Mafikizolo’s Nhlanhla on the road to regaining her hearing

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By TshisaLIVE

‘I have had to perform around the world for the past 27 years exposed to high levels of noise during my stage performances’

News of her ordeal landed on the TshisaLIVE news desk this week as she gears up to promote Professor’s song Tsamaya on which she is featured.

Nhlanhla was introduced to the music industry in 1997 with her music group Mafikizolo comprising herself as lead vocalist, Theo and the late Tebogo. They dropped their first album self-titled Mafikizolo in that year.

“When I came into the music industry, there was no education about the importance of hearing and being provided with hearing protective equipment.

“I have had to perform at stages around the world for the past 27 years exposed to high levels of noise during my stage performances, studio sessions, and music listening sessions, where music would be played at very high-volume levels,” she said.

Nhlanhla said between 2012 and 2013 she started to suspect she may have hearing challenges but was afraid and ashamed to speak up due to the stigma associated with hearing loss.

She gained courage over the years and approached an audiologist in 2022, when she was diagnosed with a condition called noise-induced hearing loss (NHIL).

“From my diagnosis, I have decided to use my platform to educate about NIHL. I speak in mining communities, music conferences, and industries to promote the importance of hearing.

“I was recently invited to the Coal Safe Conference where I addressed mining delegates on the importance of hearing,” said Nhlanhla.

On working with award-winning kwaito star Professor on Tsamaya, she said Professor approached her a while back as he had been wanting for them to work together on a project.

“An opportunity arose after the Covid-19 pandemic, before my solo performance bookings and Mafikizolo bookings started picking up again, we went into the studio. The song was recorded in 2022. The chemistry in the studio was great because Professor and I go way back.”