Colbert Mukwevho


Colbert Rudzani Mukwevho, also known as Harley, is one the pioneers of reggae music in South Africa. He was born in 1965 and spent his early days in the former homeland of Gazankulu, later moving to Venda under the Group Areas Act. Part of a musical family, Colbert joined his father and uncles’ band, The Thrilling Artists, in 1975. They recorded two albums with Gallo, 'Mukhada O Ntshuma' (1979) and 'Hani-Hani' (1982), with Harley on bass and backing vocals. Their third album, 'Ha Nga Dzule' (1983), featured one of South Africa’s earliest attempts at home-grown reggae, ‘Luimbo lwa Reggae’ (The Reggae Song).

At the end of 1983, Colbert, his uncle and father left to form The Comforters, this time led by Colbert. The group started off by recording with the SABC in Polokwane for the former Radio Venda. These songs were considered SABC Transcripts and so were not for sale. They recorded 'Gaku La Vhuswa Zwalo', fully in Tshivenda, with raw and loose reggae rhythms. In 1984, they recorded 'Ni Khou Livha Luwani', as well as several other Venda reggae tunes for the SABC. In 1984 The Comforters clinched a deal with Hit City Records in Johannesburg and recorded the hit album 'Month End Lover', which was released in 1987. In 1989 Harley was spotted at a concert in Thohoyandou by producer Sello 'Chicco' Twala, who invited him to Johannesburg. There he recorded his song ‘Heroes’ Party’ with Brenda Fassie for her Black President album. Chicco also produced Mukwevho’s biggest album, Lion In A Sheepskin (1990) as Harley and the Rasta Family.

Mukwevho continued to release solo albums throughout the 90s. Harley and the Rasta Family signed to CCP in 1995 and recorded a self-entitled album that was mixed and co-produced by Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare in Jamaica. It was followed by 'The Lord Is My Rock', which won the SAMA for best reggae album in 1997, 'Why?' (1999) and 'Doomsday' (2001). More recently he released an album called 'Mmbwa I Do La Mmbwa' (2008) as Colbert Mukwevho & Family. In late 2013 he released 'Lion & Son O’Lion' and continues to perform regularly throughout the country.

Picture source: Tseliso Monaheng


Track artwork
Rudebwoy Entertainment
Colbert "Harley" Mukwevho - Hero's Party (Lion & Son O' Lion Live in Johannesburg)
ZAJohannesburg, South Africa


Rudebwoy Entertainment
Profile added by DJ Okapi on 29 May 2014