Top 10 Maskandi Artists

Maskandi musicians made quite an impression on the scene last year. Most of them dropped multiple albums and earned praise from fans. While some include singles that were all well-received.

One of the best things about Maskandi music is the focus on making full-length albums and dominating the airwaves with them. Maskandi musicians also keep their collaborations fewer than the solos on the projects. Several hitmakers have earned the trust of their fans with the music they deliver. Some of them gained massive praise for their work this year.

Here is a list of the top 10 Maskandi artists that you should have on your playlist.

10. Shiyani Ngcobo

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At 58, Shiyani Ngcobo has been around for years and continues to amass fans to himself. The famous musician was a teacher at the School of Music of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and through his music, he portrays the life of a Zulu migrant worker. His 2004 album “Introducing Shiyani Ngcobo” opened massive doors for him. He is known for the songs “Ijadu,” “Yekanini,” and more.


09. Moses Mchunu

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There is no denying that Moses Mchunu is one of the most respected musicians on the Maskandi scene. The 70-year-old has been around for some time and has earned praise for his work. He dominated the scene in the 1970s and 80s, becoming one of the leading vocalists in the Zulu jive style at the time. He is known for “Qhwayilahle,” featured in his 1985 album, “Indestructible Beat of Soweto.”

Babulala Umuzi Ka Baba

08. Bhekumuzi Luthuli

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We lost this iconic musician at the age of 48, but he made a huge name for himself in the Maskandi scene before he passed. At a young age, Bhekumuzi Luthuli began making traditional Zulu music using a homemade guitar. He teamed up with the Mbaqanga band called Oshimi in the 1980s. Later on, he embarked on a solo career, recording and releasing nineteen albums before he passed on. He’s known for the songs “Imilanjwana,” “Emateksini,” etc.

Bhekumuzi Luthuli - Unodlame (Official Music Video)

07. Busi Mhlongo

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Born in Inanda, Busi Mhlongo was a force to reckon with in the Maskandi music scene. She earned a place on the scene before she died at 62 in June 2010. She was a singer, dancer, and composer who was raised in a musically inclined home. Busi was nominated for a Grammy Award, and she is known for the popular albums “Amakholwa” and “Freedom.”

Busi Mhlongo - Yaphel'imali yami Live

06. Mzukulu

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Born Sfanele Dumisani Zulu in Engeza, Mzukulu has risen to be one of the most recognized voices in the Maskandi music scene. As the son of the late Mzansi performers Phumangelakhe and Thuleleni (Ma-Hlela) Buthelezi, Mzukulu was grounded in music before he could speak. With a magical voice to match, he set off on his own journey and made a name. He is known for the songs “Isoka,” “Mabili Amaxoki,” “Sukuma mkami bakubone,” etc.

Ijuba (feat. Shenge wasehlalankosi)

05. Inkos’yamagcokama

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Scebi Dlamini, professionally called Inkos’yamagcokama, is one of Maskandi’s household names in South Africa. He is credited for having contributed to the popularity of the genre across the country and commands a massive fanbase. His hit song “Dear Diary” has been labeled a “national favourite” due to its popularity. He is also known for his many other hits, including “Akabuye, “Uyanginyathela,” “Akuhlukaneki,” “Ngixolele,” “Mina Ngithathiwe,” etc.

Inkos'yamagcokama - Mina Ngithathiwe (Official Music Video)

04. Juluka

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The iconic Maskandi duo originated in Johannesburg in 1969 and comprises members Johnny Clegg and Sipho Mchunu. In Zulu, the name “Juluka” is translated to mean “Sweat” and is inspired by a bull owned by one of the members, Mchunu. The band spoke out against apartheid. They are also known for their popular music, including “Umbaqanga Music,” “Two Humans on the Run,” “Zodwa,” “I Jwanasibeki,” and more.

Scatterlings Of Africa - Johnny Clegg & Juluka

03. Igcokama Elisha

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35-year-old Mthandeni Manqele, famously called Igcokama Elisha, is one of the biggest names in the Maskandi music scene. The famous singer was born in Mdletsheni, Mtubatuba, KwaZulu-Natal. He has made a name as a singer and guitarist, and his fans call him the president of Red Nation. Elisha is known for his many hits, including “Ismolomolo,” “Waphafa gogo,” “Amageja,” “Phansi kwesdwaba,” and more.

Igcokama Elisha - Imfene Yakho (Official Music Video)

02. Khuzani

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Khuzani Mpungose was born in Nkandla village, Mathata, on 3rd December 1990. His journey into the music scene has been a very fulfilling one. He has released several successful albums and earned praise for his work. He is known for the songs “Isixaxa Samaxoki,” “Bengingazi,” “Ngeke Ngihleke,” “Mama Ka Nomzamo,” “Isatanist,” and more. His albums include “Aliboli Icala,” “Umqhele neThawula,” “Inja Nogodo,” “Ispoki Esingafi,” and more. He was named the most successful Maskandi musician of 2023.

Umjolo Lowo

01. Ntencane

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Senzo Ntencane Zondi, famously called Ntencane, is a Maskandi artist and songwriter who has amassed a massive fanbase with his music. He earned praise for his many hits. His “Uboya Enkomeni” album has been called one of his best projects. He is also known for the songs “BayangiSabawela,” “Wawuthembeni,” “Nguye Lo,” “Ayivalwe,” “Lamula Mngoma,” and more. He is one of the most streamed Maskandi musicians in the country.


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