With Durban all set to host the Metro FM music awards this weekend, it seems a good time to honour Maskandi musician, and 2014 eThekwini Living Legend, Phuzekhemisi. Born Zibokwakhe Johnstone Mnyandu, Mnyandu’s stage name, Phuzekhemisi, translates to ‘drink the medicine’. It’s often interpreted as a reference to the truths that Phuzekhemisi speaks in his music, but according to the musician the nickname was given to him by his friends. “I got the name while working in a furniture shop in Johannesburg. They did not want to keep cold water for us to drink, so I visited the nearest chemist to get water to drink … so my friends called me Phuzekhemisi”, explains the artist.
Times have definitely changed, and the king of Maskandi music can no longer be found toiling away in shops, but despite his success Phuzekhemisi remains a humble man living with his wife, children and extended family in rural Illovo. It is this connection to his roots that is so evident in his work, and perhaps the reason Phuzekhemisi’s music still remains relevant so many years later. A documentary, simply entitled Phuzekhemisi, has been made on the life of Mnyandu, who was at Durban’s Bat Centre at the beginning of this month for a special screening of the film that’s being shown as part of September Jive.
Click here to watch an excerpt from Phuzekhemisi, an inspiring story about one of our county’s greatest musicians.
Image of Phuzekhemisi courtesy of sabc.co.za