When his smash hit Van Damme was announced as SABC’s Song of the Year and number one on Ukhozi FM at midnight last Saturday, he thought he was dreaming.
Mroza Fakude (31) told City Press on Friday that he never expected that his song would win the coveted gong.
Figures audited by accounting firm SizweNtsalubaGobodo show that Van Damme took the number one spot with 176 452 votes, while Ska Bhora Moreki was placed second with 132 616 and Wololo bagged third place with 125 863.
Many people didn’t expect Van Damme to take number one, as Babes Wodumo’s Wololo and King Monada’s Ska Bhora Moreki were big last year.
Fakude’s prize was a brand-new Kia Picanto and R150 000 in cash.
“I’ve been trying to break into the music industry since 2007. Previously, I’ve released six albums, but they weren’t popular. It is only my seventh album, Kwakhala Nyonini, that caught many people’s attention last year,” the maskandi singer said.
His latest album was released under the Mabala Noise record label in September last year.
Fakude said that after he realised he was not making it in the industry, he swallowed his pride and went to Mabala Noise to beg for a record deal.
The inspiration behind Van Damme, he said, was action movie actor Jean-Claude Van Damme.
“Growing up I used to watch Van Damme’s movies and he inspired me because he never gave up. He fought till the end. Basically, the message is to encourage people and to give them hope of not giving up,” he said.
Things you didn't know about Mroza Fakude
. He was born in the small KwaZulu-Natal town of Mkhuze
. He has three children
. His highest level of education is Grade 10
. He only received his first pay cheque last year
. He is the first maskandi artist to be signed under Mabala Noise
He added that the song tells people: “Nothing is impossible. Never give up on chasing your dreams. I’m living testimony, 10 years later it is only now that I’m achieving my dream.”
However, he says many fans of the song misinterpret its meaning. When they say “Siyobulal’u-Van Damme”, they mean they are going to indulge in heavy drinking.
Alcohol, he says, has nothing to do with it.
“I don’t drink or smoke. Why would I encourage people to drink?” he asked.
Interestingly, when asked what he was planning to do with his prize, he was surprised.
“Did I win money? All I know is that I’ve won the Song of the Year. I’ll sit down with my team to discuss this further.”