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The King Donfather – Spikiri

The Vuma Series, has just reminded me of the wealth of talent that we have in Kwaito as music and a culture in South African – I thoroughly enjoyed this series and would not mind having it for keeps, maybe I should inquire at SABC programme sales.

Often times, we acknowledge artists once they have passed, So I take this opportunity to honour legendary producer and artist Mandala Spikiri as attested below from this autobiography courtesy of Kalawa Jazzmee. Its a bit of a long read but hey Respect is where it is due.

Mr The King Donfather – Spikiri was born in Meadowlands (Soweto) where he grew up like any Township boy, in the process of growing up in a township he avoided negative influences and started developing an interest in music.

At, that time getting into the music industry was extremely difficult and it was risky because people never believed that South African township music would be the music to be reckoned with today. ‘Spikiri’ started his music career as a dancer and choreographer for Sello ‘Chicco’ Twala’s band in 1985. He was later involved as a backing artist for Chicco’s Production until 1988. In 1989 he formed MM Deluxe together with Mdu Masilela.

Spikiri – kdf jam

This duo recorded two successful albums in 1989 and 1990 and introduced what came to be known as township kwaito today. His passion for music led Mandla to enroll at Fuba Music School in 1991 to study engineering and piano. In 1993 he utilised his skills and produced music for the likes of Chimora , Kamazu , Senyaka and Fatty Boom Boom better known as “Tsekeleke”. In 1994 he formed a Kwaito group called Trompies together with three of his friends . Trompies has recorded 8 platinum status discs to date and are in the forefront of the Kwaito / Gong Revolution, which has seen them performing both nationally and internationally .

Currently he sits on the board of directors at Kalawa jazmee Recording company and is also one of the master minds in the DCC (Dangerous Combination Crew) the production team of the company. His recent contributions includes successful records by Brothers of Peace, Thebe, Bongo Maffin, Alaska, Mafikizolo, Jakarumba, MaWillies and Tokollo and Kabelo’ solo projects. Most recently, he is one of the award winning Mafikizolo and Kabelo’ producers. Mandla ‘Spikiri’ diverse music talents can be witnesses in projects in which he has worked with artists from other music genres, these include. Don Laka, Moses Molelekwa, Bra Hugh Masikela, Vicky Vilakazi and Hashi Elimhlophe.

This journey in the music industry has culminated into his second solo project. His new ground breaking double CD is called ‘The King Don Father’ and it captures in essence his experiences in the music industry and his personal life. The King represents his stature in the industry, The Don represents his contributions to the Kalawa Jazmee family and the Father represents his parenthood to his two young daughters.

The album is dedicated to his two lovely daughters, Thando and Tebogo. In his album “Habashwe”, remixes of the King Don Father project, he has worked with international producers like Luis Vega and Bra Hugh Masikela. Also featured in this album are “Stoan” Seate, Thandiswa “Red” Mazwai, Kabelo “Bouga Luv” Mabalane, Kamazu, Oskido and Jakarumba.


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