RATHER than bellyache about the poor returns of the local music industry, rapper Jiji F is working on blazing a trail beyond the country’s borders.
Having made his first recording in 2008, Jiji F shot to fame after featuring in Basali and J Cob’s track Ke Teng remix which became club anthems. Since then, Jiji F has gone from strength to strength releasing solo offerings and collaborating with other artistes. His blending of rhymes in street vernacular has endeared him to fans who can relate to the lyrics.
Since his rise to stardom, the Khubetsoana-based rapper has become a feature on the local Hip Hop shows calendar and has been increasingly foraying into the South African entertainment scene.
Jiji F is also among the few in the dog-eat-dog local music industry getting some returns from his craft and, on current form, the most likely big act from Lesotho.
His rise to stardom can be partly attributed to the efforts of prominent music promoter, Moeketsi “Individual Max” Manoeli, who has also been bringing a host South African artists to Lesotho such as Cassper Nyovest, Kid X, Vigilante, Kwesta among others.
According to Individual Max, through holding a number of events in Johannesburg, South Africa, he befriended many artists from the neighboring country. He then used the connections to promote the local entertainment industry, and in turn, Jiji F.
“I met Jiji F through his brother who is a good friend of mine,” Individual Max said, adding that he identified talent in the rapper when he first heard him two years ago although he had never done artist management before.
“Every time I visited his brother, Jiji F would make me listen to his stuff and then asked me to be his manager. I told him I had never done that before but we could try it and see where it would lead us.
“At first it was all about introducing him to my connections in South Africa as it had been his dream to tap into the market but the outcome exceeded our expectations.”
Through Individual Max’s connections, Jiji F last August managed to secure a gig at a Johannesburg-based club called Kitcheners Carvert. Thereafter, he released his 18-track offering, Maluti Green Capital (MGC) which was well received by his fans.
Jiji F recently made waves on social media after posting pictures of himself at the set of South African prime time soapie Rhythm City. He is set to make a guest appearance in an episode of the popular show that will be aired in August.
“Jiji F’s appearance in Rhythm City is a major milestone that has never been attained by any artist from Lesotho,” Individual Max noted.
“The best thing is that he will appear on the show recording his popular track Animale, thus further exposing him to the South African market since the soapie has a large followership.”
He further revealed that they currently shooting the music video for Animale which will be screened on MTV Base and Channel O among other continental television channels.
“End of July, Jiji F will tour South Africa and Lesotho alongside prominent Soweto-based rapper, Reason, and hopefully a collaborative track will follow as talks are still ongoing regarding the song,” said Individual Max.
“We have worked very hard to get where we are, and give us a year or so and Jiji F will be among the top rappers in South Africa, the same way the likes of Cassper Nyovest have attained success.”
An upcoming Hip Hop DJ himself, Individual Max said he and Jiji F form a formidable team, adding that invading Africa would be their next port of call.
On his part, Jiji F paid tribute to Individual Max saying he was the best thing that have happened to his career “since I am just a guy from Khubetsoana who would otherwise not have never made it this far”.