HE has been compared to afro-pop king and legend Ringo Madlingozi, but Mthatha-born Malizole Fololo insists he is unique.
The Afro-soul new kid on the block had fans’ jaws dropping during a listening session at Umhlobo Wenene FM at the SABC offices in Port Elizabeth yesterday.
The 27-year-old has been a songwriter for many others including gospel artists Rebecca Malope and Lusanda Mcinga, and Mafikozolo’s Theo Kgosinkwe. Now, he is proving to be more than just a songwriter, with the release of his debut album expected in the next few weeks.
Fololo’s first single, Ixesha Lokonwaba (Time to be happy), was released in November and has been played on radio around the country.
“When I started writing songs, I wanted to do something original and entirely my own. My culture is very important to me. People often compare me to Ringo Madlingozi but I am very unique. I have my own ways of doing things. In my songs I tackle social issues, relationships and domestic abuse.”
Yesterday he performed songs from his upcoming album, on which he features “extraordinaire producer” Robbie Malinga and Lusikisiki-born singing sensation Siphokazi Maraqana.
“It was a complete bonus and privilege to work with them all. The tracks on my upcoming album have a very powerful message. I hope each song offers listeners something that will add value to their lives,” he said.
SABC regional manager Zola Yeye said they had seen many artists with high hopes fail.
“I hope Malizole will fly high like an eagle and put EC high on the map. Young people are the future and they should take our future forward. Today life is no more about going to a factory and getting a job. People have to do it themselves,” Yeye said.
China Mpololo, chief executive at CSuns Holding, the company that discovered Fololo, said they were ecstatic and that “South Africans are in for a good treat” with the release of Fololo’s debut album.
Fololo also recently shot his video for his debut single in Cape Town. – Yoliswa Sobuwa