doing, it will most likely fall flat. I have test driven the music on my previous albums, and when I play tracks taken from these albums “Salute” & “Gandlati”, I notice how it pierces and takes over people’s inner souls, and captivates their musical senses. Most of the tracks, whether sad in nature, positive, inspirational, or warm, they are about real-life experiences that people will resonate with, and I wish that they have a positive impact”, he says.

Mafamba has shared the stage with the legendary Dr Thomas Chauke, Joe Shirimani, Benny Mayengani, Penny Penny, Cassper Nyovest, Sychology, Mapele, Mafosi, Mr Post, Khombo Shirimani and Dj General K among others. He also scored nominations at Munghana Lonene FM Xitsonga Music Awards for Xitsonga Best Male Artist in 2015 on his first album “Salute” and Xitsonga Best Collaboration in 2016. It is evident enough that Traditional Music is not only meant for the older generation, this can be proven by the passion which Mafamba posses on his music.

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