BIG NUZ is a well-known and highly celebrated Durban-based kwaito group under the Afrotainment record label. It is made up of three members, Mandla Maphumulo aka Mampintsha, Mzi Tshomela aka Danger and Sbu Khomo aka R Mashesha.
The name BIG NUZ is derived from the two key elements that define their sound. “BIG” relates to their vision of being a brand that aims to take kwaito to new heights across the continent and ultimately, the globe. They’re not in the business of doing things on a small scale. “NUZ” are letters that appear on the registration plate of vehicles registered in Umlazi township in Durban, i.e. Natal Umlazi. Their sound is one that is distinctly Durban.
The three hail from Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN) but their musical journey began in Johannesburg. While approaching various studios in an attempt to secure a recording deal, they tried various tactics to have their sound heard. These included a jingle for the popular e-tv soapie Backstage, which gave them an opportunity to perform on the show; recorded songs in 2003 with Koloi Lebone and Beatmaker which did not make it to the record shops; and featuring on Ishmael’s album in 2006 with a song called “Boom”.
It was in 2006 however that their efforts and luck took a turn for their better. Gallo Records offered the group a record deal and their first studio album “Zozo” was released. Due to poor management, the album sales did not do well.
In 2007 DJ Tira heard the talented sounds of BIG NUZ and requested that they return to Durban in order for them to join his record label Afrotainment, under which they remain signed. BIG NUZ’s first single under Afrotainment “Uyoysholo Wena” featured on the Durban’s Finest Vol 3 album made waves and reached the Number 1 spot on many radio station charts.
Afrotainment then released BIG NUZ’s second album called “2nd Round Knockout”. The album was a chart topper and sold over 20 000 copies in South Africa. The album won the award for the Best Kwaito Album at the 2008 Metro FM Awards and received a nomination at the 2008 Channel O Music Awards. As the opening act for the ceremony, they created an electric atmosphere that started the awards on a high note.
In the winter of 2009 BIG NUZ released their third album titled “UNDISPUTED”.
The 2010 music award season saw BIG NUZ scoop three awards at the MTN South African Music Awards: Kwaito Album of the Year for “Undisputed”; Album of the Year and Record of the Year by public vote for “Umlilo”.
With the number of tours that haven taken place elsewhere on the continent with huge success, BIG NUZ are a brand that continues to take the uniquely South African brand of music known as Kwaito to the rest of the world. Their latest album, “Made in Africa” released in spring 2013 has already taken the music scene across the continent by storm. Their hit singles “Hawaii” and “Inazo” are definite summer anthems.