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Malaika - Afro-Pop band - Johannesburg

Malaika is a pop group from South Africa made up of Jabulani Herald Ndaba (Jabulani), Matshediso Florence Mholo (Tshedi), and Bongani Kevin Nchang (Bongani). They consider their producer, Guffy Pilane, a fourth member. Their style can be grouped under kwaito, rock or Afro-pop. Their music is a perfect blend of post-kwaito, post-mbaqanga and neo-soul.

These three young musicians are without a doubt unequalled in the history of South African pop music that a debut album Malaika hit multiple platinum (7 in all). There is simply no group or artist who has ever managed such a feat with a debut album. So the weight to produce the second album that would equal, if not surpass, the debut was all the more heavy.

Malaika releases the sophomore album Vuthelani to a sceptical media and entertainment industry but with the palpable weight of an expectant music-buying public.

Barely arrived on the market Vuthelani scooped the Kora for Best Southern Group in December (2005) at Kora Awards where Malaika rendered an accomplished performance amid amateurish performances by their continental peers. But these awards merely confirming what the music-buying public, the most important aspect of the recording chain, had already bestowed in the group.


In another continent-wide award ceremony Malaika fetched Best Afro-Pop Group in 2005 Channel O Music Video Awards. Before then Malaika had romped home with three worthy awards from South Africa’s leading commercial radio station’s recognition ceremony Metro FM Music Awards: Best Afro-Pop album, Best Group, Best Album. Oddly enough, they were not considered for Best Newcomer, an award the group would have easily won.



Malaika testifies to the power of three: the trio, generally possessing peerless elemental power in the history of pop music.

The trio’s strongest point is their ability to harmoniously fuse their voices, adding three dimensions to a song. This not only brings their music to life but spices it up in a manner that adds flavour to it. Right now that versatility is adding a continental spin to their sound. As often is the case, artists are judged by their last offering. A case in point with Malaika, but inasmuch as you dig deep to find similarities or areas of dissension in their music, you are met with confident maturity and constant effort to improve on the last offering.


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Malaika - Afro-Pop band - Johannesburg

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