The name is Nkosana Tlhapi also better known by my artist alias Yizolezo Mnaka, Born on the 13th of January 1991 in Soweto but raised in Alexandra Township. I regard myself as an upcoming creative crafts-man rather than just a rapper, because I believe that music is art and art to me has no boundaries as long as I keep true to myself that will make it easier for people to relate and understand me and my approach to art.
Who or what got you into hip hop music?
I was always involved in arts & crafts and did poetry as a hobby during my primary school days, only mid-high school a very close friend Khulekani Mashinini introduced me to Paul Gumbi better known as “Pablo66”. He saw potential in me and not only challenged me into doing hip hop but taught me everything he knew about composing and song writing, from then I never looked back.
If you were not into hip hop music, what would you do?
A Business man most probably because I am fascinated by the influence and power that one individual can posses and I still aim on pursuing it.
What is the best and worst thing about the hip hop industry?
The best thing about the hip hop industry currently is that you can make a real success of yourself if you smart about it. Artist like your Cassper Nyovest and Nasty C have shown us that it very possible. The worst thing would have to be that there is too much duplication of imitations in exchange of burning records just only for the time being, all in the name of hype. Respect for the hip hop industry is no longer the same hence why the game is very much polluted.
Who are the Amazing people or organizations have you worked with in this music game?
I have been doing this for 10 years now and the journey has been nothing but blissful, was fortunate enough to work and share the stage with people like your Khuli chana, Gigi Lamyne, Social commentary forum, Hempza Mawawa and the producer Slotta from Swaziland just to name a few.
What is the motive behind your writings, especially your latest track and EP FREE?
Firstly that knowledge is power and to remind a black child to be proud of whom they are and that the past defines no one. I emphasise mostly on mental strength on almost every track on the EP because I strongly believe that the brain is thee most powerful weapon on this planet.
How did you come up with your Stage Name Yizolezo Mnaka?
The Yizolezo is a very common kasi term in Alexandra and the Mnaka is a siSwati term which means brother. I am Swati just that I am using my mom’s surname for now which will change soon to Sifundza because my father is Swati. It’s a combination of the environment I grew up in and my culture which makes it unique and hard to forget even though it is one of the longest names haha.
One word to describe Yizolezo Mnaka?
How do people reach Yizolezo Mnaka if they want to know more and see more of your Work and updates?
On Face book it’s Yizo Lezo Mnaka, on twitter its yizolezomnaka_ or they can like our face book page which is South Clan entertainment for links and updates.
Surely there’s someone out there who wishes to be like Yizolezo Mnaka, how can you motivate them?
Read more, embrace your weirdness and do whatever that makes you happy regardless.
God and my ancestors for my countless blessings, my late mother who always believed in my music, my family that keeps supporting and showering me with nothing but love, the South clan crew for the drive and everyone who follows our movement and lastly a massive S/O to Rap Type Magazine for the platform, it is humbling.