Ringo Madlingozi on his failed marriage, love and politics
Ringo Madlingozi. (PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES/GALLO IMAGES)
You might find it hard to believe it, but women
take off their panties and throw them on stage when Ringo Madlingozi performs –
he has that kind of effect on people.
The sensual and sultry sound of his voice
makes it difficult for women to not see him as just an artist who simply finds
the utmost pleasure in performing for them. In an exclusive interview with
Move!, he talks about how love from women has landed him in trouble in his
marriage, fatherhood and love for the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
Ringo got married in 2004 and as an artist
adored across the country, especially by women, the married couple agreed to
somewhat separate their private and public lives. “That is why to date, she is
not known. We agreed to keep it that way,” he says, referring to his wife. Two
years ago, while performing at the famous Durban party spot, Eyadini, women
threw panties at him as he performed. “When I left the stage, there were
panties all over. I just don’t understand it,” he says with a laugh.
Ringo has unfortunately been separated with
his wife for over 10 years now. Without going into too many details, he tells
Move! that he found it hard separating “Ringo The Artist” from “Ringo The
Husband” and that was a big problem during his marriage.
“I think at the time, I was not mature
enough to be the husband I needed to be,” he says. Although separated, he says
they are still on good terms and they keep in contact. From this interview, you
can tell that the Sondela hit-maker does not let misfortune ruin his outlook on
“When I am affected by something, I let it affect
me at that time so I can move on,” Ringo explains. He says how he deals with
life could be the reason why he ages so well. The singer, who looks younger
than his age, says, “I've met people who are younger than me and dispute that I
am actually 54.”
Ringo, who is a father of six children,
says he is grateful that his life unfolded the way it has. Who would have
thought that the romancer was once in a gang. “I was 21 at the time and I was
desperate to belong. My cousin was a leader of a gang called Night Riders.
Those times were really dangerous,” he says.
One day while fighting with a different
gang in Gugulethu, Cape Town, his cousin was shot right in front of him. “I was
next to him when he fell to the ground and I saw blood gushing out. He died on
the spot. I was next to him, so it could have been me,” says Ringo. From that
day on, he made music his first love and never looked back.
Ringo was recently sworn in as an member of
parliament for the EFF. His social, economic and political views are sharp and
loud as ever. He has been seen very close to the leadership of the EFF, this
leaving many people wondering if him not releasing new music is because of his
new love for political office.
“From when I was a child in Gugulethu, I would
realise that when travelling to Cape Town where whites and coloureds were, we
were treated differently. As a child, I would even wish to be coloured or white
because of the superiority complex that existed,” Ringo says. He says he later
learned to love and accept himself, especially when he experienced an obvious distaste
and arrogance from other races that made it clear to him that black people were
not seen as equals. When he was a student, he became heavily involved in politics.
He got into trouble with the police for being at the forefront of protests against
the Apartheid regime.
It is not always that you see an artist or
celebrity being openly and proudly affiliated to an opposition party but for Ringo,
his blood is red and he is not afraid to show it. “I cannot hide myself and who
I am. This is a political party I feel comfortable with. They have no fear and
that is what I love about them. When I am among the fighters, I lack fear and I
feel a deep sense of belonging as a black person,” he says. When Move! asked
Ringo if he would consider taking political office, he chuckled. “No, no, no!
I‘m an artist. I even tell my fellow fighters who look at me as a leader that I
am just a member led by the rightful leaders of the party. I just have too much
music to share to be a political leader,” Ringo adds.