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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist

Mzansi Magic to tell story of how Kalawa and Jazmee became one

The Kalawa Jazmee story will be on screens from August and will show how the iconic label was established.

The last decade has seen South Africans taking ownership of their stories, specifically stories of those that are famous. Whether it is through an autobiography or a biopic, celebrities have insisted on not letting other people tell their stories.

Television channel BET released the Lebo Mathosa biopic a few weeks ago and will soon launch the Mandoza biopic. Now Mzansi Magic is telling the story of iconic South African record label Kalawa Jazmee.

“We are excited about the upcoming show and look forward to sharing the story of this iconic label with viewers,” says Shirley Adonisi, Director of Local Entertainment Channels at M-Net in a statement.

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The Kalawa Jazmee story

Kalawa Jazmee was found in the early 90s after a fierce rivalry between two record labels, Kalawa and Jazmee.

Kalawa was formed by Christos Katsaitis, Don Laka, Bruce “Dope” Sebitlo and Oskido while Jazmee was found by by Jakarumba, Eugene Mojalefa, Mahoota and Mandla “Spikiri”. The two labels fought over Trompies’ 1994 smash hit Sigiya Ngengoma.

Christos eventually left the record label and in 2001 Oskido, Spikiri, Bruce, Mjokes and Mahoota formed Dangerous Combination Crew trading as Kalawa Jazzmee Records while Don Laka formed Bokone Music.

The independent label has gone on to be a custodian of the sound of South African youth and has helped establish careers of many. Black Coffee and DJ Tira kicked-off their careers in the music business by establishing their record labels Soulistic Records and Afrotainment respectively through licensing their music when they were unknown, through Kalawa Jazmee.

Iconic groups such as Boomshaka, Mafikizolo and Bongomuffin were all under Kalawa Jazmee.  Solo artist such as Zonke, DJ Zinhle and Busiswa are some of the stable’s biggest names.

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It would’ve been interesting to hear the story being told by the actual people who lived through the early years of the label. A documentary would allow viewers an unfiltered glimpse into what actually happened, but they opted to tell the story through a biopic.

The Kalawa Jazmee story will be a four part series told through a biopic to be aired on Mzansi Magic. “Throughout its almost three-decade-rich history, Kalawa Jazmee Records has been a major contributor to the South African music industry, pushing the boundaries of sound and culture and producing some of the most iconic songs that have become part of the South African soundscape,” said the channel’s Adonisi.

Kalawa Jazmee Records has been a key player in the South African music scene since the early 1990s and has been a major force in popularising kwaito music. The label has produced some of the most iconic songs that have become part of South African pop culture and has helped shape the music scene in the country in a significant way.

This docu-series promises to take viewers behind the scenes of South African music and transform what viewers think they know about the Kwaito genre.

Starting on 13 August, catch Kalawa Jazmee at 5pm on Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 161).

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