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Makhendlas Commits Suicide

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Makhendlas,

who’s real name is Oupa Makofate shot himself in the head Saturday

October 31st. Kwaito, which is a rap derived South African form

of music blends Hip-Hop Rave and R&B, and has taken off since

the fall of Apartheid.

Apparently,

he was upset that he shot and wounded an abusive concert goer

at a stadium near Nelspruit, about 185 miles East of Johannesburg.

The shooting highlights light security and violence that sometimes

come with the Kwaito concerts (as it does happen here in the U.S.).

Just as Gangster rap made millionaires out of artists over here,

the same trend is happening overseas, with black owned record

labels and radio stations popping up. Most of the lyrics are in

Iscamtho, a street lingo that combines African languages, including

Afrikaans, and English. It is said to be named after a township

gang, the Amakwaito, or the Afrikaans word “kwai,” or “cool.”

The

songs deal with the gritty life in the impoverished townships

where jobs are few and crime is rampant, but lack the violence

and sexism that accompanies some of the American Rap. According

to the musician’s manager, Mpho Makhetha, three or four drunken

men slipped through security backstage before the concert and

began harassing the musicians. Mafokate intervened and the men

began swearing at him. The manager said Mafokate drew a gun and

fired a warning shot, but by accident shot one of the men. “I

guess Oupa thought at the time he had killed the guy. That’s why

he did what he did,” the manager said. “He was doing so well

career-wise. He was the father of a 4-month-old boy.”

The

man Mafokate shot was recovering in hospital, and was not seriously

wounded. It was unclear what happened to the other men. Industry

sources said they were surprised that the musician was carrying

a gun, because he was known as peace-loving person. Yet many musicians

feel they’re poorly protected and complain that promoters won’t

pay for proper security. The Soweto-born Mafokate, 27, was emerging

as one of South Africa’s top kwaito stars.

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