Sipho Mabuse

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Sipho Mabuse
Also known asHotstix
Born (1951-11-02) 2 November 1951 (age 70)
Soweto, Johannesburg

Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse (born in Johannesburg, 2 November 1951) is a South African singer.

Sipho grew up in Soweto. His mother was Zulu and his father was Tswana. Sipho and his band used to be managed by Solly Nkuta, After dropping out of school in the 1960s,[1] Mabuse got his start in the Afro-soul group the Beaters in the mid-1970s. After a successful tour of Zimbabwe they changed the group's name to Harari, an afrosoul band led by Mabuse. When they returned to their homeland in South Africa they began to draw almost exclusively on American-style funk, soul, and pop music, sung in Zulu and Sotho as well as English. He has also recorded and produced for, amongst others, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Ray Phiri and Sibongile Khumalo.

Mabuse is responsible for "Burn Out" in the early 1980s which sold over 500,000 copies, and the giant (Disco Shangaan) hit of the late 1980s, "Jive Soweto".

His daughter is the singer Mpho Skeef.

Mabuse returned to school at the age of 60, completing his matric (grade 12) in 2012 at Peter Lengene Community Learning Centre.[2] He stated that he intended to continue on to college and study anthropology. President Jacob Zuma praised him for giving "inspiration to all of us by showing us that one is never too old for education".[1]

Allegations of unlawful enrichment at SAMRO[edit]

In 2019 the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) sued Mabuse for unlawful enrichment.[3] According to the court case, Mabuse and a number of other members of the leadership of SAMRO overpaid themselves by more than R1.6 Million rand. Mabuse himself was irregularly overpaid by R171 000.

SAMRO would later become the centre of a scandal regarding the underpayment of royalties to artists, much of this taking place during Mabuse's time working for the organisation. [4]


Sipho Cecil Peter Mabuse was born on 2 November 1951 in Masakeng (Shantytown), Orlando West. At the tender age of 8 he began playing drums which he went on to master earning him the nickname “Hotstix” – a name that’s become synonymous with him to this day. He then went on to become a multi-instrumentalist through learning and mastering other instruments such as the flute, piano, saxophone, kalimba, timbales and African drums.

Sipho’s music career began when he formed a group called The Beaters with two of his friends Selby Ntuli and “Om” Alec Khaoli, when he was just 15 years old. After touring Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) in 1974, and dedicating a song “Harari”to the people of that town, the group later changed its stage name to Harari –and went on to gain acclaim as one of the most successful acts that dominated the local music scene in the 70s with its “feel good vibes of Afro-rock spiced with some get down boogie woogie space jabs”, “vibrating in percussion in toto, conga drumming and some breath taking wailing of flutes and pennywhisltes”. . In 1978, Harari was invited to perform in the USA with fellow musician Hugh Masekela, but the band’s leader Selby Ntuli died leaving Sipho as the new leader. Under the new front man, the group went on to support and back renowned musicians such as Percy Sledge, Timmy Thomas, Letta Mbula, Brook Benton, and Wilson Pickett on their South African tours. In 1982, the group split giving Sipho a chance to launch his solo career making him one of the pioneers of township pop while riding the wave of disco music.

In 1983, Sipho released his crossover hit “Burn Out” which catapulted his solo career to stardom selling an excess of half a million copies and remains popular today. Some of his other popular songs include his 1986 hit Jive Soweto and the 1989 anti-apartheid anthem “Chant of the Marching” among others.

During his 50 plus year-long music career, Sipho has performed across Africa, Europe, and the USA. He has recorded and produced legendary artists such as Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Ray Phiri and Sibongile Khumalo. He was the owner of the legendary Kippies nightclub and sat on the boards of The National Arts Council and SAMRO (South African Musicians Rights Organisation).

He has also collected enough accolades to match his incredible career . In 2005, he received a South African Music Award Lifetime Achievement Award and was bestowed with the Silver Order of Ikhamanga for his contribution to the field of music. In 2013 Gallo released a new greatest hits collection on CD and DVD.

On 2 November 2021 Sipho celebrates his 70th birthday. He continues to perform regularly.


  1. ^ a b "Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse finishes South African school". BBC News. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  2. ^ "Sipho 'Hotstix' Mabuse: celebrity pupil at 60 - Vodacom Mobile Education Programme". Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  3. ^ " - Digital Newspaper & Magazine Subscriptions". Retrieved 22 June 2022.
  4. ^ Madibogo, Julia. "Artists sign petition to force Samro to pay". Citypress. Retrieved 22 June 2022.

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