Caiphus Semenya

Johannesburg-based singer who first appeared on the music scene with The Dining Brothers in the mid-1950s. In 1959 he joined the cast of the musical King Kong.

In 1964 he contributed towards the score of Gibson Kente’s musical Manana – The Jazz Prophet. He later joined the cast of Sponono with whom he toured the USA.

He did not return to South Africa at the time and instead joined A&M records as a songwriter and producer. He married Letta Mbulu. Over the next two decades he worked with several USA musicians including Quincy Jones. Lou Rawls and Michael Jackson.

He released his first solo album, Listen To The Wind in 1982, it included the single “Angelina”. He went on to record the album Streams Today, Rivers Tomorrow (1984) and Woman Got A Right To Be (1996).

He has also recorded and released music with Letta Mbulu.


Assembled by Condry Ziqubu in 1984 as a backing band for exiled artists Letta Mbulu and Caiphus Semenya. Lumumba consisted of Condry Ziqubu (guitar), Sipho Gumede (bass), Jabu Nkosi (keyboards), Makhaya Mahlangu (percussion).

They toured with Letta Mbulu and Caiphus Semenya in Botswana and Lesotho in 1984 and the United States in 1985.

Lumumba also constituted Condry Ziqubu’s early backing band and in 1984 they released “Yellow Mieliemiel”, followed by “Skorokoro” and “Via Orlando” in 1985, “Gorilla Man” in 1986 and “Sounds of Soweto” in 1987.