Hip Hop Pantsula

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Hip Hop Pantsula
Hip Hop Pantsula in 2012
Background information
Birth nameJabulani Tsambo
Born(1980-09-14)14 September 1980
Mafikeng, North West
OriginNorth West, South Africa
Died24 October 2018(2018-10-24) (aged 38)
Johannesburg, South Africa
Years active1997–2018
LabelsLekoko Entertainment

Jabulani Tsambo (14 September 1980 – 24 October 2018), better known by his stage name Hip Hop Pantsula, later shortened to HHP, was a South African Motswako rapper (Motswakolista) who performed in several languages, mostly in Setswana.[1][2][3][4] He was prominent in bringing South African hip hop and motswako rap to the mainstream world.[5] After his death, the African National Congress called him a "music icon who became a beacon of hope and inspired many artists, and individuals in our country".[6]


Tsambo completed his high schooling at St. Alban's College in Pretoria.[5] He was initially part of a group called Verbal Assassins, working with producer Tebogo Rameetse.[5] After the release of their 1997 debut album, Party, the group split up.[5] Pantsula had his next album, Introduction, produced by singer and producer Isaac Mthethwa, and recorded in different South African languages such as Setswana, isiZulu and Sesotho.[citation needed]

Pantsula used the term "Maf-town" as a reference to his hometown of Mafikeng.[5] In 2004 he released O Mang, an album that saw him reuniting with Rameetse as the producer of a track entitled "On My Own". He was honored in September 2007 in the inaugural Mafikeng Golden Stars Awards.[1][5]

Pantsula released Acceptance Speech in December 2007 with its first single, "Music & Lights".[5] In December 2009, Pantsula released his seventh studio album Dumela.[5] That same year, he collaborated with South African rapper Proverb on a song entitled "Breadwinners", again featuring Tebogo Rameetse on production. He co-chaired a record label, Lekoko Entertainment.[citation needed]

On 14 September 2021, rapper Focalistic celebrated the legend's 40th birthday with a song which titled Nkaofa 2.0 and featured himself.[7]

Television appearances[edit]

In 2007, Tsambo was the winner of Strictly Come Dancing (South African TV series).[5] He presented The Respect Show.[5] He appeared on Who Do You Think You Are? (South African TV series).[5]


Tsambo was discovered dead in his Johannesburg home on 24 October 2018. The tabloid Celeb Gossip South Africa reported that he had committed suicide in what was his fourth attempt following three in 2015.[8] Tsambo revealed in a 2016 interview that he had been battling depression due to his faltering career.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Tsambo was married to Lerato Sengadi.[5] He had strong views about African unity.[5]


Studio albums
  • Party (1997)
  • Introduction (2000)
  • Maf Town (2001)
  • O Mang? (2003)
  • O Mang Reloaded (2004)
  • YBA 2 NW (2005)
  • Acceptance Speech (2007)
  • Dumela (2009)
  • Motswafrika (2011)
  • Motswako High School (2014)
  • Drum (2018)[citation needed]
List of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Shake'a Letheka" 2014 Tsholofelo

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Results Ref.
2009 MTV AMA Best Video Won [1]
2015 MMA best hip hop award Won
2017 SATMA Lifetime achievement Award Won [9][10]


  1. ^ a b c "Hip Hop Pantsula (HHP)-Bio". Hip Hop African. 10 March 2015. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  2. ^ UPDATE: Cause of HHP's death suspected to be suicide, Citizen.co.za
  3. ^ "Hip Hop Pantsula's Biography". Last.fm. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  4. ^ "Hip hop raps on Jazz Fest's door". Iol.co.za. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Khorsandi, Peyvand (27 October 2018). "Jabulani 'Jabba' Tsambo: Much-loved South African rapper who spoke of peace and unity for Africa". Independent. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  6. ^ "South African rapper Jabulani 'HHP' Tsambo dies aged 38". BBC News. 24 October 2018. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  7. ^ Mike, Steven (14 September 2021). "HHP Nkaofa 2.0 ft Focalistic". ivoryMP3. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  8. ^ a b Muza Mpofu (25 October 2018). "Jabulani 'HHP' Tsambo a.k.a Hip Hop Pantsula finally kills himself in 4th suicide attempt". Celeb Gossip South Africa. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  9. ^ "HHP honoured with Lifetime Achievement at the SATMA Awards | SA Life". salife. 1 October 2017.
  10. ^ "@HipHopPantsula honored with Lifetime Achievement at the 2017 SATMA Awards". ispeakhiphop. 4 October 2017.