Senzo Mfundo Vilakazi, popularly known as Kwesta, is a well-known rapper from South Africa. He has his own record label called RapLyf Records. Kwesta gained fame with the release of his widely loved song, Ngud', featuring Cassper Nyovest. From that point on, he has consistently been a significant figure in South Africa's rap scene, consistently delivering hit songs.

Early Life

Born on August 11, 1988, in Katlehong, Ekuhleni, Gauteng Province, South Africa, Kwesta's real name is Senzo Mfundo Vilakazi. Raised in Katlehong, he discovered a passion for poetry during his high school days, earning praise and support from both classmates and teachers.

At the age of 16, Kwesta made the decision to leave high school. To kickstart his music journey, he convinced his mother to provide him with the taxi fare needed to reach Buttabing Entertainment's offices. This meeting proved to be pivotal as he was subsequently signed to the record label, marking the beginning of his official music career.

Kwesta faced family challenges early on, with his parents divorcing when he was just 8 years old. Although not much is known about his parents' names, he navigated through his formative years, attending Phumulani Secondary School in Katlehong for three years before moving on to Alafang High School. Throughout his schooling, he continued to cultivate his love for poetry and music, garnering positive feedback from peers. His dedication to music eventually led to his decision to drop out of school before completing his studies.


At the age of 15, back in 2003, Kwesta and his friends came together to form a rap group initially called Ghetto Fellaz, which later changed to The Juvenylz within the same year. However, the group disbanded after a brief two-year stint.

Following the group's breakup, Kwesta struck a deal with Africa's Most Southern Record Company, gaining access to their studios. During this period, he actively participated in competitions and events to build visibility for his brand. Notably, he took part in YFM's Rap Activity Jam MC of the Month competition and emerged as the top performer in ETV's ShizNiz Freestyle Kings Special. Additionally, he showcased his skills at events such as The Rand Show, Miss Confidence Show, and The Durban Beach Festival.

Presently, Kwesta is affiliated with his independent media company, RapLyf Records, co-founded with Kid X. In 2010, he released his debut studio album titled Special ReKwest, paving the way for his second album, DaKAR, which peaked at number 3 on the iTunes South African Hip-hop/Rap chart in 2013.

His third studio album, DaKAR II, released in 2016, achieved remarkable success with hit singles like "Ngud'," "Nomayini," and "Ngiyazifela Ngawe." Certified 7× Platinum by the Recording Industry of South Africa (RISA), the album sold 210,000 copies in South Africa, making it the best-selling album in South African hip hop.

In 2021, Kwesta released his fifth studio album, g.o.d Guluva, debuting at number 3 in South Africa. His extensive list of accolades includes 6 South African Music Awards, 4 South African Hip Hop Awards, 1 MTV Africa Music Award, and 1 Metro FM Award.

Kwesta's influence extends beyond his music, as he served as a judge on the Sprite Hip Hoop Tour in 2007 and contributed to The Nokia Defend Your Street Campaign, collaborating with other artists to create the theme song. The same year marked the release of his inaugural single, Sharp Fede, followed by a mixtape in collaboration with DJ C-Live.

In 2010, Kwesta was chosen as one of the Brand SA Ambassadors, and he played a significant role in the national roadshows leading up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup held in South Africa. During this time, he collaborated with artists like Kelly Rowland, Jozi, and 2Face on the Everywhere You Go anthem for MTN. Kwesta also had the honor of performing during the closing ceremony of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

September 2010 marked the release of his debut studio album, Special Rekwest. The album included hit singles like Babhemi, Flash It, Stomp, and Pump It. Flava, one of the album's tracks, received a synch-deal with DStv and was featured in the Loeries TV's 2011 ad campaign. Additionally, Pump It and Stomp had synch-deals with DStv and Redds, respectively. Stomp even made its way onto the soundtrack of Death Race 3, an American action movie.

Kwesta's success with Special Rekwest made him the first South African rapper to have seven songs ranked on multiple radio charts in a single year. The album earned him SAMA nominations in 2011 for Best Newcomer and Best Rap Album.

On November 25, 2013, Kwesta released his second studio album, DaKAR (Da King of Afrikan Rap), which debuted at third place on the South African iTunes Hip-Hop Charts.

In 2016, Kwesta dropped his third studio album, DaKAR II, featuring the hit single Ngud', a collaboration with Cassper Nyovest. The single received nominations for Song of the Year at the annual MTV Africa Music Awards. In October 2017, his single "Spirit" featuring American rapper Wale was released and certified platinum by the Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA). DaKAR II achieved the remarkable milestone of being certified 7× Platinum by RiSA on April 26, 2018.

March 2021 witnessed the release of Kwesta's single "Fire In The Ghetto," featuring Troublle, serving as the lead single for his fourth studio album. On April 30, 2021, he released g.o.d guluva, his fourth studio album, featuring collaborations with prominent South African artists. The album peaked at No. 4 on the South Africa Top 100 Albums chart and received positive reviews from music critics. At the 2021 Mzansi Kwaito and House Music Awards, his single "Njandini '' won the award for Best Kwaito Song.

While most of Kwesta's tracks fall under the rap genre, some incorporate elements of Amapiano and pop.

Personal Life

Kwesta is happily married to Yolanda Mvelase Vilakazi, and their union has lasted for over six years. Together, they share the joy of parenthood with two daughters. Khai, the first was born on October 13, 2012. Opting for privacy, the couple celebrated their wedding in an intimate ceremony attended solely by close friends and family.


23rd SAMA, 2017:

Best Male Artist of the Year

Highest Airplay of the Year (Ngud')

Best Rap Album

Highest Airplay of the year (Ngud')

Best Album of the Year

DStv MVCA, 2017:

Favorite Music Artist/Group



2010 - Special ReKwest

2013 - DaKAR (Da King of Afrikan Rap)

2016 - DaKAR II

2020 - 2 Skeif

2021 - g.o.d guluva

2022 - Speak N Vrostaan ( with Kabza de Small)


2016 - "Ngyaz'fela Ngawe" (featuring Thabsie)

2016 - "Ngud'" (featuring Cassper Nyovest)

2017 - "Spirit" (featuring Wale)

2018 - "Vur Vai"

2020 - "I came, I saw" (featuring Rick Ross)