A young Duncan Village musician is taking it upon himself to uplift other youths in his community through musical education and motivational talks.
MDK, real name Luthando Mafaya, is also a budding hip hop artist who sees his work in the community as edutainment.
“When growing up I was inspired by my cousin, who had a gospel group that performed in many concerts around the city. I used to watch all their concerts.”
It was in those moments that rapper and singer Mafaya’s love for music was triggered.
Mafaya described how music was an integral part of his family.
“My uncle gave me a keyboard, which kickstarted everything.
“I taught myself how to play it and in a short while a producer caught onto my sound and wanted to do a collaboration.”
But Mafaya’s passion lies not only in developing his own music but in boosting the community of Duncan Village through edutainment.
“There are many talented young people in my area who come to me for musical advice and life lessons.
“I sit down with them to try and get them the recognition they deserve,” he said.
The Eastern Cape is so overflowing with remarkable up-and-coming talent that often events are fully booked, something Mafaya says is one of the biggest challenges.
“It is a challenge to provide a platform sometimes, as events in East London can be so tightly booked, so we depend on community exposure through gatherings and mini-events in the township.”
Mafaya’s passion for youth development inspired him to begin an annual festival that brings people together in dance, music, motivational talks and food.
“The concept of the Youth Day event is one that I started in high school. We begin the programme with an opening prayer followed by performances and motivational talks from inspirational speakers.”
Mafaya is simultaneously leading a music movement called Black Jam.
The group is a combination of artists who perform in a number of different musical genres.
In its very first year Black Jam was hailed by local radio station Kumkani FM, which named it the best group in its awards last year.
In the same year Mafaya won an award for his single On a Hot Summer Day, which features some of the artists from Black Jam.
“The song has received a warm welcome from local radio stations,” he said. — firstname.lastname@example.org