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Mandoza tribute as Zim legend Mizchif dies
04/09/2014 00:00:00
by Agencies
African hip hop legend and pioneer ... Mizchif

ZIMBABWE-BORN music legend and pioneer Hechichamunorwa Mount Zion Kwenda - better known as Mizchif - has passed away in his South Africa base at the age of 38.

Kwenda, born June 23, 1976, was purported to have been the first to independently release a solo hip hop album in South Africa and was also allegedly the first in the country to perform hip hop with a live band.

On Thursday George 'KGB" Beraushvili told eNCA.com that while the cause of his death was unknown, Mizchif collapsed on a bus en route to Zimbabwe where his family lived. KGB said he was working with the artist on a current project entitled 'Still a legend'. 

In his heyday Mizchif presented hip hop news on Yfm and was a video jockey on Nasty, a hip hop show on Channel O.

Musically his most memorable offering was a hit single 'International" and a collaboration in 2001 with Mavusana from kwaito group Oda Meeste, for the album Summertime on Ghetto Ruff records.

His album Supernatural (My Return), was released in September 2003 and was nominated for the Best Hip Hop Album at the 2003 South African Music Awards.

A producer/ emcee - Joint Pusher - who had been working with Mizchif confirmed to eNCA.com that the artist had died.

"As a custodian of the [hip hop] culture, his aim was to revive the spirit of the old school feel for hip hop. [It was] the culture itself that he was famous for, back in the days when the hip hop acts where still fighting to find solid ground within South African popular culture."

He added, Mizchif's death was a "great loss for African hip hop, as he was a continental emcee."

"His ability to transcend boarders and touch societies in different African countries showcases the magnitude of his influence, which he will unfortunately never relive."

Joint Pusher said he had known the muso since the 90s and communication between them was rekindled last year when Mizchif made the decision to move back to South Africa and revive his career.

Mizchif Wonderfull World

Other tributes that poured in for the artist came from Kwaito star Mduduzi Tshabalala, known by his stage name 'Mandoza'. He only found out about his passing when eNCA.com contacted him for comment.


Speechless and at a loss for words, Mandoza said: "It’s heart sore to hear news of Mizchif's passing". He said he wished the news he heard "wasn't true."

"Mizchif will be missed by many and may his soul rest in peace," said Mandoza who also expressed his condolences to family, friends and fans.

Metro FM DJ Unathi Nkanyi said she met him in 2001 and last saw him 10 years ago.

“I remember most about him his humble nature and giving attitude, unlike the stereotypical idea one has about emcees. A creative heart is always relevant for as long as they want to be.

Nkanyi said Mizchif's passing was "a reminder of how fragile life is and what a great man” he was.

KGB said a funeral would be held in Harare.

Mizchif was expected to appear at a music event called 'End of the Weak' where he was supposed to judge a hip hop/rap battle. KGB said the event would go on and proceeds from the show would be sent to Mizchif's family in Zimbabwe.

Mizchif was born and raised in Highfields, Harare, Zimbabwe.

He moved to Syracuse, New York at the age of 12 where he hooked up with a crew, Soul Pack, and began rapping.

He moved to South Africa at 18, where he released his debut album Life from All Angles in 1999 on Eargasm Records and went on to release "Place for a Wife" and "Fashionable" which at the time got constant airplay on several TV music channels across Africa.

Mizchif presented hip hop news on Johannesburg radio station Yfm. He was also a video jockey on Nasty, a hip hop show on MNET music channel, Channel O.

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