Inkabi Zezwe (Big Zulu and Sjava) and the Hollywood Foundation have joined forces for a Back-to-School campaign, dedicated to providing essential school supplies to schools nationwide.
On February 7, 2024, the Umbayimbayi hitmakers, hailing from the rural town of Bergville in KwaZulu Natal, will present school supplies to Myendane Primary School in their hometown. This collaborative effort follows a triumphant year for the duo, marked by the success of their debut album “Ukhamba” with Warner Music Africa, sold-out national tours, and recognition as GQ’s Man of The Year. In a show of gratitude to the community that nurtured them, Inkabi Zezwe are eager to underscore their commitment to equal education access. “We are honored to partner with the Hollywood Foundation to support the children at Myendane and contribute to a brighter future for these young minds,” stated the duo.
This back-to-school initiative is an integral part of the Hollywood Foundation’s dedication to assisting learners from diverse communities at the start of the academic year, emphasizing a commitment to empowering the next generation. Vuyisile Ngobese, Hollywood Foundation’s PR Officer, elaborated on the initiative, stating, “Through the school supplies drive, we aim to create a positive academic environment, ensuring each child receives essential uniform and stationery. Additionally, we hope to alleviate the emotional stress on parents, fostering a community where education becomes a beacon of hope and opportunity.”
Temi Adeniji, Managing Director of Warner Music Africa, who are coordinating the campaign, expressed enthusiasm for the campaign, affirming, “At Warner Music Africa, we believe in the transformative power of music and our responsibility to contribute positively to the communities that have shaped us. This campaign aligns with our commitment to making a lasting difference through educational empowerment.”
The Back to School campaign is poised to be a harmonious convergence of music, community empowerment, and social corporate responsibility.
About Inkabi Zezwe
Inkabi Zezwe – an IsiZulu term of endearment that, when used in the context of music, describes a unified brotherhood that is representative and reflective of the nation. ‘Zezwe’ means ‘of the Nation’ and unites the two giants for this collaboration as an offering to the nation. As a duo, Sjava and Big Zulu make up Inkabi Zezwe, a collaboration that celebrates their connection as Zulu brothers and musicians. This collaboration places them at the precipice of a critical moment in music and culture.
Sjava, whose real name is Jabulani Hadebe was born in Bergville, KwaZulu- Natal in 1984. He began exploring music at age 10, forming his own acapella group ‘Abafana base Mpumalanga’ but his entertainment career was set in motion when he took on acting, starring in popular television shows such as Zone 14 and uGugu no Andile. His debut album “Isina Muva” (2016) was his major transition into the music industry and earned him the ‘Best Produced Album’ award at both the Metro FM and South African Music (SAMA) award ceremonies in 2017. That same year, Sjava won the first DStv Mzansi Viewer’s Choice Rising Star.
In 2018, Sjava was featured in the Kendrick Lamar-curated and Grammy-nominated Black Panther: The Album soundtrack. In the same year, the superstar won a BET award for ‘Best International Act’ followed by his sophomore album “Umqhele” which scored ‘Best Afro-Pop Album’ and ‘Album of the Year’ at the 2019 SAMAs. His recent album, “Isibuko” (2023), maintains Sjava’s dedication to highlighting the human experience with a rich, bulbous, and ethereal soundscape.
Born Siyabonga Nene in Bergville, KwaZulu-Natal in 1987, Big Zulu transitioned into rap music after a stint in the taxi industry in 2008. The rapper’s music is often filled with aspirational subject matter that his fans have long gravitated towards. He melds Maskandi and Hip-Hop with his gripping flow and cadence. “Ushun Wenkabi,” his debut album, was released in 2018 followed by his third album “Ichwane Lenyoka” (2021) which helped catapult him to superstardom. The album boasted the hits ‘Mali Eningi’ featuring Ntaba Yase Dubai and Riky Rick; ‘Inhlupheko’, featuring Mduduzi Ncube; and ‘Umuzi eSandton’ with Lwah Ndlunkulu.
A testament to his persistence and talent, Big Zulu has won several awards including Song of the Year for ‘Mali Eningi’ and ‘Album of the Year’ at the 2021 South African Hip Hop Awards. The superstar has also won the ‘Collaboration of the Year’ award at the 27th annual SAMA awards.
Their music as individual artists travel back and forth through traditional isiZulu musical forms and more contemporary musical expressions.
Whereas Sjava is R&B and Afropop / Hip-Hop inclined, Big Zulu uses Hip-Hop / Rap to negotiate his musical identity. This multiplicity of genres is a prime opportunity to imagine and create music that is not only an autobiographical anecdote of their intimate worlds but as artists who are attentive to the musical needs of contemporary South Africa. Their latest music explores everything that matters to them; love, intimacy, joy, aspiration, and people.
Follow Inkabi Zezwe’s journey here: