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TKZee: 24 Facts

2009-11-03 17:05
TKZee: 24 Facts
1. TKZee exploded into the SA scene in 1996, with an EP titled Take it Eezy.

2. Kabelo Mabalane was 20 years old at the time of TKZee’s first release – he was high-school friends with the similarly young Zwai Bala and Tokollo Tshabalala.

3. Tokollo is the son of Kaizer Chiefs director of coaching and former Bafana Bafana coach Stanley 'Screamer' Tshabalala.

4. Kabelo got his first taste of the international scene from a music education exchange programme in the United States.

5. Zwai was the first black member of the Drakensberg Boys' Choir. He earned the highest grade eight voice exam results in the world and won a scholarship to do vocal studies, teaching and performance at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

6. Zwai was trained in classical music – he was the first ever black member of the Royal Music Academy in Edinburgh, Scotland.

7. Zwai, Kabelo and Tokollo are all alumni of St. Stithian’s College, along with film director Gavin Hood and Dave Matthews (of Dave Matthews Band).

8. Tokollo aka Magesh started off his career back in 1995, recording with kwaito stalwart, Mdu, in a group called Mashamplan’.

9. TKZee’s first break-through hit, “Palafala”, sampled folk-singer Joni Mitchell’s 1970 hit “Big Yellow Taxi”. It went on to sell 100 000 copies.

10. “Shibobo”, TKZee’s collaboration with Bafana Bafana’s Benni McCarthy, sold 100 000 copies in just over a month, becoming the highest selling single in SA music history at the time. It was recorded in Amsterdam.

11. TKZee had the opportunity to share the stage with genius jazz prodigy Moses Taiwa Molelekwa before his death in 2001. Moses contributed to TKZee Family’s Guz 2001, co-producing the hit “Fiasco” and producing “It’s My Party”.

12. Zwai was a celebrity contestant on the first season of Strictly Come Dancing in 2006. He made it to the semi-finals.

13. Zwai is in a group called the Bala Brothers, together with his brothers Loyiso and Phelo.

14. In 2008, Zwai married his girlfriend Melanie Sonn after a 10 year tussle. It’s said that Sonn once fought with Caroline Fassie over Bala.

15. Melanie Sonn’s parents did not want Zwai to pay ilobola but he insisted on it.

16. In 2001, Tokollo was accused of culpable homicide in a case involving a car accident which killed businesswoman, Maria Monyatsi, in Gaborone. Tokollo has subsequently been acquitted.

17. In March 2001, Tokollo was taken to Olivedale Hospital in Randburg in a critical condition after an emergency operation to have a brain clot removed.

18. "What we do is not exactly kwaito. OK, it is township pop, but... It's music that most of the young people in this country dance to. It's a bit like rap, I suppose, but it is South African; a kind of South African hip hop." – Zwai describes TKZee’s sound. The crew came up with ‘Guz’ to replace ‘kwaito’, a label they disliked.

19. "It's just a publicity stunt. He's lying, he's not going to rehab. Looking at his album Rebel With A Cause, it now starts to make sense that he wants publicity. He's simply trying to sell the album. You know, he's actually promoting drugs because a lot of people will actually want to know what they taste like." – Tokollo on Kabelo going public with his drug addiction.

20. "It's not gonna be cool if you write s*** about me. If this is going to get nasty for me, it's really gonna get nasty for you.” – Kabelo on his detractors in the media.

21. In 2002, Kabelo publicly confessed to being addicted to drugs, admitting that he spent as much as R14 000 a month on cocaine. Shortly after, he checked himself into rehab.

22. In 2006, TKZee was hounded by the taxman for tax evasion exceeding R2 million. Presently, Kabelo allegedly owes R886 489, Tokollo R665 209 and Zwai R805 511.

23. In 2007, Kabelo completed the Comrades Marathon. In the same year, he tested publicly for HIV as part of Each One Reach One, a campaign meant to raise HIV awareness and testing. The following year he was chosen as an Olympic Ambassador to raise awareness for the forthcoming Beijing Olympics. Kabelo completed his public reform when he was invited to host the SAMA’s in 2007 and 2008.

24. A few weeks after releasing their come-back album, and despite rumours of an impending split, TKZee is said to have snatched a multi-million rand deal with cellular network giant MTN.

From kwaito superstars to drugs, murder raps, rehab and the comeback: all the juice on Bouga Luv, Zwai and Tokollo.
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