By: Natasha Archary
Hailed as “The Father of Entertainment”, Dr. Lindelani Mkhize talks to DJ Keyez about his life’s work and the business of music on The Ultimate Kaya 959 Top 30.
Dr. Mkhize was given an honorary doctorate of Philosophy in Community Development by the University of Zululand.
The co-founder and visionary leader of Joyous Celebration is known for his work with jazz, Afro-pop, kwaito and gospel.
Last year Mkhize was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the South African Music Awards (SAMAs).
These accolades didn’t come without trials and Dr. Mkhize worked tirelessly for 25-years to empower and develop artists.
Preferring to be behind the scenes, Dr. Mkhize shared with DJ Keyez that despite his decades in the business, he still gets nervous.
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As a young boy
His journey into the industry was due to his rebellious streak when Mkhize as a young boy joined the church choir as a drummer.
“I was being rebellious by wanting to be a drummer because I even joined a choir at a different church. My mom was a church conductor and I was always forced to join rehearsals and be a part of the choir. Now, because I was short, well, I still am, I was put in front to stand with the girls and I hated that. So I was rebelling when I joined the music group at this other church. And they just bought a new set of drums and no one was playing the drums and I wanted to play the drums.”Dr. Lindelani Mkhize shared how his music journey began
The music bug bit him when he was a young boy who loved music and he knew he wanted to be part of the music industry and community.
Mkhize attended Mthwalume High School, a boarding school in KwaZulu-Natal and travelled by train to get to school.
He loved Mathematics and Physical Science in school and with his elder siblings already qualified in IT and as a dental practitioner, his mom made it clear that academics were a priority.
Mkhize enrolled to study Chemical Engineering and was fortunate to get an internship whilst studying at Sasol, Sekunda.
But, this wasn’t where he saw himself and he changed his studies to a Bachelors Degree in Music.
WATCH: Dr. Lindelani Mkhize talks to DJ Keyez about his younger days and how he began his music career
Father of Entertainment
Fast forward a few years and Dr. Mkhize together with two of his closest friends, Jabu Hlongwane, and Mthunzi Namba formed Joyous Celebration.
The gospel group staged its inaugral showcase in 1996 and Mkhize says he considers himself proud to have had so much experience with the talented musicians who are like family.
Talented artists like Sbu Noah, Brenda Mtambo, Khaya Mthethwa, Ntokozo Mbamo and many others were discovered by Dr. Lindelani Mkhize.
Joyous Celebration is one of the biggest gospel groups in South Africa and have produced a number of albums to date.
Reflecting and recognizing the work he’s done, Dr. Mkhize said the awards and accolades were never why he ventured into the music space.
“To me, it’s just one of the things but that was never my focus when I began. There is so much that I want to achieve holistically with music in the country. If done right, this could be one of the ways of strengthening our GDP. But currently, government doesn’t see music as a business. I want to change that perspective.”