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Art and Culture, Features

Mkhulu Blondie Makhene soon to be Dr Makhene

Professor M Hlati and SADC University of African Medicine, in association with Christ the Lamb Theological Seminary, have recently announced that they will be conferring a Doctorate Degree in African Medicine to Mkhulu Blondie Makhene on the 4th of March in Braamfontein, “and this by far is the largest celebration to date, and we are proud to uphold the dignity of African healers,” they stated.

Blondie Makhene, soon to be Dr Makhene, was born Keoagile Gerald Makhene on the 16th of September 1955 in South Africa’s suburb of Soweto. He is a legendary musician, an award-winning music producer, an actor, music director, traditional healer of note among the many hats he wears. Gerald started his musical journey in 1969 as a band member of the T&T’s, this is where Blondie was born.

Gerald Makhene
  • At the tender age of 15 in 1970 Blondie joined The Movers and recorded the first South African crossover song, Hopeless Love by Blondie and The Movers It was the first locally produced song to play on all radio stations under the previous political regime.
  • Two years down the line in 1977, Blondie, his siblings and father started the Makhene family musical group which they called, The Family. The band consisted of his two brothers (Cliff & Papa), sisters (Pamela & Phyllis) and their father, Peter. They released a self-titled album, ‘The Family’
  • In 1979, Blondie and his brother, Papa released the hit song ‘24 Hour Service‘ produced by Malcolm Watson
Blondie & Papa Makhene – Together (1982)
  • In 1982, Blondie and Malcolm Watson got together to co- produce one of SA’s all-timer favourite hits ‘Weekend Special by the late great, Brenda Fassie’ and ‘Life is Going On’.
  • Blondie’s musical career grew from strength to strength as he recorded his first Gold selling album, Communicate in 1984.
  • A year later, he released his second album, ‘Overtime’ and in 1987, he co-founded a record company with John Galanakis, Hit City Records
  • Blondie’s musical career is quite colourful, spreading over five decades and these highlights mentioned are just a drop in the ocean. In 1987, he produced the historic South African instrumental music band African Youth Band and the now classical ballad, Baby I’m Missing You.
Blondie with daughter, Letoya

More of his noteworthy accomplishments include:

  • 1990- produced Amaqabane featuring Blondie Makhene
  • 1991- produced and released the record-breaking South African Zulu wedding songs group-
  • 1992- produced Amadamara by Freddy Gwala, which reached triple gold selling status
  • 2004- produced SAMA Award winning album Time by Hugh Masekela which features hits like Thuma Mina, Stimela, Market Place just to name a few
  • 2002- produced Tshepo Tshola’s album titled A New Dawn
  • 2003- produced Busi Mhlongo’s album titled Freedom
  • 2008- produced Sthunywa Sam by Blondie Makhene
  • 2001- wrote and produced music for film scoring on Leon Schuster’s classic film- Mr. Bones.
  • 2013- Music director and actor of Mandela- Long walk to Freedom- the movie produced by Anant Singh
  • 2016- actor on South African film- Elinye Ithuba broadcast on Mzansi Magic
  • 2017- actor on South African film Lucky Specials broadcast and screened on SABC and US Aid platforms. A TB Awareness campaign film.
  • 2018- produced the GBV Awareness project titled Isikhalo which features SA musicians such as Joe Nina, Vicky Sampson, Tu Nokwe just to name a few


Mkhulu Makhene is turning 66 this year, but he is quite energetic and his voice is full of life.

Mkhulu Makhene Interview 1 courtesy of IYM Productions

Dr Sefadi Mohami, Spokesperson at SADC University of African Medicine remarked, “We are a newly established University of African Medicine in the world. Apart from encouraging African Doctors to enroll with us, we will be also honouring our veterans within the African medicine practice. We chose Mkhulu Blondie to be the first one because he has been an Ambassador at the United Nations for African Culture and Music, being the mouthpiece of our African heritage even outside the South African borders qualify him to be honoured, especially while he still alive, we can’t continue with the culture of cerebrating our heroes after they join their forefathers.”

Afrique Beat wishes to congratulate Dr Blondie Makhene (in advance) on attaining a Doctorate Degree in African Medicine on the 4th of March 2020.


Mkhulu Makhene is quite a cultural man. Listen to his second interview, courtesy of IYM Productions.

Interview with Blondie Makhene Courtesy of IYM Productions

About Constance van Niekerk

Constance van Niekerk, (Connie V) is a creative writer, poet, music lover, spoken word artist, freelance writer, blogger and educator. She has contributed to several anthologies and published her own collection, Echoes of My Heart: A Poetry Collection available for purchase on all Amazon Stores Worldwide. Follow her on Twitter : @convanniekerk Connect with her on Facebook and Linkedin.


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