A young entertainer from Silikamva High School has taken Imizamo Yethu by storm with his music.
Yandile Mkutu, better known as “Yen Twig” to his growing legion of fans, first began dabbling in music in 2015.
It all started when his mother bought his older sister a computer for her school work.
That computer would eventually be replaced with a laptop, ensuring that Yen Twig would inherit her old desktop. “At the time, all the kids in IY were wanting to make their own music, myself included. Last year, I downloaded a beat, and I immediately fell in love with what I had found. I started playing around with vocals, and called the track Twiggy Cava,” the diminutive 17-year-old told the Sentinel.
“In June 2016, I started sending the song to my friends on WhatsApp and Bluetooth. This was followed up with another track, Awazi Ulalephi (You Don’t Know Where You Slept Yesterday). Everyone started playing my song and sharing it on their phones.”
As his fame grew around the neighbourhood, so the children of Imizamo Yethu began to recognise the young producer on the streets, calling his name wherever he went.
Recognising that his music resonated among the youth, he laid down a new track, Xma Mo Amarhata, a song about the police, which again found favour among audiences. That was when he knew he had to start giving live performances. And so Twig Yen began performing on street corners, drawing a large crowd wherever he went. While his music had already put his name out there, it was these performances involving energetic dance moves that cemented it in local folklore.
An open mic at the Disa Primary School dance gave him the opportunity to perform in front of an even larger audience. “When I perform, I think people can see that what I am doing comes from the heart. My energy comes naturally. It’s not like I practise my routines. I think this energy is what people like about me,” he said.
Today, Twig Yen is invited to perform all around Hout Bay, including gigs at Kronendal Primary and the Public Enterprises Department careers day in Hangberg.
Earlier this month, he was invited to audition for the popular Ipotsoyi Festival at the Cape Town Ostrich Farm, where he made the Top 10.
Unfortunately, he failed to make the top six, which would have ensured his passage to the main stage. “However I was lucky. One of the judges, Aux Gwad, saw that I didn’t have enough votes but allowed me to perform anyway. Unfortunately, the USB containing my song Savage, the one I really wanted to perform, wasn’t working so I had to perform Awazi Ulalephi. It wasn’t what I wanted, but to play at such a huge festival was something I will always remem-
Yen Twig said his mother Nosakhiwo was very proud of him, and was pleased that his music was able to inspire others in Imizamo Yethu. “For me, the music comes first, but I never want to see myself as being apart from my fans. I do my shows for them.”
He also paid tribute to another Imizamo Yethu artist, Simphiwe Bendle, for “showing me the way” in terms of his development as a producer and artist.