In the line of work that I do, I generally get to meet super talented people with an out-of-this-world zest for life! Call it occupational hazard. Fortunately for me, I always seem to attract some working relationship with these awesome human beings, whether it be a collaboration or an association of some sort. As was the case when I met Shack a few months ago. With his super-hyped, electric performances and club banging tracks – allow me to introduce to you South Africa’s next great [FACT] Gqom’ artist!
Who is Shack
Shack, real name ‘Manuel Mouzinho Afonso’, is a South African based musician originally from Mozambique, who spent most of his childhood and completed his schooling in South Africa.
Although his schooling career wasn’t the easiest (he was forced to attended high school illegally due to his immigration status at the time) he still managed to complete high school. His music career started with an intro into the hip hop scene, which is his self-confessed “first love”.
The switch to house music
The ‘House Music’ bug hit him when he wanted to convey African stories in a way that can be taught and understood by most Africans; house music seemed to be the one music genre, which could transcend above all the barriers most Africans are subjected to and tap into the rhythmic souls of all Africans. Also because of its popularity and universal reach.
He has been doing house music for five years now, and according to him, it is the one music genre that can allow him the flexibility of using African languages to express more depth and versatility in his music. He also got attracted to house music because of its unique sound that is expressive of, and exclusive to the African soil.
His interest in ‘House Music’ grew to a point where he started practicing the sound almost every weekend through performances at gigs and events around Cape Town.
The origins of the name ‘Shack’
According to Shack, his stage name came about after realising people’s perceptions of how they tend to mock, undermine or judge things from an outside perspective, without really knowing or experiencing the very same things that they judge.
He identifies himself in that misguided perception which people tend to have against him. Because of his background and appearance; his nappy hair, humble demeanour, etc. people tend to undermine him, until they get to listen to his music, see him perform or learn about his love and philanthropy for his community – only then do they usually start to take him seriously and formulate a different opinion about him.
Which, in retrospect, is the same way that communities made from shacks (informal settlement houses usually located in South African townships) in SA tend to appear, when you are looking at them from the outside. But once you understand them from the inside and start to know the people that live within them; you get to see the humility, happiness and genuine love floating around – above and beyond the difficulties that are synonymous to living in such communities.
Is a made-up word with no specific meaning, nor does it belong to any language. According to Shack, it is some sort of spiritual language that means: “I don’t know what it means, but it keeps me going”. He uses this phrase, not only to motivate himself, but his fans too.
Throughout his music career and pursuit of success, Shack has been subjected to failure and struggle but still managed to rise above it. He hopes that his story can inspire and educate other young Africans to believe and have faith in their dreams regardless of their situation. That, they too, should keep going and do what they love no matter how difficult things get #AdibidaBadashe
‘Nomonde’ is one of Shack’s most popular songs to date. The name ‘Nomonde’, a slang phrase used eKasi to describe “phly” girls that are usually the centre of attention for some reason. He managed to take a trending topic and turned it into a banging hit. Sort of like ‘Arthur Mafokate’ used to do back in his ‘Kwasa-Kwasa’ days. It’s one of those popular songs that you never really know who it belongs to but you know it’s a hit. But now you know! And the man’s name is Shack, check the video of ‘Nomonde’ below.
You can listen to or download most of Shacks music on Soundcloud and Datafile host. Or check him out on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. For any media/pr related queries, you can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. For bookings, contact his manager on: 073 287 9030.
Watch out for his latest single and collaboration with ‘DJ Songz’ and ‘Ed Harris’ called ‘AmaDimoni’.
A special thanks to S’phiwe from Capekapa CK Clothing for lending us the clothes for this shoot and Luvuyo Wogqoyi for always being there when I need premium quality photographs! Please check out the ‘Nomonde’ video below.