For Ntendeni Mukondeleli Nephawe, music has always been an integral part of life in his family. His mother, Mariana Motlare, is a popular Afropop musician, while his father, Tendani Philip Nephawe, better known in music circles as Mutendas, is a veteran Tshivenda music maestro. No one was surprised when Nephawe, known as Mutendas Jnr, started singing with his parents when he was only seven years old.
But the young musician from Thohoyandou Block G clearly did not only have exceptional musical talents. In 2018, when he was still a learner at Mbilwi Secondary School, he invented a solar-powered umbrella, which went on to win the best innovative project in the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists’ competition at a national level. In 2019, the young scientist represented South Africa in Kenya.
Besides being a singer, Mutendas Jnr (24) is also a refined studio session guitarist, and he is very upbeat about his single, “Ndi Nne”, which was released on 5 December this year. He is hopeful that the single will elevate his solo career.
“So far, the impact it is making out there is phenomenal. I strongly believe it will be one of the hottest songs this festive season. It was inspired by my fans’ persistent questions about my identity. The song reveals who I am. Do not be confused: I am the son of the legendary Tshivenda musician Mutendas and popular Afropop musician Mariana Motlare, but I am here as a solo artist and I intend to make it big in the industry. Those who want to know why I kept my talents to myself for such a long time, the answer is that the time was not right before. Now is the perfect time for me to shine and show what I have,” he said.
Mutendas Jnr has worked with countless artists such as Racha Kill, Sir Mckleker, Makhadzi, Dash Instrumentals, Coolfelo, Easy SA, and Gunhill, to mention but a few. He is also a guitar tutor who has taught many musicians free of charge.
His music is available on all digital music platforms.