Please tell our readers who you are and what you do?
Thulani – Known as AFRI and some school friends call him T-BOSS to his fans have uplifted many talents & he is now a top world fast growing Afro beat musician form South Africa born and bread by form liberation struggle veterans Juilet Sibanda and Thabiso Sam Ndlovu where his mother and father of different nations South Africa and Zimbabwe met in a Soldier training camp in Zambia. Thulani have been involved in many businesses since 1998 as a senior marketing manager in many mining and construction companies and made successful records with his commitments and professional skills . he is a humble down to earth person who have been in marketing industry for years and have been in love with music since he was born. Thulani who once owned a global shinning brand AFRI EVENTS waves to all international stars and most celebrities abroad and senior business masters commenting on his skills to run a none fund-able business and turn it to a world recognized brand. He is not a politician but have been recognized with many citizens and government officials by creating jobs and sharing skills to the youth not only of South Africa and also around the globe.
Thulani grew up in a hard situation that once her mother got married she will have to take him to different relatives including his grandmother from his father’s side in NANDA and also usedto stay by her aunty Kwa Swayimane and Hopewell and Pietermaritzburg due to her mother who was married to another family when his parents separated – latter his father died by guerrillas as he was crossing back t South Africa from training (umshoshaphansi). Thulani managed to sale fruits and tomatoes in different communities and used to make mud bricks and sell it to the community at the age of 12 for him and his grandmother to survive. he will also plough, cut grass for sale and fire sticks to pay for his school fees as her mother was married 650km distance from where he stayed with her grandmother and he will only see her mother once in a year or sometimes he won’t see her if her grandmother have to send him to south Africa to visit his grandmother (fathers side) by train (Gutsu) . Growing in a struggling family opened him a wide brain to fall in love with hard working and help others to survive. At an age of 14 years he owned a tuck shop that he sold super cools and fat cookies to different schools where he will travel a distance of 25 kilometers by foot to fetch them from a wholesaler .Due to his dark color and language he will face difficulties in schools as some kids used to chase him from play stations acclaiming him to go back to his country in South Africa and it was even hard for him to get birth certificate as he lived far from his mother and fathers relatives
.After his tuck shop was demolished by one of the feared community member he then left as her grandmother fled him to her mother in another province which it was not easy for him to be accepted as the family members of where his mother was married and had siblings separated him with to share the same love and duties as a kid that eventual made her mother to send her to a Christian boarding school where he stayed with a senior church Bishop Of Donsa S.D.A secondary school where he participated in church activities and reformed a Gospel group with a Bishops son Thandolwenkosi Ndhlovu. The group of four boys was called King’s Herald and he was the leader /songwriter, he was therefore recruited as a church youth leader and the group was called in different churches and schools to sing as he grew up as a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The group was then demolished in 1997 as members went separate ways after finishing matric schools. Thulani finished his secondary level and passed very well and that is when her mother sent him back to South Africa where he stayed with his grandmother from his father’s side in 11th street in Alexandra where in 1998 he participated a lot of local duties and worked as a panel beater in Kew 10th street. When his grandmother lost job he was forced to move to Kzn and stayed in Nanda location where he did not take time to get employment as a panel beater in UMHLANGA Rocks and later joined the renovation company where he proved himself as a cabin fitter , stone engineer and then promoted as a marketer after he finished some evening lessons he attended in Phoenix Indian Settlement where he was trained by Raven Pillay who he also used to help him with spraying his cars as he was doing that as his part time job. he visited her mother then he came back to South Africa and found his grandmother ill who later died and left him alone. He started working as a renovator and cabinet installer until he met a sister from E.C ku Qumbu who then claimed he knows some of his relatives in Pietermaritzburg where he later found that it was only surnames and the father of that particular family was in exile with his dad. He was treated as a child of the family and trained more people in PMB and worked as a renovator until he did houses of top politicians and many more .
Because of the love of music , Thulani became a dj at a white club where he used to play Rave , Disco and country songs. Discovered by local djs pushed him to record mix tapes and albums of different genres from house, kwaito and hip hop tracks. As the industry was not easy he became popular to business people and the ex-Mayor of Pietermaritzburg Zanele Hlatshwayo and top business man Themba Njilo (Mayor of PMB) who used to call him to perform for students and all municipal functions. Themba Njilo and Vusi Mvelase helped him record an album and after he worked with local djs such as Dr Sgoody, Nice, Honest and many .As the municipality got used to his talent they started booking him to different events around. He then left music and went back to his stone engineering business and trained more than 295 boys with renovation skills and later did houses for ministers and municipal people. Thulani continued to work as an underground musician, song writer and event organizer – and was called to be part of the presidential campaigns as a ANC Regional Dj of Moses Mabhida Region and got attacked by opposition parties in Esnathini location and was treated in Edendale hospital where assault case was opened in Plessisleir and culprits were apprehended. He put more effort in working with all national giants in music and shared desk with many artist and djs of different nation. He also participated as a COSATU Rally's where he performed with people like Big Nuz ,mzwakhe Mbuli , Tira , Tzozo n professor and many.
