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Summary Profile

Known to many simply as Bafo, he has been making music since the age of 7. His first guitar was made from a cooking oil tin and fish gut for the strings. Busking on the streets of Durban & the beachfront, playing a guitar; he soon became a popular performer in the townships. Now a professional musician, he is undeniably one of the best guitarists to ever come out of Durban. Madala Kunene has, time & time again, proven to his audience that he is truly the “King of the Zulu Guitar”. The eclectic musician has an aura of calmness & wisdom which is meticulously replicated in his music. His music is deep-rooted in spiritual and traditional rhythms. He admits to somewhat going into a trance-like state when he performs, as most of his music are interpretations of his dreams which he at times wakes up in the middle of the night to write or compose into song. He has countless contributions as a guitarist on great albums by the likes of the late Sipho Gumede, Robert Doc Mthalane, Moses Taiwa Molelekwa and Mandla Masuka. Madala's career has been, in his own words, "both exciting and rough", since he went solo in 1988. Since then, Madala Kunene has recorded as a solo artist; occasionally collaborating with many highly-acclaimed musicians in the industry from both local & international. His open-mindedness has led him to collaborate with musicians from across the world such as Swiss Max Lasser, Baba Mokoena Serakoeng, Syd Kitchen, Greg Georgiades, Ashish Joshi and numerous label mates such as Busi Mhlongo & Mabi Thobejane. This has also led to him being widely traveled around the world especially Europe & the Scandinavian regions performing titles from his many albums. In 2003 Madala composed the score for Oscar-award nominated South African film called “Yesterday” – the first ever full length feature film in Zulu.

Madala Kunene


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