Zibokwakhe Johnston Mnyandu

Guitarist and composer Zibokwakhe Johnston Mnyandu, known as Phuzekhemisi, was born on 25 March 1963 in Umkhomazi on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast. The youngest son of Maciliza and Majazana Mnyandu, he grew up as a herdboy. Together with brother Khethani, he started playing guitar in 1976 under the tutelage of their father. In 1979, they went to Johannesburg where, in the early 1980s, they joined Special 5, an mbaqanga outfit. The two recorded their first album We Malume in 1988, but it was only in 1992 that the industry took note of them when they released Imbizo as Phuzekhemisi No Khethani, which sold more than 100,000 units in a short space of time. Their other album together was Emapalamende. The duo’s success was derailed by the tragic death of Khethani in a car accident in 1993. After mourning the death of his brother, Phuzekhemisi released the West Nkosi-produced Impimpi (RPM, 1995), which included a Steve Cook re-mix of Imbizo, dedicated to his late brother. Phuzekhemisi has worked with various artists, including Nothembi Mkhwebane and M’Du Masilela.

Phuzekhemisi’s was first recognised by the industry when he won the 1st Annual SAMA award in the category Best Traditional Performance in Nguni Music as Phuzekhemisi No Khethani for Emapalamende.


Mojapelo, Max. 2009. Beyond Memory: Recording the History, Moments and Memories of South African Music, pp. 294–295. Somerset West: African Minds. Full text available at https://manualzz.com/doc/28010420/full-text-pdf—african-minds