Born into a musical Johannesburg family, Moeketsi was the youngest of eleven brothers, and one sister who was a nurse (Mirriam Ntsadi Kathar, née Moeketsi), all but four of whom played an instrument. Growing up in George Goch township was unpleasant for him and he was often truant.
Often introduced as "Bra Joe from Kilimanjaro", Kippie joined the cast of King Kong, which would take him to London. After the Sharpeville massacre of 1960, most of his contemporaries went into exile, but he returned to South Africa. In the oppressive circumstances he would not perform for four years.
After many years of alcohol abuse Moeketsi died penniless and disgruntled in 1983, aged 58.