What Happened to Uhuru

Uhuru is a South African music group. The name Uhuru is a Swahili word that means “freedom.”

Some Background

Uhuru was initially made up of 4 group members. The group members are Maphorisa (Themba Sekowe), Mapiano (Nqobile Mahlanu), DJ Clap (Sihle Dlalisisa) and Xeli (Xelimpilo Simelane).

Before signing with Kalawa, Mapiano, Maphorisa and Xeli were friends pushing contemporary African jazz.

Mapiano, Maphorisa and Xeli originate from Soshanguwe in Pretoria. They met DJ Clap who was already at Kalawa and they formed the group Uhuru in 2012.

The four of them brought different individual skill sets to the group. Maphorisa and DJ Clap were the DJs and producers of the group. Mapiano was the pianist and Xeli was the vocalist in the group.

Uhuru shot into the lime light in 2013 after featuring on Mafikizolo’s hit single “Khona.” Uhuru not only featured on the award winning single, but they also produced the single.

Uhuru was also featured on another hit by Busiswa titled “Ngoku.”

While in that lime light they released their chart topping single “Y-Tjukutja.” The song went on to be the song of the year in 2013.

2013 was definitely a great year for the group Uhuru.

Uhuru would also continue to produce hit songs for artists like Proffessor, L’vovo, DJ Zinhle and DR Malinga.


Their albums include:

  • Not Yet (2012)
  • Our Father (2013)
  • Symbiose (2014)
  • Safari (2014)

Speaking to Sowetan Live in 2013 the group was asked about working together they said “We have reached a level of mutual understanding in business. Growing under popular music groups, we have seen from them where they fall short on working as a team and learn from their mistakes. We are no strangers to each other and it’s easier to reprimand one another.”

What happened to Uhuru

In 2015 there were reports that the group was headed to splitsville.

There are two sides to the reports. The one side is creative differences and the band members want to separate to explore new sounds.

The reports went on to say that Maphorisa wanted to start his own music label.

Also read: What happened to Mabhuti Khenyeza

A Daily Sun source said “DJ Maphorisa told us he wanted to grow on a personal level. He doesn’t want to be stuck with Kalawa Jazmee for too long. He reckons that will lead him to end up as a has-been.”

Now we heard the stories that Kalawa Jazmee is crumbling down, but that is a whole other story.

The second side of the reports of Uhuru’s splitsville was money arguments which drove a wedge between the band members.

By 2016 Uhuru was now a 3 man group and Maphorisa was the only one who left the group to venture into new things.

Uhuru would continue to release music and put band break-up rumours to bed.

They are currently still signed to Kalawa Jazmee records.

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