Mandoza (real name Mduduzi Tshabalala) (17 January 1978 - 18 September 2016) was a South African kwaito musician best known for his breakout hit song Nkalakatha from the album of the same name released in 2000, which became a crossover hit and reached the top of the charts on both traditionally black and white radio stations.
Born in Zola, Soweto, Mandoza loves cartoons and named himself Mandoza, after a cartoon character dog, Mendoza.
After a brief run-in with the law, Mandoza - inspired by music all his life - made a decision not only to become a musician but to change the lives of people by delivering messages through a South African born genre of music called Kwaito.
Beginning his career with a group called Chiskop and releasing five albums brought lots of fame, awards and success to the group but also lots of focus on Mandoza with his unique husky voice.
In 1999 Mandoza decided it was time to release his solo album called 9 II 5 with the hit single Uzoyithola kanjani inspiring people to get out of their comfort zones and do something with their lives.
In 2000, Mandoza's career took off with the mammoth hit album Nkalakatha selling over 10 times platinum and winning numerous awards. Mandoza became the first black South African artist to crossover to all races in the country.
Mandoza became the first Ambassador for the Nelson Mandela 46664 concert, and has been invited to many countries such as Germany, Egypt, Belgium, Australia, London, French Isles, Uganda, Tanzania, Namibia, Botswana.
In 2013 he was the subject of the third season of the e.tv reality series Rolling With..., which bares his frustrations and successes as well as pressures and realities of being a husband, father, businessman and artist.
He died on Sunday, 18 September 2016 after battling a brain tumour for a year. He was 38.