By Nwabisa Mazana
This article was originally published in the print Edition 9 of VARSITY.
Kitso Seti, also known as King Kitso uMakoya is a UCT Honours student, a rapper, a mentor, radio presenter, and aspiring theatre maker (director, actor, and writer). He was born and raised in Khayelitsha and describes himself as an amalgamation of the Arts and Politics. A Pan-Africanist at heart, Kitso states that his music is Black Conscious rap.
What inspired your love for rap?
I’ve been rapping ever since 2007. My first love was Kwaito, I used to write Kwaito songs back in the day, inspired by artists such as Msawawa, Mzambiya, and Zola. Then I was introduced to Spaza Music (Cape Town’s Hip Hop) by a friend who was already writing rhymes. Rap/Hip Hop took my heart ever since then. I would like to think that I express myself more through rapping, as I believe that [the] Arts is an expression of self, life and/or reality. I believe in Edutainment – education through entertainment. Inspired by rappers such as Ndlulamthi, Kanyi, Maxhoseni, Rattex, Pro, Tupac,and a lot more.
You describe yourself as a Black Conscious rapper, what does this mean to you?
Ja, I think I do Black Conscious Rap. As I have said, mixing politics and the Arts is the way forward. Those who have read Mabogo More or any text that’s Black Consciousness-related would be familiar with the conversation that being conscious is to be conscious/aware of something; self-consciousness is the awareness of the self and since the self is Black then you are Black Conscious. That’s basically what my music tries to be about.
You recently released a mixtape (eKhayelitsha), what was the inspiration behind it?
‘eKhayelitsha’ was released on the 20th of September 2018. The mixtape deals with the societal ills of the township and the love-and-hate relationship we have with the township. I also write about being Black in this anti-Black world we find ourselves existing in. Its opening track, after the Intro, is titled Recognize the Code – 7784, the postal code of Khayelitsha. It is a vibey song that shows that regardless of the negative side of the Township, we do have positives that keep us going every day.
You also started a series on YouTube called Smile Sessions. Where would you like to see this series go in the future?
For Smile Sessions, I am working with this very creative group of mine whereby we call on a certain artist/act to bless us with their talent for about 30 minutes. I would be happy to see it receive funding so that it flourishes. Funding is a big problem that hinders many projects from flourishing. We struggle to get sound sometimes, people don’t want to lend us their sound equipment, kunzima (it’s hard). To have our own PA System and visual equipment is our aim. Otherwise I would be content to see the Smile Sessions receiving a nation/continent-wide recognition.
You also mentor students. Tell us about Imbewu Mentorship?
Imbewu Mentorship Program was founded in April 2016 by a group of Khayelitsha-born UCT students. It’s about 12 of us who are currently working with Vuzamanzi Primary School. We are moved by the Xhosa proverb that says “Amathole anyongande kukudlelana”. Please contact us on our Facebook page, ‘Imbewu’ to be part of this wonderful experience.
If you suddenly woke up, 10 years from now, what would you love your future to look like?
I would be very happy to wake up 10 years from now with R537 Million in my bank account, staying in a very big mansion in Constantia with my family, also with another mansion where my extended family would stay. That’s not a joke. I would be happy to be recognized as one of Africa’s best rappers and producers who also contribute in building and developing the township. I would also be content to be one of the best theatre makers this country has ever produced, and maybe have a PhD in Politics – how does ‘Dr. Kitso’ sound? Good? Isn’t it awkward? Lol, I want to be an artist that people, especially the young ones, are inspired by. I want to be great.
To support and keep up with King Kitso
Facebook: Kitso Thuplayi Madjozi Seti
IG: Kitso Thuplayi Seti
YouTube: King Kitso uMakoya
Facebook/SC/Youtube: Smile Sessions.