Mzayifani Mzondeleli Boltina, widely known as iFani, is a prominent South African hip-hop/Rap artist, MC, and television presenter. His stage name, 'iFani,' is derived from the end part of his middle name, 'Mzayifani.' Although he was initially called 'Mzi' during his upbringing, he decided to adopt 'iFani' as the name that would become synonymous with devoted fans.

Regarded as the comedian of African rap, iFani hails from the Eastern Cape and is acclaimed for his audacious lyrics that consistently push boundaries. His debut single, "Hola Hater," marked the beginning of a successful musical career. This was followed by tracks like "Ewe," "Shake," and "Milli," which were part of his album titled "I Believes in Me (1st Quadrant)." The album achieved Gold certification from the Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA) on the day of its release, selling over 20,000 copies.

In addition to his accomplishments in the music industry, iFani has delved into television presenting. He made his screen debut as the presenter of the battle reality competition series, "Stumbo Stomp Amapantsula." Furthermore, he hosted the reality television series "Clash of the Choirs," broadcast on the channel Mzansi Magic.

iFani's musical influences stem from American artists such as Tupac, Wu-Tang Clan, and Notorious B.I.G. These influences, distinct from the prevalent music of his time, played a significant role in shaping his artistic inspiration.

With a dynamic presence in both the music and television realms, iFani continues to captivate audiences with his unique style and charismatic persona, establishing himself as a multifaceted talent in the South African entertainment scene.

Early Life amd Educational Backgroud

Mzayifani Mzondeleli Boltina, known as iFani, was born on November 20, 1985, in Mthatha, located in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. His upbringing took place in the Port Elizabeth areas of New Brighton and Motherwell.

iFani pursued his early education at Chapman High School and Ethembeni Enrichment Centre. Subsequently, he enrolled at the University of Cape Town, where he studied for a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science and a BSc in Computer Engineering. After successfully completing his studies, iFani entered the professional realm as a process control engineer at SABMiller.

During his time at SABMiller, iFani explored various musical styles and actively engaged in the hip-hop community. He participated in underground rap battles and cyphers, establishing himself as an emerging force in the local hip-hop scene. It was during this period that he adopted the stage name 'iFani,' drawing inspiration from a name passed down from his grandfather, 'Mzayifani.' This name became a significant part of his identity as he ventured into the music industry and began making a name for himself as a rapper and artist.


Following his graduation from Rhodes University, iFani secured a job as a process control engineer at SABMiller. Despite his professional endeavors, his true passion for music couldn't be contained. iFani, like many talented artists, found himself drawn to the world of music, and soon he was operating as a clandestine rapper. He embraced "iFani" as his stage name, derived from his grandfather's name, Mzayifani.

iFani embarked on his music career by releasing singles such as "Hola Hater," "Ewe," "Milli," and "Shake." Subsequently, he dropped the 1st and 2nd Quadrant of his hit albums titled "I Believes in Me." Simultaneously, iFani entered the realm of television as a presenter, hosting the SABC 1 reality series "Stumbo Stomp Amapantsula," where participants showcased their pantsula dance moves. His role as a presenter expanded when he moved on to host the series "Clash of the Choirs" on Mzanzi Magic, replacing Busiswa Gqulu.

iFani faced initial skepticism about his rap skills, with many discouraging him from pursuing a career in music. However, his perseverance paid off as he gained recognition in the industry. Hype Magazine listed him as number one on their Top Unsigned Hype List in 2009, Club 808 selected him as their first Boxfresh artist in 2011, and the South African Hip Hop Awards named him their Best Freshman in 2012.

Despite an initially tepid response, iFani's first single, "Hola Hater," gained wider reception after being picked up by the Guateng Radio Station, YFM, and featured on the "Hot 9" chart. His second single, "Ewe," became a defining statement about the South African music industry and achieved significant airplay and commercial success. SABC1 recognized "Ewe" as one of the "Best Music Videos" for 2011.

iFani signed a contract with Sony Music Africa in 2012 after the release of his single "See Live." Over the following years, he continued to release successful singles, including "Shake" and "Milli," collaborating with artists like Blaksuga. "Shake" debuted at number 1 on Club 808's Chart in September 2012.

In 2013, iFani released his first album, "I Believes in Me" (1st Quadrant), featuring collaborations with artists like Blacksuga, Nomsa, and Bongani Fassie. His second album, "I Believes in Me" (2nd Quadrant), released on April 29, 2015, achieved Gold status on the same day of its release, also under Sony Music Africa.

In 2019, iFani collaborated with Limpopo rapper Papzito on the song "Mokibelo," and he continued his musical journey with the release of "Sam Sufeketha (Round 2)" in March. He followed up with another song titled "Mlandeli Wam," which will be featured on his upcoming debut titled "I Believes in Me" (Third Quadrant).

Personal Life

iFani's personal life has been marked by complex family dynamics. Despite having both parents alive, he doesn't maintain a relationship with either of them. Instead, he was raised by his grandmother, and their bond was so profound that her passing had a significant impact on him, leading to a period of depression. This emotional turmoil became so overwhelming that he took a hiatus from both work and music, eventually requiring hospitalization.

The rapper's connection with his mother was somewhat rekindled when he saw her at his grandmother's funeral. While she didn't play a role in his upbringing, iFani chose to provide financial support to his mother. Additionally, he encountered his father through an arranged meeting, indicating a strained or absent relationship.

In terms of his own family, iFani is a father to a 7-year-old son. However, there seems to be ambiguity about another child, as he believes he may have fathered another child, but the child's mother denies his paternity. This adds further layers of complexity to iFani's family life and personal struggles.



iFani has released several albums throughout his career, each showcasing his unique style and lyrical prowess. Here are some of his albums:

I Believes in Me (1st Quadrant) (2013)






Chocolate and Vanilla

Lady Friend




Dancin in da club

See Live

13th Track

The Legend (2014)

Thixo Ndiyabulela

Lets Aka

Crazy 'Boutcha


Hlompa Zaka

Monate Fela

Uthini Yena

Wat Iz A Meta

Bosso Ya Di Bosso

Way Back

I Believes in Me (2nd Quadrant) (April 2015)


Settle Down

Ayadelela by iFani



I Remember Growing Up

Turn It Up

Jonga Ixesha

Night Shift


Incurable Dreamer

Sushi Dip (Ft. Lex Lafoy & Quebonafide)

13th Track

I Believes in Me Third Quadrant

First single: "Mlandeli Wam"



Vlone Avatar (2020)


2014 - South African Music Awards - Best Rap album

2015 - Eastern Cape Music Awards - Best Hip Hop