4 Jun 2019
The culture of Maskandi pulses through Mthandeni Sibusiso Manqele’s veins and has done so since he was just a small boy. Composing much of his own music and then performing them to the herd of cows he was watching over, instilled in Mthandeni aka IGcokma Elisha a lifelong love of traditional music. He is constantly evolving his sound, causing his fanbase to skyrocket to more than 70 000 at present. Why Maskandi, Mthandeni?“I see the future of Maskandi in South Africa because our Zulu tribe understands this genre. Most of the songs have in the lyrics a message about daily life and older songs take us back to the early 1830’s, remembering our ancestors.”
In 2009, Mthandeni released his first song which was a mixture of Maskandi Music and House Music, titled ‘Kancane nkosazane awudlule la’. This song became a big hit and was played widely across the country. In 2013 IGcokama Elisha launched his solo career. Hefinds inspiration for his music in the work of the late Mgqumeni Kwakhe Khumalo, who passed away in 2009. He also gives a big thumbs up to artists such as Abafana bakaMgqumeni, Amangcukumane, Thulubuke, etc. “There are many female artists in Maskandi and I like them because they show us that music is not all about men and their music brings us good messages”, says Mthandeni. He also listens to Gospel, RNB and Soul music together with Maskandi, which gives his music a broad appeal. He is committed to producing his best, thereby paying homage to the genre that has captured his heart.
Apart from his deep love for his culture, Mthandeni’s heart for peace is reflected in his music and to this end, in 2015, he wrote a song called Xenophobia. In it, he encourages the people of SA to allow the illegal foreigners to return to their homelands, without fear of violence. He presented his song to Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini in person and says the following about the special event, “I gave my new album to the king at his Usuthu royal palace at KwaNongoma. He thanked me for my creative way of encouraging Mzansi people not to fight with foreigners.”
Mthandeni loves to show off his playful style. He often attracts attention to his smooth looks with his signature red and white IGcokama Elisha inspired Cutty colours and freely admits that he relishes the attention. The new winter range is creative and fun and fans of the Maskandi star can express themselves freely in this fashionable line. Other exciting news is that April happens to be Mthandeni’s birthday month, so remember to celebrate your beloved Maskandi star. Celebrate and wear your favourite IGcokama Elisha item from Cutty…a little something in red and white will be fantastic.