Mzwakhe Mbuli is MTC’s 3rd Master Of Success
MTC’s 3rd Master of Success quest with Mzwakhe Mbuli is presented live at the NTN Auditorium on 22April at 18:30. Entrance is free.
The 3rd Master of Success quest hosted by MTC will see poetry and mbaqanga music lovers come out in numbers as nationally acclaimed South African poet, mbaqanga singer and revolutionary activist poet, Mzwakhe Mbuli, visits Namibia later this month.
The People’s Poet as he is known will be in Namibia to share his remarkable story. Starting from very humble beginnings, he refused the dompass 39 times and was detained for it. Later in his life, he received international recognition for his skill in poetry.
Mbuli is a struggle child that was born in the booming streets of Sophia Town in 1958. They later moved to Soweto as their home was bulldozed by the apartheid government. The apartheid regime affected Mbuli like the rest of the oppressed black South Africans prompting him to start writing down his emotions. This is were his love for poetry developed.
His works include a book of poems, Before Dawn and albums, Change is Pain, Unbroken Spirit, Resistance and Defence, and Africa. Mbuli’s poems are mainly in English but draw on his native Zulu as well as traditional praise poetry and rap. His best-known poem is Change is Pain, a protest piece about oppression and revolution.
His international career only began in 1990 in Berlin, Germany, when he shared the stage with Youssou N’dour, Meriam Makeba and Thomas Mapfumo. Later Mbuli performed at the funeral of Chris Hani, the assassinated head of the South African Communist Party and at the presidential inauguration of Nelson Mandela in 1994. Two years later Mbuli was invited to London to co-host, with British poet and activist Benjamin Zephaniah, the Two Nations Concert at the Albert Hall to honour Mandela on his visit to London. In that same year, he returned to the UK to join Peter Gabriel Youssour N’dour and other prominent African artists to record the fund-raising Aids Album.
Mbuli exposed the truth of apartheid through his words of poetry as he was a pioneer in the arts for fighting and resisting government laws. His work made people more conscious of apartheid and the oppression it caused. Thus all his books were banished and he was branded, an enemy to the state.
Fans of the People’s Poet will be surprised to know that Mbuli was convicted in March 1999 for armed robbery and possession of a hand grenade, accusations he consistently denied.
Nevetheless, he was held at the Leeuwkop Maximum Security Prison until his release in November 2003. The famous poet supporters have always insisted he was framed by the government for speaking out against corruption.
Mbuli is also a former Deacon at the Apostolic Faith Mission in Naledi, Soweto.