Khuli Chana, the 33-year-old South African rapper famous for his rapping style in vernacular known as Motswako, was in town for the MTV MAMAs after-Party. He is famed for the tracks “No More Hunger”, “Hape Le Hape”, and “Yes Magnets”.
What is your real name?
Which song do you believe made you a household name?
“No More Hunger”. It was from my album, Motswak Originator, released in 2010.
What made it different from your previous songs?
I think it was because for the first time I sang from the heart. The song talks about the frustrations of a guy who has been working hard for a long time, but nothing seems to be coming his way.
I was feeling the same way at the time, but I didn’t give up. I had been rapping for a long time and still waiting for that big break to come. It’s funny how when you say encourage yourself not to give up after struggling for a while ,things start working in your favour. You just have to be consistent. People felt that in my song and it became my best performing track at the time.
Which is the best show you performed at?
I think all shows are different, and special. I think the show I remember most, however, was one I did in Botswana. It was the first one I was doing outside South Africa.
The club was packed, and they were singing along, yet I wasn’t in my country. After the show, I went into the car and I prayed to God to thank him for having brought me that far. That’s when I realised I was born to be a musician.
What do you think of the music industry in Kenya?
I think the music here evolves a lot because it has a lot of flavours from everywhere. When I came n this time, I was interviewed at a radio station and I was surprised that they had a whole playlist of my songs. They were playing them back to back. Kenyan listeners are very receptive of any type of good music.
Would you do a collabo with a Kenyan artiste?
Actually, I have already done a track with Muthoni The Drummer Queen. It’s called “Baby Don’t Go”, and it’s a break-up song. When she heard I was coming here for the MAMAs After Party, she suggested that we also shoot the video while I’m here.
I would also like to work with King Kaka (aka Rabbit) on a rap track. I’m also a fan of raga/reggae and would like to work with Wyre. I admire the way he’s been consistently doing good music for a long time. I’m a fan of Redsan too.
How did you end up as one of the performers at the MAMAs After-Party despite not being among the nominees this time round?
I am the Absolut Ambassador Africa in line with their slogan, “Be Transformed”. Because of that, I presented the award for Best New Act at this year’s MAMAs to Patoranking.
They’ve followed the progression of my career they thought I was best suited to represent a transformed artist. So now they are profiling me to Africa and endorsing me as a success story.
Talk to me about Khuli Chana and Khulani Morule, your life as an artiste, and as a normal person.
Khuli Chana is the artiste. His schedule is busy and he has to keep putting out music to ensure that his fans are happy. After a hard day at work, where it’s survival for the fittest, go back home and relax.
At home I’m Khulani Morule, the father to Lefika, my daughter, and a son of Mister Morule. Being a father has really helped me to grow and develop as a person. I love my daughter immensely, and I try to always make her happy.
She keeps me grounded and focused, that I’m not just doing this hustle for me.