Senzo Mfundo Vilakazi
11 August 1988
|Origin||Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, South Africa|
Senzo Brikka Vilakazi (born 11 August 1988) known professionally as Kwesta, is a South African rapper and songwriter. Born in Katlehong, Gauteng, a township also known as "K1". In 2003, at the age of 15, he and his friends formed a rap group Ghetto Fellaz which then changed to The Juvenylz, in 2003. He is currently signed to his own independent media company known as RapLyf Records with co-founder Kid X.
On 26 February 2016, he released his third studio album, titled DaKAR II, with singles include; "Ngud'," "Nomayini", "Day Ones", "Ngiyazifela Ngawe," "Mayibabo" and "Mmino". The album was certified 7x Platinum by the Recording Industry of South Africa (RISA). Having sold 210 000 copies in South Africa, Kwesta became best selling hip hop albums of all-time.
Life and career
He developed an interest in poetry during his high school years and received positive feedback and encouragement from fellow students and teachers.
In 2003, Kwesta became a part of the group The Ghetto Fellas later known as The Juvenylz. The group disbanded after two years.
After the group's disbandment, Kwesta made an agreement with Africa's Most Southern Record Company for the use of their studios. During this time, Kwesta participated in competitions and events to provide visibility for his brand. He took part in YFM's Rap Activity Jam MC of the Month competition. He topped ETV's Shiz Niz Freestyle Kings Special. Also, he performed at The Rand Show, Miss Confidence Show and The Durban Beach Festival.
The rapper dropped out of high school at the age of 16. After which he convinced his mother to give him the taxi fare necessary to get to Buttabing Entertainment's offices. The meeting resulted in him being added to the record label's roster marking the beginning of his signed career.
In 2007, Kwesta earned a judging gig on the Sprite Hip Hoop Tour and a feature on The Ventilation Street Tape. He was also part of The Nokia Defend Your Street Campaign, where he worked with other artists to create the theme song.
In 2010, Kwesta was among the few chosen as Brand SA Ambassadors. He performed during the national roadshows held before the 2010 FIFA World Cup hosted in South Africa. Kwesta worked alongside Kelly Rowland, Jozi, and 2Face amongst other artist on the Everywhere You Go anthem for MTN. He also performed during the 2010 FIFA World Cup closing ceremony.
2010–2012: Special Rekwest
Stomp was one of the soundtracks for Death Race 3, an America action movie.
With the success of the album, Kwesta became South Africa's first rapper to have seven songs ranked on multiple radio charts in the same year. Special Rekwest earned SAMA nominations in 2011 for Best Newcomer and Best Rap Album.
2016–2019: DaKAR II
2021–present: g.o.d guluva
At the 2021 Mzansi Kwaito and House Music Awards, his single "Njandini" received a nomination for the Best Kwaito song.
|DaKAR (Da King of Afrikan Rap)||
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Certification||Album|
|South Africa (EMA)|
|"Ngud'" (featuring Cassper Nyovest)||2016||1||RISA:
|"Spirit" (featuring Wale)||2017||1||RISA: Platinum||Non-album single|
|"Vur Vai"||2018||–||TBA||Non-album single|
|"I came, I saw" (featuring Rick Ross)||2020||–||–||–|
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
|23rd SAMA||Best Male Artist of the Year||Won|||
|Highest Airplay of the Year (Ngud')||Won|
|Best Rap Album||Won|
|Highest Airplay of the year (Ngud')||Won|
|Best Album of the Year||Won|
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- Refilwe Pitjeng, "KWESTA STEALS THE SHOW WITH MOST SAMA AWARDS", EWN
- Emmanuel Tjiya (21 December 2018). "Kwesta crowned King of SA hip-hop". SowetanLive.