Zim rap legend Mizchif dies

HARARE - Zimbabwe-born music legend Hechichamunorwa Mount Zion Kwenda, better known as Mizchif, passed away on Thursday morning at the age of 38.

Kwenda, born on June 23, 1976, was purported to have been the first to independently release a solo hip-hop album in South Africa and was also allegedly the first in the country to perform hip-hop with a live band.

On Thursday, George “KGB” Beraushvili told eNCA.com that while the cause of his death was unknown, Mizchif collapsed on a bus en route to Zimbabwe where his family lived. KGB said he was working with the artiste on a current project entitled Still a legend.

In his heyday, Mizchif presented hip-hop news on Yfm and  was a video jockey on Nasty, a hip-hop show on Channel O.

Musically, his most memorable offering was a hit single International and a collaboration in 2001 with Mavusana from kwaito group Oda Meeste, for the album Summertime on Ghetto Ruff records.

His album Supernatural (My Return), was released in September 2003 and was nominated for the Best Hip-Hop Album at the 2003 South African Music Awards.

Calls to his present record label were not returned on Thursday.

A producer and emcee — Joint Pusher — who had been working with Mizchief confirmed that the artiste had died.

“As a custodian of the (hip-hop)culture, his aim was to revive the spirit of the old school feel for hip-hop. (It was) the culture itself that he was famous for, back in the days when the hip-hop acts where still fighting to find solid ground within South African popular culture.”

He added, Mizchif’s death was a “great loss for African hip-hop, as he was a continental emcee.”

“His ability to transcend borders and touch societies in different African countries showcases the magnitude of his influence, which he will unfortunately never relive.”

Joint pusher said he had known the musician since the 90s and communication between them was rekindled last year when Mizchief made the decision to move back to South Africa and revive his career.

Other tributes that poured in for the artiste came from kwaito star Mduduzi Tshabalala, known by his stage name Mandoza. He only found out about his passing when eNCA.com contacted him for comment.

Speechless and at a loss for words, Mandoza said: “It’s heart sore to hear news of Mizchif’s passing”. He said he wished the news he heard “wasn’t true.”

“Mizchif will be missed by many and may his soul rest in peace,” said Mandoza who also expressed his condolences to family, friends and fans.

Metro FM DJ Unathi Nkanyi said she met him in 2001 and last saw him 10 years ago.

“I remember most about him his humble nature and giving attitude, unlike the stereotypical idea one has about emcees. A creative heart is always relevant for as long as they want to be.”

Nkanyi said Mizchif’s passing was “a reminder of how fragile life is and what a great man” he was.

KGB said a funeral would be held in Harare.

Mizchif was expected to appear at a music event called “End of the Weak” where he was supposed to judge a hip-hop/rap battle. KGB said the event would go on and proceeds from the show would be sent to Mizchif’s family in Zimbabwe. — eNCA.comHechichamunorwa Mount Zion Kwenda aka Mizchif

Comments (2)

rest in peace man,we are all born to die.

azid - 8 September 2014

Rest in peace.

P. Kwenda - 9 September 2014

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