Teargas is a South African rap group that was made of three members. The members are Ntokozo Mduli “K.O.”, Ezee Hanabe “Ma-E” and Bantu Hanabe “Ntukza.”
K.O. is from Piet Retief in Mpumalanga. Ma-E and Ntukza are brothers from Soweto in Gauteng. The three met in Vaal Tri-angle Technikon in Vanderbijlpark due to their common interest in the hip hop. They became friends and explored the underground hip hip scene. In 2004 they officially formed “Teargas.” Reports state that the named was “inspired by the country’s political past where police used TEARGAS to disperse protesting crowds in South Africa’s townships, They opted to call themselves TEARGAS, where they see their music as a tool to disperse socio-economic ills like crime, HIV/Aids, poverty, etc.”
They were working day jobs and doing a lot of self-promotion when in 2005 they were eventually signed by Electromode Music. They became the record labels first rap artists.
In July 2006 they released the critically acclaimed debut album titled “K’shubile K’bovu.” The album boasted smash hits like “We Came to Party”, “Teargas Anthem” and the award winning “Chance.”
8 Months after their debut album they released a second album titled “Wafa Wafa.” The album did well and helped to cement them in the industry.
In 2009 they released their third studio album titled “Dark or Blue” which had features from HHP, ProKid, DJ Tira, Danny K and others. The album was a big hit and set new standards for rap music in South Africa. This was the first rap album to be nominated for Album of the Year at the 2010 South African Music Awards (SAMA).
In 2012 they released their fourth studio album “Num8er Num8er” and it is their last as a group to date. The album was a success again and also had some notable features from the likes of Ziyon from Liquideep and Toya Delazy.
- Metro FM Awards 2006 – Best Album Award (K’shubile K’bovu), Best Hip-Hop Award, and Best Song of the Year Award (Chance)
- Metro FM Awards 2008 – Best Group for Wafa Wafa
- South African Music Awards (SAMA) 2009 – Best Rap for Wafa Wafa
- Channel O 2010 – Most Gifted Video for Party 101
- South African Music Awards (SAMA) 2010 – Best Rap for Dark or Blue.
They have also been nominated at the BET Awards 2010 – Best International Act: African.
What Happened to Teargas?
According to a TimesLive article K.O told DJ Speedsta and LootLove that group “politics” were the reason why the group split and would not make a comeback, even if the money is right.
In an interview late last year, the star told Sunday World that the group’s dynamic changed after he started his entertainment company CashTime with the group’s Ma-E.
“Me and Ma-E have always been cool but it’s just that when this Cashtime thing started, Ntukza felt some type of way.”
Ntukza said that he didn’t know about Cash Time Life until he saw it being launched on Twitter.
The musician reveals that K.O and Ma-E didn’t communicate about their new business venture with him before they decided to start Cash Time, he simply found out about it through social media.
“Cash Time was launched in 2007 without my knowledge, by K.O and Ma-E. This was a year after Teargas’ successful first year in the industry.” Ntukza told Sowetan.
K.O. maintains that “It was never about CashTime. It was a simple thing, group dynamics. It got to the point that during our last run, when people saw us on stage they were like : Wait! You guys don’t even look together. We looked like we were cutting a cheque quick and for me that is a problem. I know that even if we had to do that now, it would look the same way.”
While other veteran groups like Trompies and Bongo Maffin have been able to reunite for live performances, K.O said that he would not bring Teargas together until they were “brothers” again.
In 2016 Ntukza posted a string of tweets saying:
“MaEzeeDoesIt, on our SMS convo in 2014 when we parted you said you were no longer my brother. I said you will always be my brother.”
“I don’t get what you mean by dislocated families when you’re the one who left me ‘fam’ for dead.”
“The fact that you would die for a friend & not your mother’s child is both sad & disappointing may God bless u bro. Friends wont forever be there, family will.”
Daily Sun reportedly spoke to Ma-E about his brother’s tweets.
He said he had not seen them but had been shown by other people close to him.
Ma-E said “I did not see the tweets because my brother blocked me on twitter.”
Technology is ruining a lot of face to face communications. What happened to just going over to his brother’s house and telling him that ever since he cut his dreads he is a twitterholic.
Ma-E said “I have been trying to reach out to him but he has not been answering any of my calls. So what I have been doing is SMSing his girlfriend just to check-up on him and his kids.”
“What I am doing is not for me, but for the family. I would really love to work with my brother again.”
With regards to Teargas getting back together there is a hint and I mean a very slight hint of that. K.O. added this on that matter “I’ve heard some people in the band say we don’t have to be friends, we can just go in there and cut a cheque and make the music. For me, I can’t do that bro. Even though I know that there might be some extra revenue that might come from it, the fans won’t feel it the same way that they did when it was genuine and authentic. So, for me, I won’t touch it till we get to the point where the brotherhood is there. It might not happen but I am fine with that.”
Also read: What Happened to Matthew Booth