Zimbabwean superstar Madlela Skhobokhobo has inspired and captured the hearts of many people from all walks of life with his artistic prowess. He has been one of the most talked about creative personality from our region in recent times, the Gwanda born writer, actor and musician is making an indelible imprint in the countries creative space.
Pictures By @SaDee_lensworks
Urban Culxure sat down with the multi award winning artist to talk music, awards, acting, how he balances his ever demanding arts career and family time.
In Brief tell us about your journey from the day you broke to the local scene? The day you heard your music was now on rotation on radio stations, pubs and kombis. Take us down that experience.
It was a very good feeling knowing my sweat and hard work was finally paying off. As artists we always desire that our works can be broadly heard hence it brings goosebumps to hear yourself on radio or to see yourself on TV for the very 1st time.
Tell us about your family and kids? How are they finding your new found fame?
I have a beautiful wife her name is Soneni and 3 kids 2 boys and 1 girl. Nothing has changed in their view of me, they still see me as the same head of the household who loves them dearly, and they see me as a man with their best interests at heart, who will always love them unconditionally.
Being a musician involves a lot of night gigs, travelling, how do you balance with family time are they seeing you enough?
Unfortunately the kind of work we do takes most of our time but whenever we are free, we try and spend all our free time with family but I guess they understand the demands of my work and they are cool with it no complaints at all.
Madlela do you ever find time to rest? You are always out working, if its not music you are acting.
We building a legacy my brother lol. I always tell my team that it’s impossible to have a dream and still have time to yourself NEVER most of our time is dedicated to our dream so we live a legacy and wealth for our descendants. yikho sihlala sisithi A DREAM NEVER DIES.
You once mentioned that you broke into the music scene by accident.Tell us more about that?
I started composing music at a very young age but my 1st love was acting. I wanted to specialise on acting, directing and writing music for other people but people will always disappoint me.
I have come to believe that no man can carry someone else vision, so after I was disappointed I then decided to use Madlela the character to get my compositions to people, although am not ruling out that I might write music for other people in the near future.
Who do you look up to for your inspiration?
Growing up I was inspired by the evergreen Peter Ndlovu. That guy would play for Coventry City today catch a flight to National sports stadium and do wonders without any complaints of fatigue he was very patriotic. He is one person who I think when the time comes for him to say goodbye to this world he must be buried at the heroes acre to me he is a hero his humbleness made it easier for God to elevate him.
Then now the man I look up to, who inspires me so much is my spiritual father Prophet Radebe of the Revelation church of God. I saw his journey from humble beginnings to what he is today he is a father of many. He is proof enough to me that indeed there is a God in heaven and if you give yourself to him he will surely open the floodgates. His teachings and spiritual wisdom has shaped me to be what I am today. God bless him abundantly.
Madlela is Dressed By On Point Boutique
Retracing your roots back home after years in South Africa, How did you get to that decision?
There was demand for me to come back home because my works where now on high rotation on radio and TV and many people wanted to see us. Where ever we go in Matabeleland we get so much appreciation and it is proof that we came back at the right time.
One day Prophet Radebe told us that God spoke to him about the turnaround in Zimbabwe soon that gave me confidence to come back home ngoba ngiyamazi akakaze atshaye eceleni, besides I wanted to be there when the country said good bye to Robzaaaa lol Asante Sana.
Acting, singing, writing which one of the 3 do you love the most?
I hate writing my brother eish ngilivila kabi lokubhala. I have been writing all my stuff but for my next project I will engage a writer so I offload my vision/project to them and then they can put it to paper. But between Acting and singing eish I can’t choose now kunzima, but 5 years ago I would have chosen acting no doubt.
Take us back in time, growing up and how your love for the arts started?
I grew in rural areas and I was very good at dancing and music. I was made a choir leader at grade 5 but everything was well activated when I got to Manama high for secondary education that is where I met Desire Moyoxide and he taught me acting and theatre.
Things have changed for you in the streets people will easily recognize you and have conversations with you and shout your name how are you taking the celebrity moments and the love you are getting?
If you do what people love then they will show appreciation. We are fortunate that currently our works are loved by many hence full houses whenever we hold our shows and to us that’s great appreciation from ISIZWE. But that can never change who we are, we remain humble and very content in our space.
You were the biggest benefactor when it came to awards last year, how did you feel about that and how did your career change?
Awards are a sign that there is something you are doing right. I got 4 awards last year and for me it shows I now have a responsibility to keep keeping on so that I maintain the standards we have set.
My career changed as I got many bookings and the respect out there. Our dream is to bring dignity to the arts, get our people to support us as Matebeleland artists but we also have a duty as artists from this region to produce works that speak/appeal to our people.
Remember we won’t be supported for the mere fact that we are Matebeleland artists but we must be supported because we deserve to be supported, because our works speaks to our people. akumelanga si sekelwe ngoba sizwelwa ubuhlungu kuthi ahhh shame asibasapoteni bantu ngoba ngabakithi…no kumele kuthiwe nangu u Madlela.wenza umsebenzi omuhle,nangu u Nkwali,nangu u Mehlokazulu,nangu u Bekezela,nangu u Magwaza nangu u Nceku benza umsebenzi omuhle there for they deserve our support…please I just mentioned a few but we are too many sir.
How many films and songs have you done so far?
On the film side I have about 9 projects so far and still going. I have more than 200 songs recorded and unrecorded people must watch out for my next project a series titled Umbango and Madlela the series and then the new album. I promise the best.
Thank you Madlela for being with us all the best.
Ngiyabonga gents thank you for your support.
Madlela was dressed by On Point Boutique LOCATED AT OLD MUTUAL CENTRE 8TH AVENUE & JASON MOYO STREET