JOHANNESBURG — South African Kwaito megastar Mandoza has fallen from fame and fortune with a big bang.
The star — whose hits Nkalakatha and Tornado still have revellers packing dance floors across the country — secretly returned to eKasi and is living with his family in his mother’s house in Pimville, Soweto.
Mandoza, whose real name is Mduduzi Tshabalala, returned to his mother’s home about five months ago after losing his posh multimillion-rand house in the expensive Eagle Canyon Golf Estate, north of Jo’burg.
News that Mandoza has relocated to the township was revealed by two music industry executives who are privy to the muso’s private life.
“Financially, things have not been going well for him so that is why he decided to go back to the township. It is so sad that a person who has been leading a lavish life can fall on hard times so easily,” the executive, who declined to be named, said.
Another industry executive confirmed that the S’gelegeqe singer had moved, but was too ashamed to tell them where he was living.
“He wanted to keep it a secret maybe because he was not ready yet to talk about it, or he wanted to make a surprise announcement on his reality show,” the industry insider said.
In better times, Mandoza ran a competition in newspapers in which he gave away his three-door luxury Chrysler, worth more than R300 000, to a lucky reader.
But his financial woes began when the Randburg Magistrates’ Court ordered him to pay thousands of rands in compensation to the families of two people who died when he crashed his Chrysler Crossfire into their VW Jetta along the N1 near the 14th Avenue exit in Jo’burg in 2008.
Mandoza’s wife, Mpho, confirmed that they had sold their Eagle Canyon house and that the family had moved to Pimville. But she declined to comment on the reason, saying it was “too personal”.
City Press visited the Pimville house on Friday and discovered that the neighbourhood children were excited to be living close to the kwaito star.
They pointed out his two sons, who were standing outside the gate to the house.
Neighbours, who spoke to City Press on condition of anonymity, confirmed that their “prodigal son” had returned to the township after falling on hard times.
“He has been living here for some time now. He had serious financial problems, so that is why he came back to stay here. This is where his wedding ceremony was held,” one said.
Another neighbour said Mandoza told him he was travelling to Polokwane to shoot for his reality TV show, Rolling with Mandoza, which is broadcast on eTV. He was scheduled to return today.
“He is a nice guy. He is friendly and accessible,” he said.
Another neighbour, who was sitting on the pavement with a group of men, confirmed that Mandoza was “new in the hood”.
He said: “He has been living with us for many months now with his children, but we have not seen his wife. Imali iphelile, baba (The money is finished, my man).”
Mandoza’s manager Curwyn Eaton said: “Mandoza and his wife don’t want people to know where they live.
“I know people have been asking questions about where they live, but they would (be the ones to) divulge that. I’m also not going to comment on that because it is a personal matter and I can’t let you speak to him, speak to his wife.”
— City Press