Maskandi hit list: Sandile Ngidi selects ten of the genre’s heavy hitters

1. Phuzushukela 

Rough at the edges, he is the godfather of the maskandi biznis as we know it today. Bayizizwe Makhwela Ntaba is my number one song. 

2. Piki neFosholo

Named David Ngcobo at birth, he was a rebel minstrel of the KwaZulu-Natal sugarcane belt. Guitar in hand, always ready to hit the road as his stage name, Piki Nefosholo, suggests. Impi is my favourite song.

3. Thwalofu

The last man standing, looking after his cattle in the valleys and meadows of Kwasa Nguye in northern KZN. Listen to Ingqikithi.

4. Mfaz ‘Omnyama 

 A stage wizard. A shit stirrer, like Phuzushukela. Prolific. 

Khula Tshitshi Lami got Busi Mhlongo hooked. Check out her take on the song.

 5.  Phuzekhemisi 

Balls galore. How can one forget his, and his late brother, Khethani’s Imbizo. Gave izinduna the middle finger for demanding dog tax.

6. Bhambatha 

These guys made the Zulu traditional songs of Msinga hip one more time. Urban and boasting a Pan African swagger. Check out Ucijimpi, metal hot.   

7.      Mfoka Mgquzula 

 Hot on izihlabo, witty and critical of regionalism and payola games in the South African music industry. Ngeke Balibone is a curse on the murderers of his father. 

8. Izingane Zoma 

 These sisters revived the female voice of maskandi in recent years. Listen to Sivimbe Ngezansi, and have a hell of a jol.

9. Mfiliseni Magubane 

 A superb satirist and storyteller. Romantic whispers in a voice so eager to seduce. UmalobolaNgesheke! and Thenjiwe on my mind.

10.  Inkunzi Emdaka 

 Learnt the guitar while working as a sugarcane cutter near Umzinto south of Durban. Celebrates his Mpondo roots and the hardships of rural Eastern Cape. In Thixo Somandla he asks God never to allow people to mistake him for a mampara.

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