Anele Gwente – Lyrix Within

AUTHOR: Ndibulele Sotondoshe

PUBLISHER: FunDza Literacy Trust


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Khayelitsha is notorious for its high rate of crime and HIV infection, but hot young rapper Lyrix is using his lyrics to wipe out the stigma attached to his neighborhood.

Award-winning Lyrix, born Anele Gwente, is just twenty one, yet the artist has eight years of experience under his belt. His career has climbed ‘table mountain’ under PKS Records, with his first ever mix tape selling like ice-creams in summer.

Growing up in the dusty streets of Khayelitsha, Lyrix literally had to dodge stray bullets but maintains that music kept him off the streets. “The studio is my second home. Boys at my age were engaging in gangsterism and I’d write a song about that,” he says.

He admits that his upbringing was like stepping on thorns because he had to go through life without both his parents. “They passed away when we were very young, and my older brother had to make ends meet from the little he earned.”

In fact, in 2014 Lyrix dedicated a song to this older brother. It thanks him for the tireless role he has played in his life and the title is Qhawe, which can be loosely translated as ‘hero’.

“We really struggled but we never went to bed hungry, all because of him. Today I give him the little money I get from my CDs and performances,” he says. (You can watch the YouTube video of Qhawe here.)

Lyrix matriculated in 2012 but could not study further due to financial constraints. “I will save money so I can go study. I want to study Sound Engineering so I have something to fall back on,” says the determined young man.

Lyrix remains devoted to music and organises talent shows that help other youngsters showcase their talents, without charging them a cent. “Our shows offer youth a platform to debate social issues that affect them. They use poetry to share their personal experiences and feelings. If you want to keep youth off the streets, then why don’t you give them an activity to keep them busy?” he says.

His career first blossomed when he shared the stage with famous DJs SPHEctacula and Loyd at Ikasi Experience, performing for more than 3000 fans.

Lyrix mostly performs hip hop music with conscious, thought-provoking lyrics that appeal to emotions, but his versatility helps him adapt to any given genre. “People respond positively to my music and that motivates me,” he says.

His lyrics are not his only strength. The vocals he delivers have also won him the hearts of many Capetonians and his ability to juggle between isiXhosa and English has also attracted to him fans from different races and ages.

At the Hip Hop Kas’lam Music Awards 2013, Lyrix scooped the award for The Best Spaza Artist and one of his songs was also nominated in the Song of the Year category.

Talk about being multi-talented: Lyrix also starred in the local film The Sower – Ukutyala, shot by the Hans K Foundation.

The rising star has been featured in Daily Sun, City Vision and Kasi Pages, and Cape Town TV (Ctv) also wanted a piece of him.

“I want to prove that it does not matter where you come from, success does not need a visa!” says the performer.


Tell us what you think: Why do you think the youth are demotivated? Whose job is it to inspire them?

8 Responses

  1. I love music aswell I just hope that my dreams of becoming a singer comes about
    Lord help

    Big up to y’all young rappers if your a singers u inspire me every second

    30 Jan 2017 at 20:26
  2. I love music aswell I just hope that my dreams of becoming singer comes about
    Lord help

    Big up to y’all young rappers a singers u inspire me every second

    30 Jan 2017 at 20:24
  3. The youth are the bread and butter of tomorrow’s society. We need to remember them daily in our prayers. And pray that truly today’s heroes will leave them enough infrastructure for them to build on. They need opportunities and guidance. We look to everyone to assist. This society is yearning for change. Maybe it will come from above. Lord we look to you. You are the hope my soul trusts in. You are the bread of heaven sent down from glory. Many things you were on earth a holy king a carpenter. You are the living word. Amen

    8 Dec 2016 at 14:13
  4. The youth are demotivated by parents and drugs because the parents can’t spend quality time with their child/ren and they don’t care about how the child is doing in school so the children become demotivated and hang around in the street corners because of there’s nothing to do at home and they advise each other to do something to pass the time and in the street corners it is were they take wrong decisions with knowing that it is wrong like they will first smoke ciggarette and then as the time goes by they will want try other drugs and became drug addicts and some of them will drop out of school and and the is much propability of they can be gangsters because of you failed to guide the your child and show your child the right way so all I can say is that parents should play their role to their children and they should show their love for their children, support your child in everything they do, and in every step of the way you should be next to your child to guide him/her when s/he takes wrong way just try to show him/her the right way sit down with your child and try to show your child the right way by discussing talking with your into some the community can play role organising stadiums so that on weekend they take the you of the street to play sports,and do drama and music

    3 Feb 2016 at 05:05
  5. Nice one buddah, pressa,pusha phanda

    11 Jan 2016 at 07:22
  6. I’ve always loved hip hop..I also want to be big in poetry..

    28 Jul 2015 at 11:02
  7. Is so hp bje lees dt

    25 Mar 2015 at 13:15
  8. So true

    24 Mar 2015 at 23:05

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