Alex Japho Matlala
3 minute read
9 Sep 2019
6:50 am

King Monada sets up village recording studio to unearth local talent

Alex Japho Matlala

Music extraordinaire and SABC Summer Song of the Year holder King Monada is giving back and looking to the future.

King Monada. Picture: Instagram

Music extraordinaire and SABC Summer Song of the Year holder King Monada has opened a brand-new studio in the far-flung dusty village of his Limpopo home province to prepare upcoming rural musical artists for a national stage.

Born Khutso Steven Kgatla, the 27-year-old muso says his vision is to turn Tzaneen into a Jozi where dreams are made.

Monada was born in the dusty village of Ga-Lekhotho in Bolobedu, outside Tzaneen, in 1992 and is the son of Thandi Matlala and the late Elvis Kgatla, who lived with the world-renowned Rain Queen of the Modjadji clan.

Monada, who is now gunning for the 2019 Limpopo Music Awards (Lima) next month, used the proceeds of his stage gigs to build the studio in an effort to unearth local talent. The state-of-the-art studio was built in the same yard as the king’s mansion in Mokgoloboto Village, just a stone’s throw from Tzaneen.

“This is where dreams are and will be made,” said Monada as he tested his new system fitted with cutting-edge technology, bound to produce a well-cooked taste of music.

The King, as he is affectionately known in his household by his wife, Lerato Ramawela, children and neighbours, pointed to his fleet of German cars that included a C63 AMG Merc, CLK 350 Merc, Viano Marc and, a brand-new BMW M4 sedan.

“All that you see here, comes from sweat and hard work.

“I did not get them in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town or Pretoria. I got them here in Tzaneen,” he said.

“It has always been my dream to help local artists to make it in the dog-eat-dog music industry. I knew there has always been an avalanche of talent in Limpopo waiting to be explored and nourished.

“Then I took my savings from the proceeds of my gigs to build this art, which I believe will go a long way in unearthing untapped singing talents from my rural province,” he said.

The Bomme Kea Barata hit-maker said his heart bled each time local artists failed because they had no money to travel to Johannesburg when they wanted to record their music.

“I grew up in an impoverished background family, facing abject poverty each and every day. Going to bed with an empty stomach was like a daily experience because it was not a secret that my family was living from hand to mouth.

“Although I was not good at school, my first love was becoming a recognisable musical artist,” he said.

“Each day after school, I would run to my uncle, Michael Matlala, who was a guitarist, to play with him as a backing vocalist. My break came one day when Matlala was running a bakery promotion. Since then, I did not look back.

“Year after year I cooked up a storm of tracks that left music lovers in taverns and pubs gasping for more,” said Monada.

Among many awards, The King has won the 2018 Lima Awards Best Khelobedu single, the 2018 Lima Awards Song of the year, and the 2018 Lima Awards Best duo/Group collaboration.

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