Later returned to his renovation business where he opened opportunities to many youth and trained them skills in cabinet making and stone engineering .Because of his dark color he will always face insults of being called a foreigner and sort of names in his own land of which he ignored and later find that xenophobia and Africa phobia was not taken serious and he started to be active and in 2014 he formed Afri Events where he helps to promote all talent. He sold one of his cars and started working on an event to unite Africans. He then worked over an event and called the African born international stars P SQUARE duo and he then organized a big concert in one of the respected places in South Africa Gateway. This was the first event than had a lineup of Nigerian Duo and different artist around Africa and he also gave opportunity for the unknown artist to be recognized. He then did a multi global websitewww.afrievents.com where he manages all talent from Africa and all over the world. Thulani’s talent to unite the world through music was stood up by The help of Nondumiso who works in the high commissioner of South Africa in Lagos (Nigeria) who then introduced his idea to the C.E.O of Miracle Day , a Close friend of AKON of Konvict and he helped him a lot with P square event and he introduced him to KCEE , DBANJ and many Nigerian stars. He then met Luthrode the C.E.O of L.A Entertainment (www.la-ent.com )in Paris who promotes artist such as SEAN PAUL , AKON,RICK ROSS , BUSTA RHYMES and many who introduced him to may international stars .He works was discovered by one of his mentor Kim Kardashian on twitter who later invited him on facebook and and the Kardashian family such and Jenner , Khloe .Kim made Thulani a brand where he ended up having all international celebrities and she connected him to the world of celebrities and later on the move got people like Serena Williams, Angelina Joly, kate, jenifer lopez and many more.
Thulani who calls himself onhis fans as AFRI have built a classic smart trusted connection with people like Raymond Lopez (VEVO C.E.O) Top Dj ROB NICE and The fast cars businessman Erickson Sam Vierkant and later got Discovered by Roy Alexander of ESCADES HOTEST FEMALE DJs (www.escadesdjs.net) and carries all top djs in the world and later met Ming Lee a U.S.A woman soldier who introduced me a number of international stars. Thulani known as Afri has now connected himself to most music lovers around Miami , California and New York , Jamaica, Uk and Most international Djs globally. In 2013 he went back to his Stone Business where he build a company of 35 workers and was accused by his former boss of stealing his clients and opened a case over him. He was arrested and kept in Suncity prison in 2016 February to May and won all cases. He have a daughter Yolanda born in 2007 with Nomakhosi Zondi (Pietmaritzburg) and son Thulani Clifton Junior born in 2015 with Nyarai Gorimbo in Pretoria. Thulani (Afri) is not married yet. His mother passed away in September 2014 and remained with his siblings from his Step dad – A former veteran Debiah Maduma. His siblings are Khumbulani, Pamela, Talent and Sengeziwe. He is an orphan since he lost both his parents but still believe with relatives he have that he is a survivor. He released his first album out in stores worldwide (Shake up your bum bum) with 5 songs and doing very well in the market. He is a go getter. Thulani known as Afri in the music industry is a producer, song writer and a live stage performer
2017 Afri Released album titled: " I want to know you"
How would you describe your style and genre?
Who are your biggest idols ever? Dead or alive, musician or non-musician.
Fuse ODG, P square, Timaya, Sean Paul, Pitt Bull, D Banj
What was the biggest mistake you made when you started making music and what would be the number one tip you could give to a newcomer musician?
My biggest mistake was to listen to people who are also trying to enter in the industry telling me about difficulties about being a musician. I left my album like that in studio and later on to find out that producers released all my songs and people loved them more. If you believe you have a talent, trust yourself to make it work for you.Never be told what to do but be advised how to grow forward. Take challenges as your talent couch
How do you get gigs? Can you share any tips?
Via my website www.afri.band and through music played on radio stations
What has been your biggest challenge right now? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
To get my videos played on all tv stations and to get my music played in most radio stations around Africa as the broadcasters mostly love tips before they push your music that becomes hard to pay all radio stations to play your music for people and especially if music compilers have political views over you, they will always throw your cds to the dust bin
How do you promote yourself? Do you have any specific promotion tips for other musicians?
I work with music promoters and always take music as daily business to me. i submit my profiles and music all over the internet everyday
We meet again in one year. What has happened?
i will be a global star as now my music is trending in all corners of the globe making me feel growing up and being contacted by other international known stars to work in hand with me always motivate me to do better
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