Bongo Maffin is a South African Kwaito/ Afro Pop group. The four members that have been part of the group are Jah Seed, Stone, Thandiswa Mazwai and Speedy.
The story goes that Zimbabwean born musician and DJ Zah Seed formed Bongo Maffin shortly after moving to South Africa in 1996. In the beginning it was Jah Seed and vocalist Stone Seete who had previously worked as a backup singer for Kwaito musician Thebe.
In 1997 Thandiswa Mazwai joined the group as the lead singer and she had previously worked as a backup singer and session musician. Speedy also joined somewhere along that time. Not much is documented about how and when he joined. Although we do know Speedy left the group in the year of 2000.
- The Concerto (1998)
- Bongolution (2001)
- New Construction (2005)
- South African Music Awards: Best African Pop Album (1999)
- Kora Africa Music Awards: Best African Group (2001)
- Metro FM Awards: Best African Pop (2002)
- Metro FM Awards: Best Duo/Group (2002)
- South African Music Awards: Best Duo/Group (2002)
- South African Music Awards: Best Duo/Group (2006)
- Kora Africa Music Awards: Best African Group (2006)
- BBC World Music Awards: Best African Album (2006)
What Happened to Bongo Maffin
Going back to their debut album The Concerto which was a successful album that helped them gain a huge fan base in South Africa. That album even helped the group gained traction internationally and they toured France, England and Denmark.
Speedy left the group in 2000 and ventured into a solo career. His solo career was lacklustre. However Speedy’s departure from Bongo Maffin wasn’t all that detrimental to the group, as they did release two more successful albums.
Also read: What Happened to Bongi Dube
Egos were reported to be behind the feud that split Kalawa Jazmee’s award-winning group Bongo Maffin.
Reports say that Oskido told TshisaLive “The biggest challenge we face is people being big-headed and losing respect for others. There are too many people who have had so much talent but have wasted it because of their attitude. Opportunities will come for those with talent‚ often they do‚ but no one wants to stick with someone who thinks they are better than others.”
So to recap Speedy left the group in 2000 to pursue a solo music career and collect an absurd amount shoes. Retail therapy I suppose.
Stone and Thandiswa dated, they had a child together. Reports surfaced before Bongo Maffin released their last album that Stone and Thandiswa had split. Now there is tension between the two. Thandiswa singed with Gallo Music and would release her debut solo album in 2006.
Eventually Thandiswa and Stone call it quits. They left the group in pursuit of solo careers.
Jah Seed was the only one left I suppose. Jah Seed teamed up with The Admiral. The two have hosted radio shows as well as weekly reggae nights at Baseline in Newtown.
That is essentially how the award winning group Bongo Maffin disbanded.
Now just because once pone a time you were lost doesn’t mean you can’t find a good navigator to get you back on track like the one on Google, not the Apple navigator.
Fast forward around 12 years later “Stoan Seate confirmed that he and other members of iconic kwaito group Bongo Maffin are in discussions over a reunion, the details of which will be communicated as soon as they are available.”
Stone went on to tell Destiny Connect “they were doing a Castle Lager advertisement, which went very well. “I think all of us have maintained relevance and equity in our chosen directions away from the group, while still maintaining personal contact. If we are honest with our art, it will always feel like we never left and the music (old and new) will resonate with fans.”
So the band was back together and they performed together at DSTV Delicious in 2017.
They also performed together at the One Source Live Festival in March 2018.
Bongo Maffin have signed a partnership deal with Kalawa Jazmee, a deal they have apparently been working on since 2017 June.
With the deal in place their company Bongo Music and Kalawa Jazmee are jointly responsible for their projects in recording, marketing, imaging and so on.
There are also reports indicating that they are working on an album that is reported to drop in 2018. The group that has mostly been a band of three will be four again as Speedy is back on board for the first time since he departed in 2000.