Mzansi Profiles! People K.O Biography: Early Life | Music Career | Personal Life 

K.O Biography: Early Life | Music Career | Personal Life 

K.O Biography: Early Life | Music Career | Personal Life  post thumbnail image

Biography: K.O is a South African rapper, songwriter and entrepreneur. He is the founder of Cashtime Life, a hip hop label and clothing brand, and the creator of the Skhanda subgenre of rap music.


Early Life and Education

K.O was born as Ntokozo Mdluli on October 13, 1980 in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa. He is the son of Thembisile Mdluli and Jabulani Mdluli. He moved with his family to Piet Retief, Mpumalanga province, where he grew up and completed his matric.

K.O then enrolled at the Vaal University of Technology, where he studied a National Diploma in Public Relations Management. He also met his future bandmates, Ezee “Ma-E” Hanabe and Bantu “Ntukza” Hanabe, at the university.


K.O Music Career: Teargas

In 2005, K.O, Ma-E and Ntukza formed a hip hop group called Teargas. They released their debut album, K’shubile K’bovu, in 2006, which featured the hit song “Chance” that chronicled the life of a township gangster seeking redemption. The album was a critical and commercial success, and established Teargas as one of the leading hip hop groups in South Africa.

They followed up with three more albums: Wafa Wafa (2008), Dark or Blue (2009) and Num8er Num8er (2012), collaborating with artists such as Bongo Riot, Tamarsha and Mthokozisi Khathi. Teargas won several awards, including the Best Rap Album at the 2007 South African Music Awards (SAMA) and the Best Group at the 2010 Metro FM Music Awards.


K.O Solo Career and Cashtime Life


K.O Biography [Image: K.O/Facebook]

K.O Biography [Image: K.O/Facebook]


In 2013, K.O, along with Ma-E, founded an entertainment company called Cashtime Life, which aimed to promote and support local hip hop talent. K.O became the first artist signed to the label, and released his first solo single, “Mission Statement”, in 2013.

He then released his solo debut album, Skhanda Republic, in 2014, which debuted at number one on the South African iTunes chart and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA). The album spawned several hit singles, such as “Caracara”, “Son of a Gun” and “Skhanda Love” featuring Nandi Mngoma. K.O won the Best Newcomer and Best Rap Album awards at the 2015 SAMA, becoming the first rapper to win the former award.

K.O released his second solo album, Skhanda Republic 2, in 2017, in partnership with Sony Music Entertainment Africa. The album featured collaborations with Runtown, Shekhinah, Black Coffee and others. K.O also launched his own clothing line, Skhanda World, in 2017, which offers urban streetwear and accessories.

In 2022, K.O released his third solo album, SR3, which reached platinum status by Risa. The album included the hit single “Sete”. K.O has also worked with other artists, such as AKA, Cassper Nyovest, Nasty C, Busiswa and more.

ALSO READ: AKA Biography| Real Name, Family, Education, Love Life, Music Career, Awards, Death 


K.O Personal Life

K.O is in a relationship but has kept the identity of his woman a secret.


K.O Biography

K.O Biography [Image: K.O/Facebook]


In 2014, K.O lost so much weight and people insinuated that he is HIV positive. His then manager Thabiso Khati refuted the rumour, explaining that the rapper was on a strict diet and exercise regime. K.O then went for a test and posted his HIV Status online with an accompanying statement.








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