Senzo Mfundo Vilakazi, known as Kwesta, emerged from Katlehong, Gauteng, and stepped into the music scene at just 15. Forming the rap group Ghetto Fellaz, later The Juvenylz, he paved his path in the hip-hop world. His unique voice and storytelling ability set him apart, leading to the establishment of his independent media company, RapLyf Records, with co-founder Kid X.
Image : Facebook Kwesta
Education, Poetry, and Early Career Moves
Kwesta's love for poetry blossomed at Phumlani Secondary School and later at Alafang Secondary School. His talent was nurtured through positive feedback from peers and teachers alike. After disbanding The Juvenylz, Kwesta utilized the studios of Africa's Most Southern Record Company, honing his skills and gaining visibility through competitions and performances.
The Leap of Faith
Dropping out of high school at 16, Kwesta's determination saw him convince his mother to finance his journey to Buttabing Entertainment. This leap of faith marked the start of his professional career, leading to a string of successes and collaborations in the South African music industry.
Early Career and Breakthrough
Kwesta's involvement in the Sprite Hip Hoop Tour, The Nokia Defend Your Street Campaign, and his single "Sharp Fede" in 2007 marked his early forays into the music world. His participation in the 2010 FIFA World Cup festivities, including working with international stars, showcased his growing influence.
Debut Album: Special Rekwest
In 2010, Kwesta released "Special Rekwest," featuring hits like "Babhemi" and "Flash It." The album's success led to multiple sync deals, including for the action movie "Death Race 3," and earned him SAMA nominations for Best Newcomer and Best Rap Album.
Rising to the Top with DaKAR
Kwesta's second studio album, "DaKAR" (Da King of Afrikan Rap), released in 2013, cemented his place in South African hip hop. With its iTunes chart success, Kwesta showed he was a force to be reckoned with.
DaKAR II: A Landmark Album
"DaKAR II," Kwesta's third studio album, released in 2016, brought mainstream success. The album featured hits like "Ngud'" with Cassper Nyovest and "Spirit" with Wale, achieving 7× Platinum status by RISA and becoming the best-selling South African hip hop album.
The Evolution Continues: g.o.d guluva
In 2021, Kwesta released "g.o.d guluva," an album reflecting his growth and evolution as an artist. Featuring leading South African artists, the album received critical acclaim and a Mzansi Kwaito and House Music Award for "Njandini."
A Legacy in South African Hip Hop
Kwesta, with 6 South African Music Awards, 4 South African Hip Hop Awards, an MTV Africa Music Award, and a Metro FM Award, stands as a testament to talent and perseverance. From the streets of K1 to the pinnacle of South African hip hop, Kwesta's journey is a beacon of inspiration, showcasing the power of passion and hard work in the world of music.