Jakarumba — the taming of kwaito’s bad boy on stage

Production billed for later this month

The bad boy days are over for Trompies group member, Jakarumba, 57, as he is set to showcase a tamed personality to the world.

Speaking to Sunday World this week, Jairus Ditshotlo Nkwe, who was born in Meadowlands, Soweto, said he will be hosting The Taming of Jakarumba music production from November 25-29 and a concert on December 6.
The kwaito star said this is an opportunity to get a microscopic view of his life through the rise of Trompies, his pantsula ways, dealing with alcoholism and being a father.

“There was somewhere in my journey where I was down and out, broke, and I didn’t have nothing. I felt the music industry failed me. But it was me. I had to get up and not blame anybody,” he said.

“I had to show some perseverance. When you are in the music industry it’s hard. You need to have patience, be smart and use your God-given talent. I speak about how I woke up from rock bottom.”

He said he had to transform himself and stop living life like there was no tomorrow.

Jakarumba openly admits to have taken a lot of things for granted and had no regard whether he hurt those around and dear to him. He explains the word “taming” as him becoming “cool” and “mature”.

“I am tamed. I’m not disrespecting anything or anybody. I am not taking anything for granted. I’ve realised that family is something that is important.

“I am no more a wild Jakarumba or a problem child that I used to be. I am now understanding everything, welcoming to everybody and I
can apologise and admit when I am wrong. I am no more that stubborn guy.”

Today Jakarumba is a father of four children and has turned to God to help him curb alcohol addiction. He recalled how he was groomed through his pantsula dancing.

According to Jakarumba, the pantsula culture paved the way for him to gain recognition in the industry.

As a dancer for the popular dance group MaAces, he met Spirkiri who was part of MaSoet Aid. The then dance rivals would compete in competitions. Spikiri always came first, and him second.

As the dancing brought popularity to both Jakarumba and Spikiri, it also brought trouble. The 57-year -old describes how in the late 1980s he and Spikiri escaped being “necklaced” by the community by the skin of their teeth.

“A good Samaritan warned us on what the community was planning to do and advised us to move out of Meadowlands, where we were staying. I moved to Everton and Spikiri sought refuge in Dube [also in Soweto],” he explained.

About 25 years later, the two are still together pushing their career milestone with legendary kwaito group Trompies and record label Kalawa Jazmee.

To date, he has released three solo albums called Problem Child, Dance Floor Commander and Fresh for Life.

Jakarumba is nominated for best Kwaito Single Album and best Kwaito Artist at the 2019 Mzansi Kwaito and House Music Awards. Winners of the awards will be announced on November 30.

“I wish God can be strategic so that I can win that one,” he jokes. “I just know that my category is filled with superstars, so it will be a hard win,” added Jakarumba.

By Nokuthula Zwane

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