Musician / Producer / Label Owner
While many claimed to be the godfathers of kwaito or the originators of kwaito, Spikiri is kwaito.
As a young boy from Meadowlands, Soweto he took his first step into the music industry as a dancer where he was spotted by none other than Chicco Twala.
Spikiri recalls a fellow learner tapping on the classroom window during an Afrikaans lesson and whispering to him that Chicco was outside waiting in his car because he needed him to feature as a dancer in one of his video shoots. While the teacher wasn’t looking, the fifteen years old Mandla Spikiri Mofokeng sneaked out the window and the rest is history. That was in 1985
In 1988 he found himself working as a studio engineer at Cool Spot Productions in Melville where he met up with another soon to be kwaito legend, M’du Masilela. They formed a duo called MM de Luxe and released two albums with brand new sounds that would go on to shape the revolutionary celebration that is kwaito music.
Realising that education is the key to success he enrolled in the Fuba School of Music where he studied sound engineering and piano.
Through Fuba he met Mahoota who introduced him to Eugene Mthethwa also known as Donald Duck. Spikiri and Jairos had long been friends who had met while at school through their mutual love of dancing. At first the two were fierce opponents in competitions, but realising each other’s talents they joined forces. The four of them got together and Trompies was born.
Trompies were at the forefront of the rebellious, revolutionary celebration that is kwaito music. With their bright clothing and their precise and often humourous pantsula dancing the newly freed youth of South Africa fell in love with them.
Later on they joined forces with Brothers of Peace kwaito colleagues, Bruce Dope and Oskido and Kalawa Jazmee was born. This record company is one of the most influential record labels on the continent shaping and inventing almost every genre of popular South African dance music. Kwaito, Afro house, Afro pop and now this brand new sound which fuses West African beats with South African township suss. Think Boom Shaka, Mafikizolo, Bongo Maffin, Uhuru, Alaska – the Kalawa Jazmee list of success is endless.
As a director of the company and a producer, Spikiri is highly respected in the music industry and every kwaito artist and rapper would love the golden opportunity to work with him.
He has helped forge the solo careers of legends such as Lebo Mathosa, Thebe, Tokollo and Kabelo among others. In fact, Mr Bouga Luv Two Shoes believes that his album is never complete until he has recorded a track with the King Don Father.
Spikiri also discovered and mentored the talent of Professor, the reigning king of kwaito. Professor first came to our attention when he featured in Spikiri’s big hit Current.
Spikiri’s own solo career outside of Trompies has seen him collaborate with artists like Bricks, Flabba, Brown Dash, and PRO among others. Outside of kwaito he has worked with artists as varied as Hugh Masekela, Moses Molelekwa and iHashi Elimhlope.
A little known fact is that Generations executive producer, Mfundi Vundla commissioned him to write the theme for Generations.
A distinct hallmark of Spikiri’s sound is his driving beats. This is often topped by a penny whistle or two and that famous Spikiri trademark – “oh-yeah!”
To watch him in the studio is almost spiritual. He disappears into his ethereal world of music which he effortlessly brings to life. He is gentle, calm, focused and laughs a lot with which ever artist he is working with.
On stage, he is the consummate rock star – irreverent, hard-core, energetic, and spontaneous.
Spikiri’s thirty-two years in the industry has seen the man influence, drive and encourage many artists both within and outside of the kwaito genre, as well as a member of Trompies and in his solo releases. Spikiri is a legend of South African and African music.
Spikiri has been the main influence within the industry over the past thirty years. His continued drive and passion in the kwaito genre and success of Trompies as well as he’s Solo Releases has encouraged many artists within and outside of the industry. Spikiri is a legend of South African and Africa music.