Kwesta was born on August 11, 1988. He is 31 years old. Kwesta grew up in Katlehong, a township located east of Johannesburg. He described his childhood as a happy one and had dreams of becoming a soccer star.
Kwesta's real name
Kwesta’s real name is Senzo Mfundo Vilakazi. He previously called himself Quest. The rapper came up with his name when he started writing poetry as a teenager.
“I wrote all the time. Whenever I was finished with training, I’d just go home and write. It felt like all of this writing was a quest that not many people would understand. I was on a quest to say my piece, and as I started rapping, it just made sense that my stage name should be Kwesta,” he told ClubX magazine in an interview.
Kwesta's music, songs, albums
Kwesta’s music career began when he was a teenager. The rapper turned his love for poetry into music. He would sing his poems over beats her created on a music program called FruityLoops (now known as FL Studio).
Kwesta started a group called, Ghetto Fellaz, with a few of his friends in 2003. The group eventually changed their name to The Juvenylz. Kwesta said there was no real goal for the group and they just enjoyed making hip-hop music together. They would do rap sessions during school breaks. He described the group as a “high school hobby”. Kwesta dropped out of high school when he was 16 to focus on his music.
Kwesta started making his own music in a makeshift home studio as a teen. He recorded his first demo in the studio. He used the demo to convince a local record company to allow him to use their recording studio.
The rapper eventually caught the attention of Buttabing Entertainment – a label owned by rapper Slikour and Shugasmakx.
Kwesta released his debut studio album, Special Rekwest, in September 2010 when he was just 22 years old. He describes holding the album in his hands for the first time as the highlight of his career. Some of the album’s singles include Stomp, Pump It and Babhemi.
Three years after the release of his debut album, Kwesta dropped DaKAR (Da King of Afrikan Rap), through his company, Urbantainment. In February 2016, he released his third and most successful album to date, DaKAR II. He became the best-selling hip-hop artist in South Africa’s history when the double-disc album was certified seven times platinum in 2018.
Kwesta has worked with Cassper Nyovest, AKA, Tweezy, Solo, Thabsie and Nota. He has also collaborated with American rappers Rick Ross and Wale.
Here’s a look at some of Kwesta's top songs:
2. Vur Vai
4. Khetile Khetile
5. Johnnie (Keep Walking)
9. Day One
10. Ngiyaz'fela Ngawe
Kwesta's record label
Kwesta is currently signed to his own independent record label, RapLyf Records. He started the label with fellow rapper Kid X. Kwesta released his third album, DaKAR II, under the stable. Some of the labels other big stars are Makwa and TLT.
The RaoLyf launched its own clothing line in 2017. The line, which is called RapLyf, sells items such as French terry hoodies, swimsuits, leather caps and t-shirts.
“For me, this has always been a growth thing. When I started, I always tried to switch it up and change things up to be beyond just music. That’s why we started Raplyf [Records]. This whole thing is literally called Raplyf and why you don’t see my name on it is because I don’t want it to be about Kwesta,” Kwesta told IOL Lifestyle in an interview.
Kwesta has been a one-woman man for many years. He has been in a relationship with Yolanda Mvelase for more than seven years. Yolanda revealed that she was not attracted to Kwesta at first.
“My friend called me up and said, 'can you please do my guy a favour, he needs video girls'. So, I went there for my friend and I met him and he wasn't my type," she said in a video posted on Sony Music Africa’s Instagram account.
It was love at first sight for Kwesta and he kept bugging her until they finally became a couple. Kwesta confirmed their engagement in 2017. They got matching tattoos to mark the occasion.
Kwesta and Yolanda made their relationship official when they tied-the-knot in a traditional wedding ceremony in KwaZulu-Natal in 2017. They held their white wedding in March 2019. Some of the famous guests included LootLove, Reason, Tshepi Vundla and JR.
“What a song you are. I may never be worthy to dance to it but I'll burst my eardrums trying to listen right and break my legs learning the moves. I love you @yonessavv Let's make music forever,” Kwesta captioned a picture from his big day.
Kwesta and Yolanda have a daughter named Khai. She was born on October 13, 2012. Kwesta takes his role as a father seriously. His own dad abandoned him when he was just five years old. Kwesta's song, Johnnie (Keep Walking), was inspired by his father leaving his family.
During an interview on Real Talk, he revealed that even though he was young when his father left, he could tell how the abonnement affected him.
“There were obvious changes like now you understand that there is one paycheque and there’s 3 kids. The reality is that you are not gonna get them soccer boots, your’e not gonna get those things because right now, as little as I was I could see that there’s a big difference in what we’re eating,” he said.
Kwesta has won several awards since releasing his debut album in 2010. His second album, Dakur, won “Best Rap Album” at the Metro FM Awards. He also took home “Lyricist of The Year” award.
Kwesta’s third album, Dakur II, was a big success. His song, Ngud’ featuring Cassper Nyovest, was awarded “SAMRO Highest Airplay of the Year” and “Best Collaboration” awards at the 2017 SAMAs. Kwesta also won “Best Male Artist of the Year” and “Best Album of the Year”.
Kwesta comes from humble beginnings so being able to buy his own home before turning 30 is a huge achievement. The rapper made headlines in 2018 when thugs broke into his Midrand house. The criminals stole a 55-inch smart TV, a Play Station console and three speakers. The stolen goods were worth R22 000.
Kwesta has owned several luxury cars over the years including a BMW M4 and an Audi RS Q3. The rapper is not very flashy and does not post many pictures of his fancy cars on Instagram. He also drives around in sponsored cars when he travels to some of his gigs.