Bulldawgz Entertainment co-founder Oscar Mlangeni on Thursday paid tribute to “first lady” of kwaito Mshoza, saying her talent was too amazing to be ignored.
Mshoza, real name Nomasonto Maswanganyi, died on Thursday morning due to complications from diabetes. The 37-year-old musician who rose to fame in 2001 first revealed that she was diabetic in 2014 when she was hospitalised after a health scare.
“We signed Sonto on the spot because she was a complete package, both talented as a singer and dancer. She came at the time when Zola 7 was the powerhouse of kwaito. We released the album First Lady which had the hit Kortes and we were proud to have produced a classic hit,” Mlangeni said.
“Sonto was humble and a respecting child. She was ambitious and when she lived in big houses leading a successful life, I wasn’t shocked because she loved finer things.”
Musician Mzambiya, who had been with Mshoza from the beginning of her music journey, said he was shattered by the singer’s death. He appealed to Mshoza’s fans to celebrate her because she was a bubbly person.
“I met Sonto in 1997 in Zola where Mandoza and Chiskop used to rehearse. When I got a break with Bulldawgz, I decided to bring her in and she was signed. In all honesty, I’m shattered I can’t believe she has passed on.
“The last time I spoke to her was a few months ago when I was doing an interview celebrating 20 years in the music industry. She was also interviewed and spoke about my career.
“One thing I will miss about her is that she was fun to be around with and full of energy. She loved nice things and her kids.”
Under Bulldawg, Mshoza released First Lady of Bulldawgz, uMshoza Yibhoza and Piti. Mshoza returned to the music industry in 2016, releasing a song titled Abantu Bam.
Mshoza, for those who did not know, was a child star. She looked up to the fictional character of Sarafina from the film Sarafina (played by the iconic Leleti Khumalo) from a very young age and had a fiery passion for dance. She began her career as a dancer at the tender age of 10 and fell in love with the limelight.
She danced for kwaito music group Chiskop from 1998-1999. She was then discovered on Jam Alley by then presenter, Nimrod Nkosi, on the show.
It was an appearance and performance on the popular SABC 1 variety show that changed her life. Mshoza performed a Chiskop song called Abasazi and was voted No 1 by Loyiso Bala and left an unforgettable impression on Nkosi.
Shortly after that, she was featured on Mzambiya’s EP Jezi No 10 and her first classic hit Kortes followed. There was no doubt in Mzansi’s mind that she was a star!
Mshoza continued to own her shine and bask in her fame. As with many child stars she went through a fair amount of ups and downs that came with the fame. And when she wasn’t releasing music, Mshoza hogged headlines for her obsession with lightening her skin, surgical procedures done to change the way she looks and her often controversial love life.
Over the years Mshoza experienced both her wins and losses publicly, baring all before an often unkind audience. From being a victim of GBV to losing her mother, the singer dealt with the blows life gave her in front of the whole nation. Many things may have hurt and bruised Mshoza in this life of fame — from being broke to substance abuse, fake friends and everything in between, but she was the ultimate comeback queen!
Among all the drama there was no dimming Mshoza’s star power. When she released music, she proved over and over again how she was a force to be reckoned with.
A few of her latest hits such as Abantu Bam Laba and Ayina Chorus, reminded the country that Mshoza was a hit-maker and one of the OGs as far as star power was concerned.
In the last interview she had with TshisaLIVE, Mshoza summed up her legacy well.
“I do not need hype for my music, as I create classic hits. I was a superstar way before ‘hype’ was a thing,” she said at the time.
And, there’s no greater truth, because above all else, the one thing Mshoza was — undoubtedly — was a star. That is why Mzansi loved her.