South Africa's best loved 10 x SAMA award winning Kwaito star, songwriter, radio and television presenter, sports personality, co-founder of the SHOUT campaign, solo artist and a member of the Kwaito trio TKZee. Kabelo Mabalane - better known by his fans as Bouga Luv needs no introduction and is an inspirational celebrity that most brands would be proud to be associated with.
Kabelo’s music career started in 1996 when he met high school friends ZwaiBala&Tokollo Tshabalala at St. Stithians to form the group TKZee. The group arrived on the kwaito scene releasing singles “Take It Eezy” and then “Phalafala” which became a national anthem for the December holidays in 1996. “Shibobo” was yet another single released in 1998 featuring Benni McCarthy. This was at the height of soccer fever during the France World Cup for which South Africa had qualified. The single was produced by Zwai and went on to become SA’s fastest and biggest selling single ever reaching over 280 000 units. When HALLOWEEN hit the streets later that year, the album sold 300 000 copies. The group raked in awards at the South African Music Awards (SAMAs), in 1999, they took home an unprecedented five awards for best Kwaito Single, best Kwaito Album, best Single, best Video and best Duo or Group. TKZee scooped SAMAs in 2001 for Best Kwaito single for Izinjazam. TKZee Family’s Guz 2001 was a runaway success reaching double Platinum status.
Kabelo has since released award winning albums, presented South African Music Awards and started his own record label - Faith Records. He has opened shows for American world famous musicians such as Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Ja Rule and Rihanna. Kabelo won the 2004 Kora Award for the Best Southern African Male Artist. Along with his TKZEE bandmates (Tokollo Tshabalala and ZwaiBala), Kabelo performed at the 2010 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony. Kabelo has recently released his 8th solo album Immortal Vol.2, which is a much anticipated follow up on the highly successful Immortal Vol.1 album. The album features tracks with the likes of Big Nuz (Impilo); RealBlackPearl (Ice-Cream Soda); and George Avakian (What You Need), all of which are already receiving good airplay on radio stations across the country and promise to be great dance hits this festive season.
Kabelo the Sports Personality
After recovering from drug abuse ten years ago, Kabelo has now found happiness in a healthy lifestyle and his path as a Christian. Kabelo’s love for sport emerged when he started to train for the comrades in 2005. He partnered with Harmony Gold to raise R250 000 for charity through running the marathon and continues to support and participate in charity projects close to his heart. The comrades’ race is all about testing one's mental and physical endurance. Since 2006, to date, Kabelo has entered and completed six comrades marathons and is preparing for his seventh.
In 2008 the South African Sports Confederation Olympics Committee (SASCOC) chose Kabelo to be an Olympic Ambassador. In April 2010 Kabelo was selected as the presenter of a new multi-sport and lifestyle talk-show “Sportsnite”. Not your average sports show, Sportsnite engaged and entertained viewers with topical sports debates and relevant features with standard coverage of weekly match results as well as a view from behind-the-scenes of the sporting world matches from soccer to rugby, cricket, tennis, netball, hockey and athletics. At the 30th SAB Sports Journalist of the Year Awards, on 6 September 2010, Kabelo was rewarded with two awards, for Best Newcomer Overall and Best Newcomer Television Presenter for “Sportsnite”.
Kabelo is part of the Seven Summits Challenge team. He has completed Mount Kosciuszko in Australia, and Aconcagua in South America. The grueling task of the Seven Summits Challenge forms an element of a non-profit organisation, Mountain Heights, which strive to facilitate change and bring hope to the addicted through its various initiatives that actively demonstrate the conquering of physical challenges.
Apart from his experienced and esteemed television and presenter skills, Kabelo has in the past few years inspired famous brands. Kabelo was the first black man – worldwide – to be featured on the cover of Runners World. In 2005, Kabelo, became the first South African celebrity to sign a three year endorsement deal with Reebok.Kabelo is an ambassador for the KIA car dealership and Tiger of Sweden. Kabelo has recently started hosting his own radio show on Radio 2000 and has launched an energy drink, Elements, with business partner and friend, Danny K.