Zolani Mkhiva

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Zolani Mkhiva (1972-) was inaugurated as official imbongi yeSizwe [“people’s poet”], and performed a critical izibongo to the nation (“A luta continua”) and a more celebratory one (“Halala Mandela”) to the new president at the 10 May 1994 inauguration ceremony.

Mkhiva was born in Idutywa in the former Transkei in the Eastern Cape. He studied for a BA in Administration at the University of Western Cape.

For more than eight years, Zolani sang Nelson Mandela's praises. His exuberance and dramatic rendition of poetic praises gained him international fame. Mkhiva stayed with Mandela until the end of his presidential term. Then, he moved on to Spoornet as a communication consultant.

His Halala South Africa is the first CD recorded by a South African imbongi.


Cape Argus, 23 September 1998.

Report by Noxolo Kweza in Sowetan, 14 March 2003.

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