Tag Archive | "Gifted"

A Tribute to a Legend: Whitney Houston

As we woke up to the shuttering news of the passing of Ms Whitney Elizabeth Houston, born on the 9th of August 1963, daughter to the gospel starlet Cissy Houston and Dion Warwick’s cousin, we look back at the life and times of the legend.

We celebrate the music she will forever live through. Whitney is a true example of what music is about; she redefined the essence of music, gave meaning to soul and reached notes no one could reach. She inspired many who came after her and those who were there long before her. Quincy Jones named her “a true original, a talent beyond compare.”

We take a look at her career, the ups and downs, her peaks and her lows. Her life should not be looked at as unfortunate, or perhaps the mistakes she made should not be frowned upon, but a lesson to us all. Fame, fortune and misfortune are clearly closely related. She lived to tell a story of what happens when one forgets what purpose you are brought here to serve. Realise that she made her mistakes for us all to learn from; remember she was human after all. Many of us cannot understand how she ruined the blessings she received, the incomparable voice she had, and the astonishing talent she possessed. I strongly believe that when it’s written, it is meant to play out like that. If it were meant to be any different, then it would have been.

Whitney lived her life the best way she knew how to. She characterised technique, drama and strength in her vocals and made history when she was named America’s highest earning black female entertainer. She wowed the world in a sterling performance alongside Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard, and serenaded us with impeccable vocals in The Preacher’s Wife starring alongside Denzel Washington. Nineteen years later, the chat topping soundtrack “I Will Always Love you” a timeless classic of note, remains an international anthem for lovers across all races, it continues to blow many away with the effortless tone and strength of what once was, a voice that set the bar very high.

Her life took a direction no one expected after a marriage to bad boy Bobby Brown, who received much blame for the trouble in Whitney’s life. Bobby  was believed to have introduced her to drugs. Their toxic love carried them through to over a decade of marriage, in that time saw her endure his abuse with alleged rumours of his jealousy of her accelerated success. After much needed intervention from her mother, Whitney was able to regain her strength, went to rehab and left Bobby Brown. The pair was blessed with a daughter Bobbie Kristina Brown, who has been rumoured to have indulged in drugs herself.

In her 2009 comeback she Read the full story

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The Man Behind KZN Hip Hop

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.”

Gugu Moyo

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Running with the Reps 2 Rumours #RWTR

The Repetoires at the Kasi Times photo shoot

The Repertoires at the Kasi Times photo shoot in March 2011, at Pule's Shisa Nyama in Daveyton

Rumours are that the Repertoires will be back on our screens in March next year. A source close to the crew said that the Reps will start shooting this December. Season one of their reality TV show, Running with the Reps, is currently flighting as the s.e.c.o.n.d re-run, and much to many people’s surprise, they trended on Twitter much like they did when the show first aired.

In the second season it seems that Ellipses, one of season one’s main cast members, will not be returning to the show as he is pursuing his studies outside Joburg. Rumoured to replace him is DJ Capital, one of the Repertoires’ hottest upcoming DJs. Also joining the main cast is TJ – yes, the guy who had ‘beef’ with Nthato. It’s yet to be seen if Nthato will return with a leading role. Larry and the Thundakats, Kea and Thato, were voted the most entertaining Reps, while Senhle (Chama) peaked the interest of the ladies. It’s yet to be seen if they’ll find the Rep Mansion or if there’ll be any more trips to Durban!

One thing’s for sure, this seemingly underestimated show has won a huge loyal following as was proved by it being one of the highest rated shows on VuzuTV this year. These boys know how to entertain and are quickly becoming the best and most popular youth brand in this country! Take notes peeps!

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