Zwai Bala is a South African musician and producer who exploded to stardom with the kwaito group TKZee, in 1997. He has since launched a solo career in gospel music.
He was a celebrity contestant on the first season of the SABC2 reality competition Strictly Come Dancing in 2006, partnering up with professional ballroom dancer Kego Motshabi. The couple came third.
At the age of 11 he entered The Shell Road to Fame in 1986 and reached the semi-finals, but first broke onto the big-time music scene with Kabelo Mabalane and Tokollo Tshabalala, who with Zwai formed kwaito group TKZee.
This group were to revolutionise kwaito completely when they released singles Take It Eezy, holiday hit Phalafala and the ever-popular Shibobo, which featured Bafana Bafana player Benni McCarthy.
Some consider Shibobo the song that was a culmination of the group's hard work on their previous album. They sold 280,000 units of the hit single.
Zwai was the first black pupil to be admitted into the Drakensberg Boy's School because of his musical talents. He later pursued a Master's Certificate in Orchestration for Film and TV through Berklee Music in Boston.
With the success of TKZee, Zwai ploughed his talents into many spheres of music including musical director, soloist and producer. He has worked on musicals featuring Ali Campbell of UB-40 fame, produced Grace, from the two-time Grammy award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir and has been the featured soloist at the Classical FM/ Lexus Soiree at the Sandton Intercontinental.
He received a SAMA award for his 2002 single Lifted. Other projects include musical direction of live music programmes such as Evolution on One, featuring well established artists Hugh Masekela and Sipho 'Hotstix' Mabuse, as well as other concerts featuring well known artists.
Zwai has had extensive television experience with performances on local soapies and even hosting various programmes. He is also a judge on the reality competition talent search Popstars, appearing since the second season in 2003.
He was also a judge on Popstars East Africa which saw him tour the likes of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
Zwai's career has seen him rake up awards as a musical director, composer, singer, songwriter, arranger, teacher and public speaker.
In November 2012 he was announced as one of the seven choirmasters for the Mzansi Magic reality competition Clash of the Choirs South Africa, which aired in 2013. He mentored the choirs from Mpumalanga.