Project Description

Born in 1952 at Maduma eMkhandlweni. Musician Sipho Khoza, also known as ‘Thwalofu’ was a leader of the group Thwalofu NamaKetshane (Thwalofu and his wild dogs). He hails from Kwa-Zulu Natal, Empangeni area, under Biyela Tribal Authority. When he started playing guitar, he was taught by Sikhwasha. He was compelled to create his own left handed guitar out of a gallon.

He wouldn’t leave his guitar behind for any reason. When going to school, he would leave it in the bush in the vicinity of the school so he could get it on his way home. His love for guitar made him elope from home. He left to go work in the sugarcane farms where he earned R1 per month. He banked his pay with his boss. When the savings were about R7, he bought himself his first guitar. This was a Berlin brand.

One day when the then popular Maskandi, Hensford Mthembu and his band Amagugu esimanje, came to play at Empangeni, he saw Thwalofu with his Berlin guitar and asked him to play for him. He was highly impressed and therefore begged Thwalofu to return home with him so they could ask for permission from his father to take him with to Johannesburg. It was then that he recorded his first album ‘Fulela makoti kuyanetha endlini’ in 1974.

Khoza and his group released their first album in the 1970’s entitled uKhalemini Samsoni and in 1974 he recorded and released his debut album ‘Fulela makoti kuyanetha endlini’

He has released over 47 albums and has more than 3 decades in the Maskandi music scene. Sipho is also known as Inkunzi Yembongolo’ referring to his stubborn nature and for standing up for what he believes in. He made history by presenting his family-in-law with donkeys as payment for lobola, rather than cows as is traditionally done!

Thwalofu commented, after receiving a life time award, in the SATMA’s (South African Traditional Music Awards) in 2008, “it was an honour to know that I am being recognised in the music territory.”

His album entitled Intencane was released in October 2009. His other album was released mid 2011 under his record label Thwalofu Music.