20 Year old David Jenkins hails from Empangeni, and is a proficient guitarist, singer, banjo and concertina player.

At the age of 9 David developed a passionate interest in ‘Shaka Zulu’ and the Zulu culture and thus began his collection of books, traditional clothing, beadwork and music.

At the age of 12 he was given his first guitar, and within two weeks was playing his first basic ‘Maskandi’ song; well known Maskandi musician, Phuzekhemisi, being his mentor.

Being a young white boy with such a passionate interest in an African culture, one did not always know how others would react to this, however, in David’s case, he was very fortunate as he had the overwhelming support of his parents and family, fellow class mates and friends and was encouraged to continue his interest in the Zulu culture and music.

Growing up in Zululand, David made many Zulu friends who were intrigued by the fact that a young white boy could have such a passionate interest in their culture, and at times was far more knowledgeable than they were on the history of their culture. Later on, when it came to choosing languages at school, David was very quick in choosing isiZulu over Afrikaans when given the chance! There was concern over this by the school as it is not an easy language to learn, however, David stood his ground and studied it throughout high school. Felixton College however, fully supported this decision and both his teacher and his peers played a major role in his success in both the written and spoken word.

One of David’s closest friends was a young boy by the name of Thokozani who lived in the rural area of Hlabisa, and visited his Aunt, a friend of David’s housekeeper, every holiday. Thokozani could not speak a word of English, however, he and David who, at the time, could not speak a great deal of Zulu, became very close friends.
Whenever Thokozani visited Empangeni, the two boys would always find time to get together, whether it was on trips to various places with David’s father, or time spent at home, being taught the basics of Zulu dancing and stick fighting!

Another very influential person in David’s life was the late Thembani Dlamini, who worked for his parents for 25 years and who was one of his biggest supporters. Tee, as she was fondly known, spent many hours discussing the culture with David and assisting him with his Zulu homework! The highlight of his week was spending time with her in her room watching the popular cultural music program, ‘Ezodumo’. Sadly, she was another victim of cancer, and passed away in 2009. Subsequently, Dudu Zwane has since taken her place and continues to support David in this role.

David later developed an interest in Johnny Clegg, and studied Clegg’s technique together with that of other popular Zulu musicians. Thus he successfully mastered the traditional technique of playing the Zulu Maskandi style of music.

In July 2008, after the death of his father, renowned KZN journalist Chris Jenkins, he taught himself to play his late father’s five-string banjo, concentrating on the Bluegrass genre which came easily to him having already mastered the ‘picking’ technique of the ‘Maskandi’ music. Although different, David discovered that there was a subtle similarity between the Maskandi and Bluegrass genres.

His next project was to combine the 5-string banjo with the Maskandi style, which is unique and has revealed many interesting possibilities.

In January 2010 he bought his first concertina, which now forms part of his instrumental accomplishments, and enhances his ability to produce the calibre of music he is aiming for.

Early in the year 2010, David was approached by Sibongiseni Shabalala, the leader of well known Maskandi group, “Shabalala Rhythm”, who was interested in recording him in his Durban based studio, United Rhythms. He then began working on the album under the guidance of producers, Maqhinga Radebe and Mthandeni Mvelase.