Spotlight: Zwai Mbula

Zwai Mbula is a South African marimba and percussion player who combines traditional African music with modern pop, Afro Jazz and World music.

Zwai grew up in Guguletu Township in Cape Town and was surrounded marimba music. He took up the marimba age 12 when he joined a group at the local community centre. The group won the Shell Road to Fame Talent Show in South Africa in 1996. Zwai studied at The College of Music at The University of Cape Town and has played in a variety of bands across a range of different styles of music.

For eight years Zwai was a member of the very successful marimba band Abakhaya who represented South Africa music at the FIFA World Cup of ’98. His most recent tour in 2015 took him to Uganda, Ethopia, South Africa, where he performed with a number of well-renowned South African musicians.

Zwai started the production company Sabela Productions, in 2003, as a platform to help young people learn how to play marimba, drumming, singing and dancing. Projects like this are particularly important in South Africa as so many young people live very tough lives with little parental support.

In 2010, Zwai released an album showcasing his musical heritage and conveying the spirit of South Afrian music. It features some of the top jazz musicians in Cape Town, including Allou April, Spencer Mbadu, Robbie Jansen, Nyamie Mbula and Lush Nqikashe


To find out more about Zwai Mbula, check him out on Clowdy, Twitter and Facebook.


Joe Scarffe

Joe Scarffe

Joe is the CMO at Twine.

When he’s not moaning about the state of the music industry or public transport in Manchester, he works with the Twine community and handles social media, the blog and partnerships with companies and institutions.