Qadasi & Maqhinga
Qadasi and Maqhinga are an acoustic duo from Empangeni, in the heart of Zululand, on a mission to recover the strong sounds of traditional Maskandi music. Both talented musicians in their own right with similar visions, their collaboration has resulted in international calibre music that captures the heart and soul of South African roots music.
David Jenkins, better known as Qadasi, is a talented Maskandi guitarist, concertina player, banjo player, and vocalist who discovered his love of Zulu culture and music while travelling across Zululand with his late father, a journalist. This fascination increased dramatically over time, and his love for traditional music was born as a result.
After graduating in 2010, Qadasi published his first studio album on the Sande Entertainment label, which is led by Sibongiseni Shabalala of the five-time Grammy Award-winning group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. His second album, released in 2014, received SAMA (South African Music Award) and SATMA (South African Traditional Music Award) nominations.
Qadasi was rewarded with a KwaZulu Natal Young Achievers Award in 2015 for'social cohesiveness via Maskandi music.'Maqhinga Radebe's career began in the mid-1990s when he was given the opportunity to tour the United States with Ladysmith Black Mambazo as part of the stage drama Nomathemba.
Maqhinga founded Shabalala Rhythm with Sibongiseni and Thamsanqa Shabalala upon his return to South Africa. Maqhinga's ability was thrust to the forefront as a result of the group's subsequent recognition, making him a prominent and highly respected artist in the Maskandi industry. Maqhinga has five solo albums to his reputation and has garnered various prizes for his incredible musical abilities, including SAMA and SATMA Award nominations.
He has played in front of crowds all over the world and has shared stages with a number of critically acclaimed performers, including Hugh Masekela, Oliver Mtukudzi, and Soul Brothers, to mention a few.
David met Maqhinga in Durban in 2010 while looking for a concertina tuner. After a "jam session," their tale began, and the two have become solid friends, with Maqhinga serving as music director and producer on David's first solo efforts. After seeing the creative possibilities of uniting their creativity, the outstanding musicians decided to join forces.
Over the past few years, the two have travelled both at home and internationally with their diverse blend, performing for audiences in the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, and South Africa. Lashis' Ilanga, their debut joint album, was published in 2016 and was nominated for a 2017 SAMA Award for Best Traditional Album.After reuniting with their entire band, Qadasi and Maqhinga released their long-awaited sophomore album, Ungabanaki, in December 2019. The album retains the spirit of Maskandi music while exploring the crossover of traditional and western forms.
Aside from promoting Zulu culture, traditional music, and social harmony, the duo has been actively committed in rhino conservation, serving as rhino ambassadors for the Kingsley Holgate Foundation and Project Rhino KZN.
The prospect of what lies ahead for this Maskandi combo, who is following in the footsteps of this formidable genre's giants, is really exciting.