Mduduzi Kheswa


Mduduzi Kheswa was born in Umlazi Township in South Africa. His earliest musical memory is of traditional dancing and playing guitar. The guitar was homemade: a 5 liter tin, wood and fish gut or tyre tube. At the age of 14, Mduduzi started appearing with local groups and musicians like Bongi Shabane, The Goings, Bongani Sokhela, Mandla Zikalala and Stax, to mention a few, at events in eThekwini and the surrounding areas. He was exposed to many different kinds of music—gospel, pop, traditional and jazz fusion. “This period was crucial in the formation of my musical outlook”, he notes with great joy. In 1985 Mduduzi headed for Gauteng to join a pop outfit, Casino. There he met the great musicians of the time. He took part in the “The Unfinished Story Tour” of South Africa, sharing the stage with the world’s renowned like Stimela, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Lucky Dube and many others. This was the time of nightclubs, festivals, road shows and political unrest in most townships and rural areas. He then left Gauteng to concentrate on perfecting his keyboard playing technique and to further his education in eThekwini in 1987. While on a short encounter with Sakhile - a jazz fusion outfit of the “Mantombi” fame - Mduduzi was introduced to music reading and writing, and jazz music by Khaya Mahlangu, one of the founder members of the band. He recalls of this experience: “I’m so grateful to God for making that awesome coincidence occur in this lifetime.” In 1990 he joined Sarafina and toured Canada and America. The following year Mduduzi then teamed up with Busi Mhlongo and Twasa, and in 1993 the band cut a CD named “Ababhemu” which saw them travelling to the Netherlands, UK and Switzerland. Getting back to Gauteng in 1995 opened even more opportunities for him. For the following ten years Mduduzi performed and recorded with prominent names and productions in the entertainment industry. These include The Shell Road to Fame, Vusi Khumalo, Jabu Khanyile and Bayete, The Daughter of Nebo, Themba Mkhize, Geoff Mapaya, Caiphus Semenya, Letta Mbulu, Kgomotso Moshugi, Queen Londiwe 1, Just Chilling, and many more. Driven by the desire to make a positive contribution to society and pursuit of excellence, in May 2013, 168 Prosperity Drive was founded. “The establishment of 168 Prosperity Drive was an important step towards realizing my goals.” he said. “This was to be the first of many important changes for me as artist, writer and producer in many years.” He said it will primarily handle everyday activities from writing, music production to publishing and outreach programs and much more. Mduduzi Kheswa has recently released his Debut Album– Asking Forgiveness (2018) - under this name. Throughout his career Mduduzi has learned to roll with the punches and bounce back time and again. His remark: “Music is a calling, and my profession encourages me to persevere and to follow on the path of the Wise Ones of our Universe with faith and dignity. Always.”







What is music to you? What does it give you?

Music to me is an ancient language that has the power to create and destroy. Well, it gives me the freedom to express myself.

What is your music dream?

For my music to reach and influence a wider global community.

If you could change the world - what would you start with?

I would start with accepting that I am only a part of this universe.

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

O my! It has to be War of the Gods by Billy Paul.

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

I love Weather Report, Salif Keita, Bheki Mseleku, Pat Metheny Group, Claus Ogerman to name a few.

What inspires you to make music?

I draw inspiration from writers, travel, people, nature, science and technology.

What is the message you want to send with your music?

Compassion, tolerance, love and insight.

How do you feel when you perform in front of an audience?

Feels like the first time every time.

How do you see the musicians’ reality nowadays? What could be improved?

I see an opportunity for Indies; thanks to a forever segmenting market. What could be improved? Building of future audiences through early childhood development programs.

What do you think of Drooble?

Drooble is an excellent platform for my music business needs.

What frustrates you most as a musician?

Lack of resources necessary to encourage and promote music education especially in developing countries.

Do you support your local scene as a fan? How?

Yes. I do this by following local artists online and at gigs in and around my area.

What qualities should a musician nowadays have in order to get their music heard by a larger audience?

Good business smarts and research I would recommend.

Share some awesome artists that we’ve never heard of.

The digital domain is doing so much good in exposing a spectrum of amazing artists. Everyone of them is awesome!