Hailing from Empangeni in the heart of Zululand, David ‘Qadasi’ Jenkins is on a quest to revive the powerful sounds of traditional Maskandi music. With four South African Music Award nominations, Qadasi’s fusion of traditional Zulu and western folk music is successfully making its way into local and international music scenes.
David Jenkins, also known as Qadasi, is an accomplished Maskandi vocalist, guitarist, concertina and banjo player who developed a deep passion for Zulu culture and music at a young age while travelling through Zululand with his late father who was a journalist.
This interest grew exponentially over the years, and as a result, his love for traditional music was born.
After matriculating in 2010, Qadasi released his first studio album under record label, Sande Entertainment headed by Sibongiseni Shabalala of five-time Grammy Award winning group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo. His second solo album, released in 2014, was nominated for a SAMA (South African Music Award) and SATMA (South African Traditional Music Award). In 2015, Qadasi was honoured to receive a KwaZulu Natal Young Achievers Award for ‘social cohesion through Maskandi music.’
With two solo albums and two collaborative releases featuring friend and highly respected Maskandi artist, Maqhinga Radebe, Qadasi’s quest to revive traditional Zulu Maskandi music is well underway.
David first met Maqhinga in Durban in 2010 when enquiring about a concertina tuner. After a ‘jam session’, thus began their story and the two have become firm friends, with Maqhinga initially taking the role of music director and producer of David’s first solo projects.
In early 2016, Qadasi went on to record a collaborative album alongside Maqhinga titled, ‘Lashis’ Ilanga’ – an organic, acoustic record which was ultimately nominated for a 2017 SAMA Award for Best Traditional Album. The duo released their second collaborative album in 2019 titled ‘Ungabanaki’ which recently won a 2020 SAMA Award for Best Traditional Album.
Over the past several years, the two musos have travelled home and abroad with their eclectic fusion, taking it to audiences in the UK, Europe, Asia, and throughout South Africa.
Aside from promoting Zulu culture, traditional music and social cohesion, Qadasi and Maqhinga have both been actively involved in rhino conservation, working alongside the Kingsley Holgate Foundation and Project Rhino as Rhino Art Ambassadors.
2011 – (Qadasi) Child of Africa nominated for South African Traditional Music Award for Best Upcoming Artist
2013 – Performance at “South Africa Week” in Dublin & Limerick, Ireland
2013 – Support Act for Johnny Clegg, Old Mutual Concert, KwaZulu Natal
2013 – World Transplant Games Cultural Evening, KwaZulu Natal
2013 – Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day, FNB Stadium, Johannesburg
2014 – Support Act for Oliver Mtukudzi, Caversham Mill, KwaZulu Natal
2014 – Rhino Ambassadors for the “Rhino Art – Africa” Project and the “World Youth Rhino Summit”
2014 – (Qadasi) Uhambo Olusha nominated for South African Traditional Music Award (SATMA) for Best Maskandi Album
2014 – (Maqhinga) iFacebook nominated for South African Traditional Music Award (SATMA) for Best Male Album
2015 – (Qadasi) Uhambo Olusha nominated for South African Music Award (SAMA) for Best Traditional Album
2015 – (Maqhinga) iFacebook nominated for South African Music Award (SAMA) for Best Maskandi Album
2015 – (Qadasi) Performance at the SAMA Awards Live show.
2015 – (Qadasi) KZN Young Achievers Award for Social Cohesion through Maskandi Music.
2015 – Performance at the ‘Take a Walk on the Wild Side’ South African Ball in Bangkok, Thailand.
2015 – Performance at the Bear Grylls Survival Race Festival in London, United Kingdom.
2016 – Performance at Moses Mabhida Stadium for Human Rights Day celebration, Durban KZN.
2016 – Performances for SA Embassies in Vietnam & Thailand and SA Consulate in India as part of SA Freedom Day celebrations.
2016 – Release of collaborative acoustic album, Lashis’ Ilanga.
2016 – Collaboration and performance with Danish vocal group, Baobab Sisters.
2017 – Lashis’ Ilanga nominated for South African Music Award for Best Traditional Album.
2017 – Lashis’ Ilanga nominated for South African Traditional Music Award (SATMA) for Best Male Group.
2017 – Invited to perform at the annual Ferrara Buskers Festival in Italy.
2017 – Performance with the Baobab Sisters (Denmark) at 2017 SATMA Awards Ceremony in Mafikeng.
2018 – Performance at South African Embassy in Berlin, Germany as part of Freedom Day Celebrations
2018 – Performance at annual Hamburg Port Festival in Germany.
2018 – Performances alongside Baobab Sisters in Denmark.
2018 – Support Act for Mango Groove at Marriot Ballito Beats Concert, KwaZulu Natal
2018 – Tours in Ireland and Thailand
2019 – Collaboration with world-renowned Bluegrass Banjo player, Tony Trischka (USA)
2019 – Performance at South African Embassy in Berlin, Germany as part of Freedom Day Celebrations
2019 – German Tour – Berlin, Bonn, Cologne, Aachen, Aschaffenburg, Gundelfingen, Bremen, Witzenhausen, Bad Sooden-Allendorf, Kassel, Otterndorf
2019 – Performance in Bremen, Germany (Durban’s partner city). Invited by Mayor Dr Carsten Sieling.
2019 – Invited by Mayor of Berlin to perform at 70th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift.
2019 – Support act for Mi Casa and Zakes Bantwini at African Renaissance Concert, ICC Durban
2020 – Ungabanaki wins a South African Music Award for Best Traditional Album.