Afro-pop duo Mafikizolo has achieved an amazing amount of success since the release of their new album last year, but vocalist Nhlanhla Nciza had to overcome a tough time in her life before enjoying these most recent accomplishments.
Nhlanhla and her Mafikizolo bandmate, Theo Kgosinkwe, in 2004 lost the third member of their group when Tebogo Madingoane was shot and killed in a tragic roadrage incident.
And Nhlanhla suffered further loss a few years later when her 5-year-old daughter, Zinathi, died in a car accident. Mafikizolo took a break from music after that, but re-emerged after a five-year hiatus and took the local music scene by storm.
Nhlanhla spoke to Drum magazine about the difficult years in her life, overcoming them, and moving forward.
"It was a very dark and painful time in my life. I lost myself and it took many years to get over the pain," she bravely admitted.
"It's better now but that pain never goes away; one just gets used to it. I live every day celebrating Zinathi's memory as well as all the joys in my life now."
And one of these joys is Nhlanhla's 2-year-old son Luvuyo, who she affectionately calls "Spiderman".
"He's such an energetic boy that one! He loves the outdoors and playing. He always keeps me on my toes," she said of her son.
"He loves Welela by Miriam Makeba, so that's my trick when I want him calm. Sometimes I wonder if he's so energetic so that I can just sing."
And of the great things she and Theo, who was once merely the boy next door, are achieving, she said: "We were two friends with a dream. That dream has opened up the world for us."