Article by Enock Shishenge
Nsuku Baloyi better known as ‘Manyangatsi the Commissar’ is one of the best known Xitsonga music analysts I have come to know. So far he has interviewed so many Xitsonga artists and did countless music analyses and his analyses have shown depths with time on his YouTube Channel. I took time out to speak to him with the aim of making the thousands of his followers on YouTube understand him much better and to talk about what he does outside his music analysis.
Flair: Tell me about yourself – where you come from, education and what you do for a living.
Nsuku: I am a simple person who prefers being associated with those who have been rejected by society. I love honesty and mostly get the most of honesty out of people who have nothing to lose. I grew up in Gumbani but later moved to Mulamula village. I’m currently doing my final year of studies with Unisa and I prefer not to mention the degree yet. I hustle for a living
Flair: Tell me about your educational background in relation to what you are doing for living?
Nsuku: My main hustle is writing research papers, however it has nothing to do with my educational background. I do the writing because of my love for philosophy. I am a very objective person and hard to be convinced by information which has no logical or scientific proof.
Flair: Tell me about your music analysis’ work – when did you start doing it? And how is it doing and how do people receive it?
Nsuku: I started doing music analysis in 2016 through an online magazine, VIVMAG, which was run by Shitshembiso Mabasa. He used to call himself FanaThePurp, but later on the Magazine was shutdown. After that I opened my own website in 2018, manyangatsi.co.za, which I later on decided to shutdown, because I lost interest in writing when I started my YouTube channel.
Flair: What are the challenges you encounter in your industry?
Nsuku: Failure of fans to listen to understand rather than listen to respond. Their failure to differentiate between constructive criticism and hate. Failure of artists to accept their musical flops. The battle of the artists to understand their wrong when they are wrong. Those are the challenges I encounter.
Flair: What inspires you in life and what inspires your work?
Nsuku: My desire to see the industry grow. Vatsonga music and entertainment to be positioned as a mainstream art form. In simple terms, I’m inspired by the desire to see everyone succeed. Outside musical analysis I have an NGO which from 2015 has been assisting mainly learners with motivation and applications for essential services for tertiary education such as NSFAS and Applications.
Flair: Tell me about your relationship with Xitsonga artists in general?
Nsuku: Because of my work I rarely have stable relationships with Xitsonga artists. The relationships are seasonal depending on what I might have said about them. However, there are artists like Joe Shirimani who takes criticism in a very welcoming spirit and seek to improve or fix whatsoever they see fit from the analysis I make.
Flair: Which work have you done that you regard as a masterpiece?
Nsuku: I don’t have any masterpiece yet, however I’m still building an empire. Last year December, together with Ndzhavuko Media, I hosted 3 events which were successful and gave entertainers a platform to socialize and build relationships. We’re currently working on a fusion album which gives upcoming artists a platform to showcase their talents. However, we haven’t decided as to how many songs the album will have but judging by the level of quality of work we’re receiving, we may as well pull a Kabza The Small 27 songs stunt. Recently, I did #MinkokaMimbirhi in Collaboration with The Legendary Eckson Maluleke, Xiculu Multimedia (directed by Fumani Shilubani and Shitshembiso Mabasa), Mavutani and Matablets, it’s an exciting work of art which people must be on the lookout for. However, that’s all the details I’m willing to share for now, but watch the space!
Flair: What are the opportunities in the work that you do?
Nsuku: Influence and relationships I have gained present market related opportunities such as the collaborations in projects of art in the Vatsonga Entertainment industry.
Flair: What do people on the streets say about your work, how do they react when they meet or see you?
Nsuku: I’m one of the luckiest people when it comes to how people react. Online I’ve experienced countless attacks but in the streets all I experience is love and encouragement to move forward with my hustle.
Flair: What can you tell the people who intend to follow your trade?
Nsuku: It’s not for soft people who can easily be manipulated because they might end up having a lot of contradictions and not knowing their story. The most important thing is investment in thinking. It’s an essential thing to do.
Flair: Who are the most famous people you have met or you would love to meet in Xitsonga music?
Nsuku: The most famous has to be Solly Makamu. No doubt he is probably the most famous Xitsonga entertainer in our lifetime across the Vatsonga entertainment industry.
Flair: Who do you regard as your best supporter in this trade?
Nsuku: The Xitsonga Music Promotion and Ndzhavuko Media family.
Flair: What would you want to tell young people who want to find themselves in your trade?
Nsuku: It’s possible do it.****