23 JUNE, JOHANNESBURG: After reaching Gold status on ‘Umbayimbayi’ within 2 weeks of release from Inkabi Zezwe, The duo has now reached double platinum on its 12th week since release with over 4.8 Million streams.
The song is the gift that keeps giving as fans across the country have been enjoying ‘Umbayimbayi’ across socials, the music video hit the 5 million views mark on Youtube, and the audio from the song has been used over 335 000 times across Tik Tok and additionally 15 000 on Instagram reels.
This Saturday 24 June, The Inkabi Zezwe tour commences with their first live show at the Sunbet Arena in Time Square, with over 70% of tickets sold. In line with their debut live tour, the Inkabi Zezwe brand has limited edition merch with the famous fashion brand Butan which will be available at the show.
Butan is deeply entrenched in the urban lifestyle and vibrant underground culture of South Africa’s streets. Key to the brand’s identity is the inventive approval to fashion, which produces highly concept-driven designs that epitomize our cosmopolitan roots
“Pioneering a timeless combination of giants coming together in not just music but also in fashion. We are excited to celebrate culture and heritage in a proud coalition.
Butan, Warner Music Africa, and the musical titans Sjava & Big Zulu as Inkabi Zezwe have collaborated on a limited edition capsule collection for the ages.”- says Buyi Msithini head of PR at Butan.
The first collection consists of T-shirts priced at R600 and bucket Hats for R500, which will be available to all consumers online and in select retail stores from Friday 30th of June.
Tickets to the tour are now available on Computicket HERE.
ABOUT INKABI ZEZWE
Sjava, whose real name is Jabulani Hadebe was born in Bergville, KwaZulu-Natal in 1984. He began exploring music at age 10, forming his own acapella group ‘Abafana base Mpumalanga’ but his entertainment career was set in motion when he took on acting, starring in popular television shows such as Zone 14 and uGugu no Andile. His debut album Isina Muva (2016) was his major transition into the music industry and earned him ‘Best Produced Album’ awards at both the Metro FM and South African Music (SAMA) award ceremonies in 2017. That same year, Sjava won the first DStv Mzansi Viewer’s Choice Rising Star. In 2018 Sjava was featured in the Kendrick Lamar-curated and Grammy-nominated Black Panther: The Album soundtrack. In the same year the superstar won a BET award for ‘Best International Act’ and released his sophomore album Umqhele which scored him ‘Best Afro-Pop Album’ and ‘Album of the Year’ wins at the 2019 SAMAs. His recent album Isibuko (2023) maintains Sjava’s dedication to highlighting the human experience with a rich, bulbous, and ethereal soundscape. Born Siyabonga Nene in Bergville, KwaZulu-Natal in 1987, Big Zulu transitioned into rap music in 2008 after a stint in the taxi industry. The rapper’s music is often filled with aspirational subject matter that his fans have long gravitated towards. He melds Maskandi and Hip-Hop with his gripping flow and cadence. Ushun Wenkabi his debut album was released in 2018 but it was Zulu’s third album Ichwane Lenyoka (2021) that helped catapult him to superstardom. The album boasted the hits ‘Mali Eningi’ featuring Ntaba Yase Dubai and Riky Rick, ‘Inhlupheko’, featuring Mduduzi Ncube and ‘Umuzi eSandton’ with Lwah Ndlunkulu.
As a testament to his persistence and talent, Big Zulu has won several awards including Song of the year for ‘Mali Eningi’ and ‘Album of the Year’ at the 2021 South African Hip Hop Awards. The superstar has also won the ‘Collaboration of the Year’ at the 27th annual SAMA awards. As a duo, Sjava and Big Zulu make up Inkabi Zezwe, a project that celebrates the connection they have as Zulu brothers and musicians. This collaboration places them at the precipice of an interesting moment in music and culture. Their music as individual artists travel back and forth through traditional isiZulu musical forms and more contemporary musical expressions. Sjava is R&B and Afropop / Hip-Hop inclined whereas Big Zulu uses Hip-Hop / Rap to negotiate his musical identity. This ambivalence of genres is a prime opportunity to imagine and create music that is not only an autobiographical anecdote of their intimate worlds but as artists who are attentive to contemporary South Africa. Their new music explores everything that matters to them; love, intimacy, joy, aspiration, and people. Inkabi Zezwe is about community and the beauty of shared experiences, after reaching Gold status on ‘Umbayimbayi’ just a week after its release, Inkabi Zezwe keeps winning as the hit single hitting Platinum with over 2.8 million streams in 2 weeks, the music video for Umbayimbayi has gotten significant attention accumulating 4.6 million on Spotify, additionally 4.9 million views on YouTube.
The album Ukhamba has additionally just surpassed 10.8 million streams to count, with no surprise as days into its release it went #1 on various charts including Apple Music’s Top 25 Johannesburg, Durban, and Top 100 South Africa Charts. On the streaming platform today, ‘Umbayimbayi’ sits at #1 on the Mzansi Hits and Mzansi Soul playlists and the Top 25 Durban chart. Additionally, the song is currently #3 on Apple Music’s Top 100 South Africa chart and is still #1 on iTunes. On Spotify ‘Umbayimbayi’ maintains its #1 position on Made in South Africa playlist and holds the top position on the platform’s Hot Hits South Africa playlist as well. On YouTube, the song is a hit as it’s the top trending song, #1 on the Top 100 Songs South Africa chart, and boasts 818K streams on the official audio. The album Ukhamba was featured on an impressive 520 playlists across the platform. Two specific tracks, namely “Ilanga” and “Iskwele,” have successfully reached the top 65% of the most popular songs on Spotify, The music video for “Umbambayi” has garnered significant attention, accumulating 4.6 million views on Spotify.
Still to come is Inkabi Zezwe’s nationwide tour which commences on 24th June at Sunbet Arena in Time Square, 27 July at Grand Arena Grandwest, 26 August at the Big Top Arena in Carnival City, and 3 September at Hollywood Kings Park Stadium in Durban.
Umbayimbayi is out now: Stream Here