Youth musos aim to keep hip hop alive in Milnerton

Ayabonga Mvandaba, also known as Young Lenn, wants to help Milnerton and the greater Cape Town hip hop scene gain recognition.

Two young musicians have their hearts set on putting Milnerton and the Cape Town hip hop scene on the map.

Ayabonga Mvandaba and Odwa Maxhwane are a Cape Town-based duo making rap music, which they say, is more about spreading a positive message than just being young, wild and free.

Ayabonga, also known as Young Lenn, was born in East London in the Eastern Cape. He grew up in King Williams Town and lived with his parents and younger brother.

He says he has always been into music, and in high school he started rapping with school mates during break.

“We would always be rapping and just having fun. I started writing my own music and would recite the lyrics for my friends, and I got positive feedback.”

In 2015, Ayabonga and his family moved to Cape Town where his brother could get treatment for a rare medical condition.

Cape Town, he says, was a big adjustment, and it didn’t help that he got robbed on his second day in the Mother City.

But that experience inspired a song he later wrote “Around Here”, about the challenges of moving from a small town in the Eastern Cape to a big city like Cape Town.

Odwa’s journey was the opposite as he was born in Cape Town and his mom and dad lived in Khayelitsha. But he was sent to live with his grandmother in Queenstown when he was barely a year old.

“I enjoyed growing up there, but I always wondered how it would be like to live in big cities like Cape Town, Joburg and Pretoria. I always imagined myself going to one of those places and making a success out of my life.”

When he was younger, his dad sent him a shoebox full of cassette tapes with a mix of R&B songs and hip hop.

Odwa, also known as Quiincey IV, says that where his love for music was born.

In 2013, he went to boarding school and quickly made friends there who had a similar interest in music.

Odwa moved to Cape Town in 2015 and started writing songs. He met Ayabonga in 2017 and they decided to form a group called IVYoung.

The pair are part of The Hub Media Space, an online content medium where musicians, photographers, video editors and content producers can give free rein to their creativity.

Ayabonga and Odwa are now working on an EP and in the next month they hope to release a documentary about how they got to this point in their lives.

The two say they want Milnerton to be more recognised in the hip hop scene and they hope to be a part of the new wave that takes it there.