Gontse Makhene (South Africa) - musician

Gontse Makheneis an exceptional percussionist born and breed in Soweto (South Africa), with an extensive repertoire, spanning genres across the local and international music scenes. Makhene was initially introduced to the art scene as an actor and dancer, at a tender age by his late father and renowned South African actor Ramolao Makhene. His passion for music was awakened when he first witnessed his brother and legendary percussionist Tlale Makhene playing.  Gontse would later receive his first formal training in percussion and music from his brother.  

This son of the Makhene dynasty Gontse, has drummed out his own path as an esteemed musician and founding member of some of the most revolutionary contemporary bands, such as Kwani Experience, which was cited as  “the most famous unknown band”, L.A.P, Manjik and Shabaka and the Ancestors (SA/UK Based band). 

The young Makhene has since been the vibrant pulse to many local and international acts/artist across a diverse spectrum of genres such as indie-folk Msaki and the Golden Circle, Afro-folk, Sun Ra Archestra , Louis Moholo Moholo, Madala Kunene, Salif Keita, Yemi Alade, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Chico Antonio, Ralph Gump, Mulatu Astatke, Herbie Tsoaeli, Steve Dyer, Thandiswa Mazwai, Simphiwe Dana, Hugo Gonzalez Alvarez, Lauren Hill, Shaluza Max Mntambo, to mention a few. 

Makhene’s passion for music has extended far beyond playing on stage, he has actively been involved in community building projects, where he gives djembe lessons and runs workshops.   


2015/16: Forest Jam International music Residency 

Winner of the Kaya fm Sheer Sound Totally Jazzed competition 

Kwani Experience 2006 nominated best newcomer Metro FM awards

Kwani Experience 2004 nominated for best newcomer SAMA  


•   Kwani Experience – the birth of the motherland funk, Live After Birth (Sheer sounds)

•   L.A.P – Stiff Pap and The Gang (Melt 2000)

•   Zama Jobe – Thula Mtwana (Sony Music)

•   Della Tamin – Afro Salsa 

•   SA-ROY – Pelakolo (Forest Jam SA), Forest Jam Sessions 2014 – 2016 (Forest Jam SA)

•   Amandla Freedom Ensemble – Born to be black (Mandla Mlangeni music)

•   Shaluza Max Mntambo – Hamiye 

•   Chris – Wi (Une production)

•   Shabaka and the Ancestors – Wisdom of Elders (Brownswood Records)

Website Links: 

•   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCQ1rtN7p9U

•   https://soundcloud.com/user-989789303/listening-live-afrikan-freedom-station-gontse-makhene-friends-live