Big Zulu, born Siyabonga Nene on April 7, 1987, is a talented South African rapper, songwriter, and actor. Hailing from Bergville, KwaZulu-Natal, Big Zulu was exposed to Maskandi and Isichathamiya music during his upbringing, drawing inspiration from artists such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Phuzekemisi, and Imithente. In this blog post, we will delve into Big Zulu’s early life, education, career, and personal life, showcasing the journey that has made him one of South Africa’s most celebrated musicians.
Early Life and Education:
Born and raised in Bergville, KwaZulu-Natal, Big Zulu received his early education in the region. Growing up, he developed a deep appreciation for Maskandi and Isichathamiya music, influenced by the sounds of renowned artists. Despite coming from a middle-class family, Big Zulu’s parents were supportive of his passion for music, which would later become his career path.
After working as a taxi driver for several years, Big Zulu decided to pursue his musical aspirations and left the profession in 2008. He began writing songs and performing in 2009, showcasing his talent for both singing and rapping. His exceptional skills led him to earn the title of “King of Rap” in a rap battle contest called Back to the City.
In 2015, Big Zulu signed a record deal with Universal Music Records, opening doors for his professional music career. His breakthrough came in 2016 with the release of his debut single, “Donsa Nkabi.” The song garnered significant attention and marked the beginning of his rise to prominence.
In 2018, Big Zulu released his debut project, the Ushun Wenkabi album, which included hit singles like “Ang’mazi umama” and “Home.” His undeniable talent led to collaborations with esteemed artists such as Damien Marley, Kwesta, Sjava, Cassper Nyovest, and Zakwe, solidifying his position as one of the best musicians in South Africa.
Not content with just being an artist, Big Zulu established his own record label, Inkabi Records, in 2019. He signed Mduduzi Ncube to the label, expanding his influence in the music industry. In August 2020, Big Zulu partnered with Spitz as the ambassador of Carvella, further showcasing his entrepreneurial spirit and versatility.
Philanthropy and Personal Life:
Beyond his music career, Big Zulu is known for his philanthropic endeavors. In September 2021, he started a charity initiative, donating laptops and printers to Obonjaneni Primary School, demonstrating his commitment to improving education in his community.
In terms of personal life, Big Zulu is currently in a relationship with Lebogang Makenete, with whom he has a daughter. He also has a son named Shaka, born to Bulelwa Nazo. In 2018, Big Zulu made headlines when he was arrested in Gauteng for allegedly assaulting the mother of one of his children.
Big Zulu’s journey from a small town in South Africa to becoming a renowned rapper and philanthropist serves as an inspiration to aspiring musicians. With his unique blend of rap and singing abilities, he has captivated audiences and achieved significant success in the music industry. As he continues to make waves with his music and contribute to society, Big Zulu’s legacy is set to endure for years to come.
Follow Big Zulu on Instagram (@bigzulu_sa) and Twitter (@BigZulu_ZN) to stay updated on his latest projects and endeavors.