Mzansi Profiles! Local,People DJ Maphorisa Biography: Early Life, Career, Albums, Thuli Phongolo

DJ Maphorisa Biography: Early Life, Career, Albums, Thuli Phongolo

DJ Maphorisa Biography: Early Life, Career, Albums, Thuli Phongolo post thumbnail image

DJ Maphorisa Biography: Early Life, Career, Albums, Thuli Phongolo

DJ Maphorisa is a versatile South African artist who is a DJ, record producer, singer, and songwriter. He has made a name for himself as a record producer with a unique blend of house music, amapiano, and Afropop genres.

DJ Maphorisa’s impressive career has seen him collaborate with numerous high-profile artists, including Wizkid, Sizwe Alakine, Kwesta, Drake, Black Coffee, Major Lazer, Runtown, C4 Pedro, TRESOR, Kabza De Small, Era Istrefi, Mpura, Young Stunna, and Killer Kau, among others.


Early Life


Younger Phori

DJ Maphorisa Biography [Image: Instagram/@djmaphorisa]


Born as Themba Sonnyboy Sekowe on November 15th, 1987, DJ Maphorisa was raised in Soshanguve, Pretoria, South Africa. DJ Maphorisa’s passion for music was ignited at a young age.

His mother, who used to sing as part of a gospel music crew, and his two uncles, who were also musicians, greatly influenced his musical journey. Maphorisa grew up listening to them sing and eventually became interested in music.

As a young boy, DJ Maphorisa would often watch his mother rehearse with her gospel music crew, and this sparked his curiosity. He would also attend his uncles’ music rehearsals, which helped him learn more about music. His uncles saw his passion for music and decided to buy him a recording set as a birthday gift, which further heightened Maphorisa’s interest in music.



DJ Maphorisa Biography [Image: Instagram/@djmaphorisa]


By his teen years, DJ Maphorisa had already begun performing in local events such as beauty pageants, birthdays, and weddings. At the age of 17, he decided to drop out of school to focus on his music career.

Despite his parents’ attempts to convince him to finish his studies, Maphorisa dropped out and pursued his music career.


DJ Maphorisa Career

Like many other musicians, DJ Maphorisa faced several challenges in his career. When he dropped out of school to pursue his music career, he had to overcome financial challenges. He did not have the financial backing he needed to produce his music.

However, DJ Maphorisa’s hard work paid off. He began producing music for local artists, and his work caught the attention of high-profile artists, both locally and internationally.


DJ Maphorisa Biography

DJ Maphorisa Biography [Image: Instagram/@djmaphorisa]


He got his big break in 2013 while signed to Kalawa Jazmee. DJ Maphorisa was a member of a South African musical group called Uhuru, which was signed to Kalawa Jazmee Records. Uhuru was best known for producing the hit single “Khona” performed by Mafikizolo.

DJ Maphorisa collaborated with other members of Uhuru, namely Mapiano, DJ Clap and Xelimpilo, on various songs and albums, such as “Y-tjukutja”, “The Sound”, “Our Father”, and “Safari”. DJ Maphorisa also worked with other artists such as Vee Mampeezy on the song “Sele”, Becca on the song “Move” and Davido on the song “The Banger”. DJ Maphorisa left Uhuru in 2015 to pursue his solo career.

In 2016, he gained global recognition for producing Drake’s chart-topping hit, One Dance, which became a global sensation and reached number one in 15 countries. Maphorisa’s Banyana album, released in 2021, was a massive success in the South African music industry, with his Izolo track, a collaboration with Tyler ICU, Mpura, and Daliwonga, becoming one of the album’s most popular songs.


DJ Maphorisa Albums


DJ Maphorisa Biography

DJ Maphorisa Biography [Image: Instagram/@djmaphorisa]


DJ Maphorisa has released a total of 11 albums in his entire career, either as a solo artist or as part of a group or collaboration. Here are the names and years of his albums:

  • Our Father (with Uhuru) (2013)
  • Blaqboy Music Presents Gqom Wave (2017)
  • Scorpion Kings (with Kabza De Small) (2019)
  • The Return of the Scorpion Kings (with Kabza De Small) (2019)
  • Piano Hub (with Kabza De Small) (2019)
  • Scorpion King Live At Sun Arena (with Kabza De Small) (2020)
  • Once Upon A Time In A Lockdown (with Kabza De Small) (2020)
  • Madumane EP (2020)
  • Rumble In The Jungle (with Kabza De Small & TRESOR) (2021)
  • Banyana EP (with Tyler ICU) (2021)
  • Ba Straata (With Visca) (2022)


DJ Maphorisa Relationships


DJ Maphorisa Biography

DJ Maphorisa Biography [Image: Instagram/@djmaphorisa]


Ursula Dlamini

She is a South African social media influencer who was reportedly dating DJ Maphorisa before he met Thuli Phongolo. She claimed that DJ Maphorisa was abusive towards her when they dated and that Thuli Phongolo and DJ Maphorisa’s assault allegations triggered her. However, some people accused her of being a jealous and bitter ex who was seeking attention4. She is now happily married to someone else.

Lerato Phasha

She is a South African model and entrepreneur who is currently dating Oscar Mbo, another Amapiano producer and DJ. She was previously linked to DJ Maphorisa when he posted a picture of them together on his Instagram account in 2020. However, it is not clear if they were dating or just friends.

Thuli Phongolo

She is a South African actress and DJ who was allegedly dating DJ Maphorisa since 2021. They sparked dating rumours when a video of them dancing intimately went viral on social media. However, she initially denied their relationship and claimed to be single.

DJ Maphorisa was arrested for allegedly assaulting  Thuli on Sunday, 7 May 2023. He was granted R4,000 bail at the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday, and the case was postponed until 14 June 2023. Thuli Phongolo reportedly dropped the assault case and agreed for him to be released on bail.

The incident happened at Thuli Phongolo’s Sandton apartment, where she confronted DJ Maphorisa about their argument from the previous night during his gig. He allegedly hit her with open hands and strangled her. This was not the first time the couple had a fight, as they had a history of arguments over infidelity accusations.


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