Lumakii: Durban’s rising hip hop star
On a recent afternoon at DUTs City Campus, Lungisani Zamokuhle Malinga- who also goes by the moniker- Lumakii, is 15 minutes early for our interview. He offers me a handshake and a smile. It is a month after he released his latest song Moyo but he seems relaxed. When I ask if he is nervous or excited, he says ‘No’ with a laugh, as if he it is in his nature to be releasing songs. He is not dressed flamboyant like you see rappers in photographs and music videos. His hair, an afro covered by a white baseball cap. He is wearing a black shirt with the words ‘Never stop exploring’ written across it, he pairs it up with white Reebok shorts and white Nike sneakers paired with colourful socks. We sit down on the bench and right away he says, “Right now, with what’s happening, I can make a song.”
Lumakii is one of Durban’s new rising Hip Hop rap stars. In the past 12 months, he has performed at the popular Eyadini Lounge as an opening act for Hip Hop DJ, DJ Speedsta, Durban born rapper Zakwe and Maraza. The 23 – year old is modern kind of performer, he makes conscious rap and trap music, Lumakii says he gets his musical inspiration from local and international artists, “I grew up listening to The Game, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Lupe Fiasco, Stogie T, and Meek Mill,” he says.
Born in 1996 and raised in Stanger, a bustling town located along the East Coast in KwaZulu Natal, Lumakii says he started rapping in Grade 9. “But at first I was spitting bars from other people,” he explains. “I chose to rap because it’s a genre that allows you to say whatever you want to say without fearing anything for example as a gospel artist there are some things you cannot talk about because you have to be more into religion. In my case I want to talk about anything people can relate too,” says the young star.
The rap musician is also known as ‘The rapping journalist’ And what was the story behind this name? Well, the rap musician is also a journalism student at the Durban University of Technology, “Journalism and music kinda work for hand in hand and the two are very related”. He further reveals that he wanted to study music at tertiary level but he was advised not too, “It’s funny, I wanted to go pursue music, but my dad was like ‘NO!’ He’s passed away but he was a musician as well and he told me that doing music was a waste of time because with music its about talent and putting yourself out there, so I thought studying music would be a waste of time.”
What is the meaning behind the name Lumakii? “I just took the first two letters of my first name and then my surname – then I combined the two to make ‘Luma’, then the ‘kii’ just because I felt like I got the key.” (Pronounced: Loo – ma – key)
The musician’s advice for aspiring artists is widely insightful yet simple. “Be cool with criticism because you will get critised a lot. Be patient and just focus on doing your art and nothing else and you’ll survive,” he concluded. As we parted ways, I realised that Lumakii’s determination and talent is awe- inspiring. With the world at his fingertips, it will be interesting seeing what the rising superstar will bring to the table in the near future.
Listen to two of Lumakiis latest singles Moyo and Don’t get along available on all music platforms: