There’s a tendency of associating music by young people – such as VenRap, Motswako and Tsa Manyalo – with laziness and failure to focus on life. However, the 29-year-old award-winning VenRap artist, Mulalo “Bhamba” Mutoti, is writing off that stereotypical perception.

Mulalo is a VenRap artist who released his début album, Down to Earth in 2013, and earned the best newcomer of the year award in the premier Tshivenda Music Awards (TSHIMA).

“I gained respect from thousands of VenRap fans in Vhembe district and thousands more in other province and southern African countries, who understand the strength of hip hop. The album comprise hits such as Masindi, So Hard, Vhuyani hayani and Vhutshilo hanu.”

However, Bhamba’s name will be read out from the history books in both the academic and the VenRap world because he has also completed an Honours degree in Hydrology at the University of Venda, and a Masters degree in Environmental and Water Science at the University of Western Cape.

He had definitely refuted the adage that the youth league in the music industry is characterised by lazy youngsters who don’t want to go to school and better their lives.

“The journey towards achieving my Masters was not easy – I had to work twice as hard and not allow my music career to stand on my way. But I had always known what I wanted in my life. So it becomes easier to set goals and achieve them.”

He thanked his parents, Mrs Ntombana Margaret Mutoti and Mr Ntsieni Alfred Mutoti, who gave him support in his studies. “They are the kind of parents who will always tell you to believe in yourself and work harder. I can’t imagine my life without their support. They are my pillars of strength.”

He said education is a necessity if one wants to function well in this world. Bhamba is currently registered as an PhD student, and has also secured a lecturing stint with the University of Venda.

“If you have some education, you are able to access and achieve a lot of other things,” he said. “If you are educated, you just choose want you want or want to become in life.

“We have heard and surely now we know that education is the main key to success. So I can only advise the youths to go to school, because that’s the best thing to do. Education is the key to unlock different doors. But without education, one just stands outside the doors as a frustrated being.”

Bhamba, who grew up at Tshikhudini village and later relocated to Thohoyandou Block J in Limpopo, released a mixtape entitled Black Cover. The mixtape is available online for free.

“All I can say is that nothing will stop me from singing and composing more music. Not even my degrees. I love music.”

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