After traveling the world and the concomitant culinary outings that come with it, kwaito (South African music genre) pioneer, DJ and businessman Oscar Bonginkosi Mdlongwa, popularly known as Oskido, counts Brazil his most favourite overseas destination.
In enjoying the fruits of his success, Oskido has come far.
He was born in Brits, a large town irrigated by the waters of the Hartbeespoort Dam in the North West Province of South Africa.
His childhood was in Bulawayo, a city in the southwest of Zimbabwe, before returning to South Africa to pursue a career in music in 1988.
His influences may be primarily South African and Zimbabwean, but the South American country is what he regales about when we meet him in late November last year.
“What amazed me the most was the food. I have traveled all over the world but the way they cook their food and the way they love their food stunned me,” says Oskido.
The memories are still fresh.
In September last year, Mdlongwa had traveled to the centrally-located capital of Brazil, Brasilia, on a cultural exchange programme between Brazil and South Africa.
During our interview, he also compliments the city’s culture and the friendliness of its people.
“When I come back to my country [South Africa] after traveling, I just want our food. When I start going to Europe, I think of home, missing the food, but when I went to Brazil, it was like I’m home.”
He goes on to elucidate that they have their own traditional way of cooking, which includes beans that he enjoys the most.
Oskido especially appreciates Brazil’s restaurants because of the different meat cuts they serve customers.
“They will bring you a paper and describe the part that you are eating. Also, their way of cooking is healthy,” he says.
“We normally just eat and say ‘rump’; you don’t even know where it’s coming from. Therefore, they come in and you keep eating different cuts until you find the one you like and they will keep feeding you until you are full.
“What amazed me the most is when you get to our [local] food courts, you will find all these chain stores. It’s the same thing [there], but there isn’t anything that is like a buffet. Their food courts are designed that way, there isn’t any of the junk food,” says Oskido.
He speaks about connecting to the people despite the language barrier. He remembers going to a shopping centre to buy things and having to explain.
He would speak on the phone with a translator and communication would be delayed.
But he found his own comfort zone.
Whenever he talked about music, he says there would be an instant connection with the people.
Oskido was invited by the South African Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa as a delegate for the exchange programme.
“The minister and his office went to a school of kids aged between four and five years old. The kids were told to look for a song on YouTube that resembled Africa. Coincidently, they found Tsa Mandebele as the song of choice. I found that these kids could sing along to my song and dance to the moves because of the music video,” he says, joyfully.
“It was good to see a Limpopo language [song] sung in Brazil. That was the moment when I was really touched, and felt that there was something about Brazil.
“After the festive season, I want to go back, take my family and go relax.”
These are the notes from the South African DJ who has gone from Brits to Brazil.