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Luckeez Matyholweni

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Show(s): Umyezo we Reggae

More on Luckeez Matyholweni

Who are you?

Luckeez Mfowethu was born Thembinkosi Mathew Matyolweni, but an error at the 1980 Native Affairs in Mdantsane had my name miss printed as Thembinkosi Maphues Matyolweni on his birth certificate. My grandmother who raised me gave me a new name, Lucky and when I was growing up I was referred to as "Lakana", meaning "small luck". Later I graduated to Luckeez Mfowethu or Brother Luckeez, a pet name given to me on the streets of my village Frankfort during my youth because of my deep compassion. This name became a building block of my personal philosophy of being a brother to everyone.

When and how did your career start?

Music and activism have always been around me because my elder brother was an aspiring broadcaster but ended up a Socialist activist and later a soldier for uMkhonto WeSizwe, a military wing of the then banned ANC. My uncle Jack Matyolweni was a comedy contributor for Umhlobo Wenene FM (Then Radio Xhosa)'s Breakfast Show hosted by Vuyani Makaza. My cousins are also political activists. I inherited all these qualities thus Radio and activism became natural for me. I grew up recording radio presenters on radio and mimic their presentation style to find mine but I started out by Dj'ing during my High School days at Philemon Ngcelwane in Mdantsane in 1995 at Grade 10.

 

In 1998 after dropping out of Mechanical Engineering school at Walter Sisulu University I pursued my passion for radio by helping start the first Xhosa Speaking Community Radio Station for the East London and Mdantsane community while studying at Stanford Business College. This dream came to a reality when Imonti FM went on air for the first time in 2001. By this time I was working at a construction site during the first phase of the building of Hemmingways Casino in East London as general worker for an air condition company. I left my paying job to focus on my radio career at Imonti FM, a move that almost cost me my relationship with my parents, only to find out that my construction experience was to contribute during the building of the Imonti FM studios at the Fire Station in Fleet Street. This I regards as the most defining moment of my life, learning to be an all rounder and taking life threatening risks for the benefit of the community. I was a member of a dynamic team that consisted of the likes of Lulu Haarmans (9-12  Umhlobo Wenene FM), Siyanda Fikelephi ( Programmes Manager at 200FM), Ayabulela Ngoqo and many more superstars.

I was the host of The Slamming Breakfast Show, a programme that truly unleashed Luckeez Mfowethu, the brother to the dreamer. I formed a relationship with WSU's then infant radio training faculty BTFM and had 5 of its students on my radio show for practical work. Some of them went on to occupy high profile responsibilities. This was an everyday arrangement that I truly enjoyed, one student per day. The Slamming Breakfast Show is the programme that gave birth to Luckeez, (the brother to the artist) where I launched Rhyme Squad's Hip Kwaito on air. This was a turning point for the whole province. Ask anyone who knows the Eastern Cape music scene about that song,and the best part of it we helped Rhyme Squad record that song and later their EP in our studios. I played Hip Kwaito the very next day after we finished the recording and by the time they finished the EP they could not walk the streets. Eastern Cape had experienced a reality it is yet to experience again for I believe in the government's efforts in setting up a recording company in the Eastern Cape, I pray they really succeed for this is important  

What have you achieved thus far within your career. What are your career highlights and accolades?

I truly believe in the Eastern Cape musical talent, for I myself  am a musician, a talent I developed at an early age, schooled by many township backyard musicians. I truly understand and lived the struggle of the independent artist in the Eastern Cape and this is where I got my massive street credibility from. I spent sometime as a contributor on TRU FM's Afternoon Drive Show (then CKI FM hosted by Nobuzwe Mabona aka Boosie) giving news on the underground music movement and later worked for a media and music distribution company Destiny Media in 2003/4, before joining Umhlobo Wenene FM in December 2005.

I broke up a storm in 2006 with Abahlali Abangalali, a weekend programme that had the streets quiet at 3am in the morning, not because the youths were asleep and bored, but because Luckeez Mfowethu was on the radio bringing music and artists from the streets. Material unheard of till this day. Memories the streets are still buzzing with today. Memories that brought us Zakwe, Zahara then Spinach, Heavy K then with Point 5 and many others. These and my all rounder efforts brought me an internal Presenter Of The Year Award, adding to the Best Supporting DJ Of The Year from TACC and the Community Builder Of The Year from St Albans Correctional Centre but what humbles me the most is the culture of bedroom studios that were cropping up everywhere in the townships and rural villages. Heavy K's smash hit album was recently reported by a leading Magazine to have been a result of a studio built in a shack. That's why I was proud to read that he brought his SAMMA to his mom and built her a house. This is a lesson for the province as a whole and every other province that is trying to build a sustainable entertainment environment that,nothing is impossible.

My musical ears had me graduated to Umhlobo Wenene FM's Music Compiler in 2008 while hosting Jaivah Mzantsi. This is the same year I blew the country away with the hit "Uthand'izinto aysosono", "Intweziphantsi" from my dance album High Grade.

I later worked with Saatchi and Saatchi International as a Technical Producer for a Sasko Flour radio series Inkqubo Yasekseni Manyani aired on Umhlobo Wenene FM and during the weekends I was hosting Jaivah Mzantsi and Umyezo We Reggae, a programme I still host to this day.

During the week Luckeez Mfowethu is in the production studios as the Technical Producer for Umhlobo Wenene FM, a job I consider passion paid for, with extra incentives like being the winner of the Station Of The Year Award.

Besides radio, what do you do?

With my activism and will to pioneer, I built a state of the art music recording studio in my village in Frankfort, where I produced my younger brother Odwa. I believe by extending the realities of the youths in my village in Frankfort and Khayelitsha, brings about a spirit of nothing is impossible within them. We might be the first of this kind in the country but I believe something unbelievable is going to come out of it. Our team boasts of mechanical engineers, accountants, visual communicators and artists, all in the spirit of pushing the realities of rural villages to achieve the desired Rural Development in South Africa.

Besides music and radio I am an aspiring farmer by default and passion from growing up in a farm, and a chairman at Nkevastan Innovations and married with two boys, 4 and 15 years old.

“No one is ever too old or too poor to set up a new goal or dream a new dream. You can achieve anything if you are willing to lose the belief that you can't, and remember that respecting others is proof of the respect you have for yourself.”

 

Catch me on Umyezo We Reggae on Umhlobo Wenene FM on Saturdays between 14H00 and 15H00.

 

 

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