Posted on 11 November 2011.
He has been in the battle to provide a platform for Hip Hop artists in KZN for 11 years. He is the man behind the Original Material Awards, Hip Hop Ngasekhaya, Moment of Truth, and other countless annual KZN Hip Hop shows. Through these shows he puts artists on the map by providing a stage for them to market their ‘product’ to the public. He modestly denies the fact that he is taking KZN Hip Hop to greater heights; he simply sees himself as a Hip Hop fan. He mentors and inspires many in all elements of Hip Hop. He doesn’t go by an alias; his name is Ayanda Zefrino Makukule.
It is the 29 year old’s ability to pull crowds from all over KZN and gather them in one place that made him the first Hip Hop person to be sponsored by DC shoes. In 2006 he’d organised a charity show that saw 1500 people attending; the following year DC proudly started sponsoring him. His motivation comes from people. He knows how to identify a crowd’s needs and create something out of it. Next year he will be launching Queen Hip Hop, a pageant dedicated to putting the spotlight on ladies. “In all my years in hip hop I have never seen guys screaming for ladies – the ladies are always screaming for them, so I want to give the ladies a chance to shine,” he said explaining how the idea came about.
Born and bred in Clermont, a township in Durban, he is one of ‘amajita’ and admits that he was not always into hip hop. The hip hop dress code is what attracted him to it. He first noticed it when he saw guys from New Jack City playing basketball and he was hooked. From that day, he started playing basketball in and around his neighbourhood challenging other players, all the while, walking the walk and talking the talk. Women loved him because he was different from other guys and guys wanted to hang around him. “Ladies loved me – hot ladies at that! And so naturally, guys wanted to be my friends,” said Makukule in a tone that leaves a person wondering if he is joking or not. It could be his sense of humour that attracts people to him; he leaves the whole room in stitches of laughter whilst he is barely smiling. He might seem intimidating, but on the contrary, he is a friendly, funny, humble, modest and straightforward guy.
Pushing hip hop has never been about money for this qualified engineer. He is just a passionate fan who took it upon himself to help elevate his province’s hip hop level. “It all started with basketball challenges in Clermont, then someone suggested that I start rapping… so I did! I also started doing hip hop shows in my neighbourhood. Now they are spreading throughout KZN,” he said. Even though he is not that much into rapping, he raps because people always ask him to. However, when he touches the mic, only the truth comes out, no matter what language it is in. He has also featured in various mixtapes. His latest is a feature in the Gifted LP which features a number of other Durban artists.
If there is one thing he never forgets it is to pay homage. During the interview, he lists the number of people who have helped him along the way and it doesn’t bother him that some of the people he has helped don’t acknowledge him. Firstly, his gratitude goes to his parents, whom he says he can never thank enough. The desire and willingness to help people was instilled by his parents in his upbringing. It also happens to be one of the reasons why a ‘Makukule’ recording label might never be born; he does not know how to say No to people. He reckons he might end up signing the whole of KZN. Which he just might!
Here is a person KZN Hip Hop owes a big “thank you.”