L’vovo Derrango (real name – Thokozani Ndlovu) is a South African recording Kwaito artist who achieved widespread recognition with the release of his self titled debut album, “L’vovo Derrango”.
L’vovo Derrango was born Thokozani Ndlovu in Newcastle, a town situated in the north western border of the KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa.
He went to Siphumelele Primary School and later attended Khanyanjalo Secondary School where he matriculated.
L’vovo Derrango relocated to Durban to pursue higher education at then Durban Institute of Technology now Durban University of Technology.
At Durban University of Technology he was registered as a full-time student studying a a National Diploma in Language Practice.
L’vovo Derrango broke into the music scene in 2006 with his debut album “L’vovo Derrango”.
His break came as a result of his association with famed producer (at the time music student at Durban University of Technology) Zakes Bantwini (Zakhele Madida) of Mayonie Produktions.
His debut album, “L’vovo Derrango”, was well received by the public as well as the music community.
It propelled the then unknown L’vovo to instant fame and at the time, it became one the most successful Kwaito albums in recent memory especially at time when the genre was on the perpetual decline thanks to the rise of Afro-House which Kwaito pioneers, like Oskido and DJ Sbu among others, were pursuing.
Although the rise of Big NUZ has since brought some new exciting prospects for the Kwaito genre, at the start of his career, L’vovo Derrango was considered the final frontier of the ailing genre along with fellow Durbanite Professor Langa as well as enduring Johannesburg artists such Thebe, Spiriki, Jakarumba, Bricks among others.
His success and that of fellow Durban-based Kwaito artists led to their music being classified as Durban-Kwaito since it tend to adhere to more to Kwaito principles rather those of the genre on the ascendance, Afro-House. On December 18, 2014 L’vovo Derrango was the subject of SABC 1’s Pearl Modiadie hosted music driven talk show, Zaziwa.
Since Debut; 2006 – to date
L’vovo Derrango released his second album “The Teddy Bear” to relatively similar success as “L’vovo Derrango” and has since released The Heavyweight, Irresistible, The Fabulous as well as The Headmaster.
L’vovo Derrango was nominated for Best Kwaito Artist and Song of the Year at the 2007 Metro FM Music Awards, and Best Kwaito Album and Song of the Year in 2013. He has also been nominated for three South African Music Awards and two Channel O Music Awards.
As of 2014 he has released seven studio albums; L’vovo Derrango (2006), The Teddy Bear (2007), The Heavyweight (2008), The Fabulous (2009), Irresistible (2011), The Headmaster (2012) and The Boss in 2015 which won a Metro FM Award for the Best Kwaito Album at the 14th Annual Metro FM Music Awards ahead of Thebe’s The Legend and Trompies’ The Fabulous.
|2006||L’vovo Derrango||EMI||Debut Studio Album
|2007||The Teddy Bear||EMI||2nd Studio Album
|2008||The Heavyweight||EMI||3rd Studio Album|
|2009||The Fabulous||Derrango Records||4th Studio Album|
|2011||Irresistible||Derrango Records||5th Studio Album|
|2012||The Headmaster||Afrotainment||6th Studio Album|
|2014||The Boss||Derrango Records and Entertainment
||7th Studio Album|
Departure from Mayonie Produktions and EMI
L’vovo Derrango was discovered and given his break by record producer Zakes Bantwini of Mayonie Produktions who reportedly also named him “L’vovo Derrango”. After two years since the release of his debut album, L’vovo left Mayonie Produktions and formed his own record label Derrango Records.
Reports also emerged that he had parted ways with EMI due to commercial reasons, however, the suspicion that the relationship with EMI had collapsed due to the cover of The Heavyweight album. After the departure from EMI, L’vovo joined forces with DJ Tira, Durban’s music mogul and head of Afrotainment who heads high profile careers such as those of Big NUZ, DJ Cndo and DJ Fisherman among others.
It has been reported that during the early days of the Big NUZ L’vovo Derrango would stand-in for Mampintsha on tours all over the continent as he was afraid of flying. Supposedly the audience never suspected that it was a different artist.
In 2009 L’vovo Derrango’s The Heavyweight reportedly had to be pulled from stores following Universal Music’s complain that his cover resembled that of Jay-Z’s American Gangster. The album cover was later changed, although not entirely, the original full length picture of L’vovo Derrango was maintained and moved off center while the background and font was changed entirely.
In 2012 upon release of The Headmaster a story on Independent Newspaper’s Zulu publication Isolezwe poked fun at L’vovo Derrango’s album cover due to it’s colours matching those of the government distributed Choice condoms. The article went on to reference The Heavyweight album cover incident.
L’vovo Derrango took part on the sixth season of Strictly Come Dancing South Africa with professional dancer Mary Martin as his partner. In early 2015 he guest starred on Mzansi Magic’s sitcom, Kota Life Crisis, as himself and mid 2015 he guest making guest appearance on the Leleti Khumalo and Dawn King fronted SABC 1 telenovela where he portrayed the character of Mandla.
|2013||Strictly Come Dancing 6||Himself||Contestant, Dance Competition Show|
|2015||Kota Life Crisis||Himself||Guest Star, Sitcom|
|2015||Uzalo||Mandla||Minor Role, Telenovela|
The Car Accident that claimed the life of his friend, DJ Buddha
On Sunday September 9, 2007 L’vovo Derrango was among four people who were traveling in a car that was involved in a fatal accident which resulted in the death of DJ Buddha and Sello Mohlala. In an interview he did with the New Zimbabwe (newzimbabwe.com) he was quoted saying “the other car which was coming from the opposite direction drove straight into us”.
L’vovo Derrango, DJ Buddha and Zakes Matiti were passengers while Sello Mohlala was the driver. He had performed at the Delmas 100 Celebrations Music festival organized by Prosper Mkwaiwa †. At the time of the accident they were on their way to OR Tambo International Airport to catch a 9pm (21:00) flight headed for their home town of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
L’vovo Derrango broke his arm during that accident; he underwent an operation to have a pin placed inside the broken bone and made a full recovery. In his second album, The Teddy Bear, L’vovo Derrango paid tribute to a fallen – “friend, brother and colleague” – DJ Buddha.
Alleged Financial Difficulties
In February 2014 the Daily Sun reported that L’vovo Derrango in a financial crisis after he sold his house in Durban’s Manor Gardens as well as his cars which were Mercedes Benz ML reportedly worth R1,3million, a Mercedes Benz C200 Sports and a Hyundai H1.
These allegations were dismissed as untrue by L’vovo Derrango manager Thobela Dlamini who confirmed that he had sold the house and cars but was not in a financial crisis, “I can tell you now L’vovo is financially stable. He owns a house in Durban. He drives an expensive VW R32 which you can’t even afford. People just love spreading rumours,” Thobela Dlamini was quoted by the Daily Sun.
THE BRAND L’vovo
He has a passion for the community driven initiatives and charity work like on the 30th November saw him performing at a Christmas party for the destitute kids in Eastern Cape. He is undoubtedly the Headmaster of kwaito even at heart.
- He was the 2009 National Government Election Ambassador
- He is a Love Life Ambassador
- He is the Ambassador of the 16 Days of Activism on Violence against Women and Children Abuse Campaign
- He was the KZN Sports, Arts and Culture Department Ambassador for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
- Currently the ambassador for the Phat Life Movement
- Currently the brand ambassador of Zoo York clothing Label
- Nominated for 2013 Metro Fm Awards
- Best Kwaito
- Song Of The Year