|Years active 2009–present|
Record label Columbia/Epic
|Education University of Cape Town|
|Birth name Mzayifani Mzondeleli Boltina|
Born November 20, 1985 (age 35) Mthatha, Eastern Cape, South Africa (1985-11-20)
Genres Hip hopXhosa Raprapper
Albums I Believes in Me (1st Quadrant), I Believes In Me (2nd Quadrant)
Awards South African Music Award for Best Rap Album
Similar Cassper Nyovest, Selwyn (singer), Francois Van Coke
Mzayifani Mzondeleli Boltina, better known as iFani, is a South African Hip-Hop/Rap artist, MC and television presenter. His first single was ‘Hola Hater’, followed by ‘Ewe’, ‘Shake’, ‘Milli’ and the ‘I Believes in Me’ (1st and 2nd Quadrant) albums, the latter of which attained Gold Status’ on the day of its release. He debuted on television as a presenter, hosting a sponsored reality series, on SABC 1 called, ‘Stumbo Stomp Amapantsula’, which was a platform for challengers to battle out their pantsula moves. He was later replaced by Busiswa Gqulu in the 2nd Season. He has also appeared on and hosted the reality television series ‘Clash of the Choirs’, which aired on the channel ‘Mzanzi Magic’.
Boltina was born in Mthatha, the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa and was raised in the Port Elizabeth locales of New Brighton and Motherwell. He was a student at the Gelvandale High School, then went on to study for a BSc (Hons) Computer Science and BSc (Computer Engineering) at the University of Cape Town. Following his graduation, iFani worked as a process control engineer at SABMiller, during which time, he also worked in different styles of music and became involved in a number of hip-hop battles and cyphers as an underground rapper after work. His stage name ‘iFani’ was inspired from a name he adopted from his grandfather, ‘Mzayifani’.
His first single, ‘Hola Haters’ opened to a tepid response in 2009, and gained wider reception once it was picked by the Guateng Radio Station, YFM and featured as one among the ‘Hot 9’ songs on the ‘Hot 9’ chart. His second single ‘Ewe’ defined his feelings about the South African music industry and the reception for his music. The song, released in 2010, gained significant airplay on pop music stations and charts and was one of his most commercially successful singles till date. The TV channel SABC1 picked ‘Ewe’ as one of the ‘Best Music Videos’ for 2011. * iFani signed a contract with Sony Music Africa in 2012 after the release of his single ‘See Live’. Through the next couple of years, he released a series of successful singles including ‘Shake’ and ‘Milli’, and has collaborated with the artist Blaksuga, with whom he released the track, ‘Chocolate and Vanilla featuring Blaksuga’. ‘Shake’ debuted on Club 808’s Chart at the number 1 position in September 2012. In 2013 he released his first album ‘I Believes in Me’ (1st Quadrant), with thirteen tracks and collaborations with the artists Blacksuga, Nomsa and Bongani Fassie. The second album, ‘I Believes in Me’ (2nd Quadrant) released on April 29, 2015 and achieved ‘Gold’ status on the same day of its release. The 2nd Quadrant album also features thirteen tracks, and was released under the Columbia/Epic Label Group. His single ‘Settle Down’ entered the ‘Top 100’ charts and coincided with the first physical pre-order for an album and a digital pre-order via iTunes.
iFani was one of the three celebrities in the e.tv reality series show ‘Reality Check’, where he along with Chomee and Kelly Khumalo had to work and do good deeds for charity. In 2015 he was the ‘Kasi Host’ of the SABC1 documentary-series, ‘Mi Kasi Su Kasi’, and has appeared on ‘Late Night News with Loyiso Gola’, ‘Jam Sandwich’, ‘Idols-Season 10’, ‘I Love South Africa – Season 1’, ‘The Man Cave- Season 3’, ‘Top Billing’, and ‘Zaziwa’.
Awards and recognition
AyadelelaI Believes In Me (2nd Quadrant) · 2015
IbhadiI Believes In Me (2nd Quadrant) · 2015
Iingoma EzimnandiI Believes in Me (1st Quadrant) · 2013