ZeeGee’s real name is Qinisani Gumede; I grew up in Empangeni in KZN, that’s where I studied from Primary to High School thereafter moved to Durban for my Tertiary education. The name ZeeGee comes a from a Zulu name “Izigi Zendoda” meaning “Man’s heavy Footsteps”, my father gave me that nickname, but due to my music journey I had to accommodate everyone not just my Zulu fans, therefore the name is spelled ZeeGee; but also to create and market a brand ZeeGee made it easy.
I’m a humble guy who loves his family, full of joy and laughter.
My education background/journey started at Primary School formerly known as Macekane and currently called Mehlathathane Primary School. From there I went to Khubela High School which is where I Matriculated. I have never failed during in school, my standards were very high. My father would push me to keep achieving in school.
ZeeGee is a good footballer
After Grade 12 I took a gap year which helped in deciding what I wanted to do going forward. I studied IT but changed to Creativity studies due to my desire in music production. Like most kids in townships and rural areas I was a brilliant footballer, playing upfront, maybe Bafana Bafana wouldn’t be struggling for goals had I continued pursuing football ha ha. My little brother is a professional footballer who played for Amazulu, Bivest Wits, Mpumalanga Black Aces and now with Platinum Stars, everyone that saw me play they like “we can see his little brother making it in football but ZeeGee is the one that was expected to make it due to his talent”. But music was too strong a passion for me therefore I followed my heart.
From my childhood I used to rap, I remember this one time I recorded myself over my father’s cassette, that cassette was Maskandi (Traditional) singer named Mgqashiyo and by mistake I recorded myself over the singer which meant that Mgqashiyo’s song is wiped out, yho the hiding I got on that day! But that’s when I discovered this deep passion for music.
Those days hip-hop was not a big genre that it is today in SA, therefore I would listen to international hip-hop, people like the late Tupac Shakur. Even though I could not hear their words but I loved the sound. I had a dream then to translate that sound into our own language so that people could relate.
The biggest music influence however comes from my father. He used to take me to local indlamu (traditional singing and dancing) events; that’s when I developed rhythm. So my wish is to create music for everyone even for deaf people. My music is full solutions, not complicated but simple, it’s the way I share my way of thinking as a human being.
Tribute Song to the late Bafana Bafana Captain.
Many would recall ZeeGee as an artist who wrote a tribute song for the late Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates captain Senzo Meyiwa. The inspiration towards that tribute song was the manner in which Senzo and I interacted. I always saw him on TV and adored him; the day he passed on is the same day I met him in person for the first time and had a little chat, few hours later I get the news that he had died. I was schedule to perform at Arthur Mafokate’s Can Do event which is the same event he attended that afternoon and so we met in the VIP section.
He noticed that my manager and I were still amazed at seeing him and so he came over to greet us which was really nice of him. He left before the event finished and said goodbye to us, and so when I learnt of his passing that same day I was confused and mesmerized at the same time, I appreciated his goodbye. Initially I did not want to write a tribute song but people on Facebook both on my timeline and inbox kept requesting that I write a tribute song for Senzo.
Not an opportunistic
The reason I didn’t want to write a song was because it would have looked like I am an opportunistic person. However the demand on social media was too much and so I thought maybe God is using me to help the nation heal from the pain they were feeling at the time, therefore ended up writing and releasing the song. As to how it got to Mr. Robert Marawa’s sport show on Metro FM I have no idea. I am reminded of what Ricky Rick said during a controversial moment at the SAMA Music Awards, when he advised artists to use the internet to promote their music because you never know who is listening or viewing your video.
Robert Marawa connection
Mr. Robert Marawa contacted me requesting the song and so I contacted Scelo Myeza to take the actual cd to him of which I am highly grateful to Scelo for coming through. The feedback from all across the country was just humbling. Ukhozi Fm contacted me requesting the song, after that all radio stations requested the song and it was used as the official tribute to the fallen South African hero. It was also used during his funeral, for me I was incredibly grateful to contribute in helping the country cope with the shock everyone went which shook not only South Africa but the global sporting community at large.
Doing big things
Right now I have the biggest song which is making waves across various corners of South Africa, the song is called Udlisiwe and it is gaining serious momentum. The song has reached outside South African borders; as a result I have received bookings which I will soon announce on my social media platforms. Right now I am busy with the album which will drop next year.
There are planned performances in Africa as well as the UK, which I am really looking forward to!
To aspiring artists still in school, you may have heard many times before and you will hear it again, your education must never be in competition with anything. You don’t even need to choose one over the other because education should be your only choice!
Music is not only about singing, there’s many ways in which you can get involved, you could be the most successful music business man or producer, but you need to be educated. No one can take away your education. Don’t look at music videos and think that’s how things are in the industry no, that music video does represent a true picture of the music industry. Therefore be true to yourself, get your grades and pursue your dreams.