The sensational trio have been the South African Music industry by storm with their energetic live performances and their self-titled album "MALAIKA", which has been topping the charts in all radio stations and achieving sales in hundreds of thousands. The single, "Destiny", had been busting all radio station charts nationally and has also been dubbed the best cross over song for 2004. "Malaika", released in 2003 and still going strong, has made sure that this trio receives a grand assuring into the music industry.
The release of "Vuthelani" in 2005 exceeded all expectations, scooping up the Kora for Best Southern Group in December 2005 at the Kora Awards where Malaika also rendered an stunning live performance. The album had barely arrived on the market!
• Metro FM 2004 - Best Afro Pop Album, Best Group, Best Album
• Kora Award - 2004, Best New Comer Group
• Channel O Music Video Awards 2005 - Best Afro Pop Group
• Kora Award 2005 - Best Southern Africa Group
• SAMA Awards 2005 - Best Selling Album
• SAMA Awards 2006 - Best Afro Pop
Not only have they dominated the charts and received prestigious awards; Malaika have also seen a drastic increase in the demand for their live performances, gracing some of the high profiled events between in South Africa. To name a few: Sports Awards, Teachers Awards, Dept Of Transport Awards, Kora Awards, Premiers Awards, President Mbeki's Inauguration, President Obasanjo's Birthday, 10 Years Democracy Celebrations, World
Cup Bid, President Mbeki's Birthday, and more.
This Afro pop trio has it all. All three its members - Jabulani Ndaba, Bongani Nchang and Matshediso Mholo - are top vocalists. Combined with their stunning new image, this trio has a sound that will not only keep the local dance and music scenes alive, but also displays to the rest of the world how much talent South Africa has to offer.
Some industry observers will remember the two boys Jabulani and Bongani, as members of a disbanded kwaito group Stouters, whose claim to fame was with Brenda Fassie's remake of the hit song Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu. Jabu grew up in the Free State in Bethlehem and later moved to live with his mother, up in the NorthWest Township of Klerksdorp. Although no one from is family a singer by profession, music has always been around him.
As a teenage boy back in the slowly paced village of Bethlehem, he was always around when his cousin, a community choir leader rehearsed on keyboards and he secretly climbed on when the rehearsals were over.
This is how he was basically introduced to the exciting world of music. From there on, in Klerksdorp, he began to play in different kinds of community local groups. He met Bongani in 1995 at a studio owned by one of the local music fundis Turbo, with whom they became partners and formed a team of young, dedicated music producers and promoters and they called themselves VIP. "We saw ourselves as very intelligent producers, he says, explaining how the name came about."We were working there all the times, producing and programming music for community groups," adds Jabu.
His first professional recording, together with musical partner Bongani was with a five-member group Stouters that went on to represent SA musically in a Madagascar in 2000. The two were the driving force behind the group and the influence of street-wise music is evident in their work. Bongani Nchang was born and bred in Klerksdorp. He was only nine when he first appeared on the small screens after entering a music competition on a variety TV show Dinakana.
Explaining how he realised, from a very young age and after winning the competition, that he was born to be a star, he says: "I remember quite well how tough the auditions were, but I told myself that I just have to do it. I went there, confident as ever, sang my heart out and I was the only one picked to represent my town".
Bongani inherited music from his family, though unlike them, they never took it too seriously. As always, his mother insisted that his son had to study engineering, in order to be considered a true professional, Bongani took a chance, studied mechanical engineering - though he wasn't at ease with it as he is now with music - at Klerskdorp college and it wasn't long before he found himself producing music for community groups, singing for local disco bands, organising show and he was part of all these in one way or the other.
His partner in "crime' Jabu, was always around like a small puppy and they both decided this year (2003) to try it again in a different way, with a brand new name and a whole new image, with an addition of a equally exciting female singer Tshedi. The three met at an AME church in Soweto. Jabu and Bongani are the conductors of a church's choir, and Tshedi is a member.
Tshedi is also from the NorthWest and as it's always a tradition, she started singing at a church and continued doing so to a schooling level. A BA Education graduate, she is a former member of the University of North West Student Choir. She was involved with the Mmabana Cultural Centre jazz band, through which she got send to represent South Africa at an Arts festival in Greece. She also tried her luck in the Shell Road to Fame competition,
but went through, up to the regional finals.
It appears that Tshedi, who also studied drama at Mmabana, was cut to be in show business. Her first time job ever, after graduating, was with Anchor Comprehensive School in Mzimhlophe, Soweto, where she was teaching arts and culture. She was not just an ordinary teacher, but a role model, as she's was also signing autographs for learners, who couldn't wait to throw away their pens to groove to their favorite party song Sbonga Abazali.
As the demand for appearances and gig's was mounting for Malaika, Tshedi couldn't keep up with the hectic schedule. She had to choose between the two most precious things in her life, her career - being a teacher and her talent being an entertainer/ musician.