He is well known for his hit songs’ MaAfrica ‘vumelan’ sangoma , mzwazwa, and Yolanda. Khulekani Bethule affectionately known as ‘Khuxxman’ he is one of the pionners of House and Afro pop music in the city of Bulawayo and beyond, he hosts one of the biggest breakfast show in the city on Channel Zim , Radio Dialogue. My Bulawayo had the opportunity to sit down with the man behind all this hard work and achievements, the man who has made a name as far as music is concerned, He allows My Bulawayo team to take his listeners and the people who have supported him into a journey of his life in radio, music and in Bulawayo.
My Bulawayo (MB) and Khulekani Bethule (KB)
MB. who is Khulekani Bethule?
KB. Khulekani Bethule is a musician, presenter, sound engineer, I was born on the 5th of December 1975, have been doing music for a long time, i have done quite a number things in the music industry, i have done sound engeering especially mixing for local artists, some from Zambia, Namibia, South Africa I have recorded my own music as well
MB. one word to describe yourself
MB. what can we be suprised to know about you?
KB. I play live instruments as well , people assume am a digital musician but i play instruments as well
MB. tell us about your love for music
KB. I cannot say my music journey started I believe I was born with it, when i was young i would make guitars and play them, I started to do music proffesionally late 90s, I was also inspired by other musicians and music itself inspired me. I would envy other musicians playing and my dream was to entertain as well.In terms radio my father inspired me to do radio because he was on radio as well.
MB. What are some of the challenges you have faced by Bulawayo artists in terms of air play, music distribution and so on?
KB. here my brother there is a big challenge, its true Bulawayo artists struggle a lot in terms of Air play from the national radios, as Khuxxman I might be getting airplay but other artists are suffering, You may listen to the radio for the entire day you would hear one or two tracks from Bulawayo but there are more than 1000 artists from Bulawayo, You may watch the television the entire day and you would see Jays or Khuxxman being played but there are a lot of artists who lack airplay so as Bulawayo artists air play from. Challenges we are facing from Bulawayo is different from other artists. Skyzmetro plays local content but we need our share of airplay from national radios.Skyzmetro fm is not national.
MB. What is your view on the notion that Bulawayo artists are being sidelined or is it the quality of the Bulawayo music, or lack of support?
KB.I have been involved in many debates and disscussion about this issue, my main point of view is lack of appreciation from our targetted audience.Radio stations are commercial entitites hence they play music that will sell their brand.Bulawayo people don’t support local music, do not buy local music, then it shifts to radio stations also not playing the music because the people do not love it.
again the quality of music is at the spotlight on social media as many say the quality of music from Bulawayo artists is not of high standard. Many musicians are copycats of international musicians, some copy Professor, Oskido, Bignuz then there is no originality. Some say when they listen to Bulawayo music they feel they are listening to Casper Nyovest or any International artist. Hence musicians must step up and be original.
MB. Tell us about your radio show?
KB. basically my radio show is a breakfast show between 6-9 every weekday, this is were i play music from Zimbabwe, Nigeria, SouthAfrica, and any other music, the show is mainly about interaction with the listener , about any issue making it into the headlines and any issues people come across in their neighborhoods its mainly a news show with some bit of music here and there.The show seeks to inform, educate, and entertain above all Ukwakhana singabantu banye,
MB.What can be done then to put the Bulawayo music back on track and let it be likened to Lovemore Majaivana’s songs, which has never lost its taste?
KB. I think your question should be What should artists do tompromote their music.Indaba ikithi as musicians to find the missing puzzle in the Bulawayo music. The secret behind music is whether people like it first,We cannot balme the media for not playing our music but, if it was to be played will the people love it.Artists should ask themselves whats lacking in their music.
In terms of other artists their music is pushed by the people because it is interesting but Bulawayo songs if i send it to you , you wont listen to it, Harare artists support each other. Do you sister Bettina song was never recorded in the studio but it became a hit because people loved it.
MB. tell us about your music, you seem to have the mightest touch in terms of your music. what is the secret ingredient behind your music?
KB. in terms of my music I do not cocoon myself in exploring other genres I do not have blinkers when making my music My music is not one directional , I cannot say I do house music or Afro pop i only do what I believe will entertain the public. I experimented with house music in 2011 and 2012 I did vumelani sangoma and it did well people received it in a good way.
MB.how do you relax as Khulekani
KB. Am addicted to television, I watch a lot of movies, If am not relaxing i will be playing music or making music
MB. whatis wrong with Bulawayo music?
KB. there are people who make good music, quality is good but there is something missing, if you look at Jays Marabini songs its good music, listen to Skaiva wonderful music, Sandra Ndebele great music but we do not support each other.
MB. I see you wearing Highlander jersey which team do you support
KB. i support Highlanders, locally , regionally Orlando Pirates, Manchester United, and Barcelona
MB. what can you say to young shooting musicians in Bulawayo?
KB. music is not sadza.(laughs) artists have big names without money, people might know your name but when you as an artist you do not own anything.If its your talent go for it but when venturing into music young artists should look for proper jobs as well, untill they reach a point where they are stable.Music requires money for it to be made. Harare artists are sponsored thus why most of them perform well unlike Bulawayo artists.
MB.Whta messages does your song send
KB. unity, peace and love
MB. are you part of social responsibility as Khuxxman?
KB. i have not done it but i wish to at some point to give back to the commuinity, am what i am because of the community.
MB. what can we expect form you in 2017?
KB. I want to do live shows its roughly 10 years since i did live shows as Khuxxman, people know my songs, but I need to do the live shows, people know my songs but they do not know the person behind the music.
MB. Can we say Bulawayo artists of Bulawayo are scared of Filling up the white city, Amphitheatre or Babourfields?
KB. Yes lack of confidence, again if you want to do that and there is low turnout people will laugh at you and the problem people do not support local music. We need the support and we can do it as well,
MB. thank you for your time Khulekani Bethule , keep shinning and telling it like it is
KB. kubonga mina my brother, thank you so much