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A focus on Yandisa Zuluish: ‘Everything has a season’

This article was written by Mpilo Ngema.

Yandisa Zulu is nothing short of amazing.

He was born in the East Rand of Johannesburg, Natalspruit and raised in Mount Frere, Eastern Cape. He describes his upbringing as “impoverished”; his junior school in Mpendla to High School in Nzululwazi is filled with memories of lack.

‘’We had nothing bro.”

When he answers the call it is as if he has been expecting it, a call from an old friend. So friendly, polite, genuine and human – Ayi Kwei Armah’s Beautyful Ones keep showing up – he has no idea how inviting and assuring his manner is.

I introduce myself and he playfully interjects, “relax my brother, how is your morning, what are you up to, are you at home or office, are you good?” he belts out a light and hearty guffaw and gives me the time to respond.

I am being interviewed now.

“You’re from Zululand Press? Hawu, yini ukhuluma is’lungu pho [Oh my, why then are you speaking English]? Khululeka mfethu [relax, brother].”

I give him my explanation, which is I usually find it easier to start conversations in English then people can take it to a language they are comfortable with. But this is yet another joke from the playful Zulu.

This conversation will not go the Q and A route; he tells me he is very busy but there is no way he will not have this conversation with me.

There is a knock on my door, I alert the person at the door, “ngiyeza mfethu [I am coming, brother], I am on a call.”

Zulu tells me it is cool, I can attend to the knock at the door and then come back to him, “I will prioritize you, you are my people”.

I call him again and we get to the real.

He could not afford to go to “traditional tertiary” but relied heavily on his curios nature to learn what he knows now, which has helped him become the man the world is getting to know and love.

“I learned how to speak English from music, my brother. Art is very important to how we grow. Derogatory and hateful content is likely to breed vulgar misogynists. We need more positive and educational content.”

We are bouncing between topics, which is perfectly fine with me.

The type of music a nation listens to will determine its future, he tells me.

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Zulu tells me for his matric dance the only thing new he had on was a R60 pair of shoes and everything else was borrowed.

At 11-years-old, circumstances drove him to entrepreneurship when he became a fruit vendor in his hometown, missing a generous amount of school time.

“People who know me personally, know my struggle.”

He is not peddling poverty porn or begging for pity. These anecdotes drive a ‘stay positive message’ shared with a wise humour. Nothing preachy.

Zulu wishes the best for everyone, his enthusiasm with nation building is testament to this.

Zulu-Wish, which most pronounce as Zuluish, is a name inspired by the I Have A Dream speech given by Martin Luther King in August 28, 1963.

His dream is for our country and continent to focus on industry, invest in innovation, build a back up economy, get maximum value from our raw products and have everybody taking part in our economy.

Yandisa’s grandfather is a huge influence on him. He tells me his grandfather, who raised him as the last born son of the family as opposed to a grandchild, told him: “You are not physically strong, your body cannot carry the loads others can, focus on your mind. Grow your mind.”

Growing up, often his manner invited disheartening commentary, with many believing at the time that he was lazy but he was just different.

“Often people forget everything has a season, they want you to do things their way because your way does not make sense to them.”

Mageba’s season is here. The whole country is moved with FUBU pride, this one is For Us By Us.

We say our goodbyes and he tells me I should call to touch base, ‘’we are brothers’’, he tells me, “it is important to stay accessible to one another.”

To contact Zuluish Appliances call: +27 61 415 5621 or WhatsApp only on +27 71 020 3233

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