Lineup: Rhayi Zandisile (Gaai) to perform at Francofesty 2016


Zandisile Rhayi (Gaai)

Rhayi: song writer, singer, producer and all round hustler. Khayelitsha is notorious for its tarnished image. However it is home to a dynamic, multi-talented, creative, out–of –the-box and smooth Afro-Pop artist by the name of Rhayi. The old saying greatness thrives in unaccommodating places is very true in this case. I find both men and women are receptive of me and my music. Smooth vocals, universal message in my music, exception live performer.

I draw inspiration from the greats like Ringo Madlingozi, Caiphus Simenya and Luther Vandross.

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I grew up loving music and singing in my school choir.  My earliest music memories were when I’d sing along to Brenda Fassie’s music with my Mom. Who to this day, is one of my greatest role models and inspiration. My earliest brush with music came when in Grade 5, I sang for the late Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown at the Elukhuselweni Child Welfare Centre in Khayelitsha, during their visit to Cape Town. This resulted in me getting a ticket to see her performing at the Greenpoint stadium. I was selected to perform at the Peace Jam concert held at Robben Island, where Bishop Desmond Tutu was one of the esteemed guests. This opportunity gave me the opportunity to conduct my High school choir which entered the National School Choirs competitions and won few awards.


Music isn’t just where it ends, I have been active and tied to community and political issues South Africans deal with on a day to day basis. This resulted in my getting invited to political rallies and community based projects/events.


Career History

I started singing professionally in 2002 under Yadah Productions. Where I worked as a back-up vocalist/choreographer for great musicians, the likes of Benjamin Dube, Vicky Vilakazi and Mbongeni Ngema. This resulted in me touring South Africa with this production, performing at various festivals and theatres. We performed at the Macufe Festival (Bloemfontein), The PlayHouse (Durban) and Market Theatre (Johannesburg) just to name a few. I later was a founding member of a male group called Men Alone. The group we sang RnB, Afro-Pop and Gospel music. This stint in this production gave me a taste of the music industry. This time at Yadah Production served as a great stepping stone in my career.


My Solo career, I officially launched in 2003, when I recorded my demo Hamb’ uzobuya (you can leave but you’ll always come back to me). This demo got me notice as it was a favorite on community radio stations listed below. I began getting gigs, corporate events and interviews.

I later joined SLAM productions where I recorded and dropped my first album “Ubomi” this was the moment I recognized the ability I have to evoke such love, appreciation and inspiration in people who listen to my music and believe in Rhayi( the artist). My music specifically the single Sana Lwam’(my love) received a lot of air-play and positive attention, resulting in me getting booked for gigs and sharing stages with Freshly Ground, Jamali, Malaika, Speedy and Tuks just to name few. Currently I’m in the studio with my team working on and recording some new material that’ll soon be due for release

Performance History

Spar Voice search (Guest Artist/ Judge)

Judge at K fm/ Vukani voice search

I starred in a local play by Chris April title Malusi; my only son

Miss Radio Zibonele

Miss Sundowns

Miss Kaizer Chiefs- WP

Miss Charlesville (2012)

Nik-Naks Hip Hop and Fashion show

June 16 Youth Rally (2012)

Community One touch Festival

Khayelitsha Festival (guest artist)

Old Mutual end of the year Function

A.Z.A.P.O’s Steve Biko memorial event with Masibudu Mangena

Road and Safety Gala event with Minister Jeff Radebe

A.N.C rally in George with Gwede Mantashe

Water week events hosted by Department of Water affairs

Khayelitsha Festival

C.O.P.E Valentine’s Day & Youth celebrations with Maj.General. M. Lekota

A.N.C Manifestos Rally with President Jacob Zuma

Touch the sky picnic (2012)

Pop, Soul and Food event (2012)

Zimibalabala Diverse Cultural Festival (2012)

S.A.T.M.A (South African traditional music awards) awards new comer welcoming bash, (2012)


Notable TV/Press Radio appearances

An acting role in Shooting Stars; a series commissioned and aired by E-TV.

Final verdict on S.A.B.C 2,

Selimathunzi (magazine show) on S.A.B.C 1

Imbadu on C-TV (Cape Town TV)

Miss Sundowns on Supersports 3

City Vision; working with the (Khayelitsha) police against piracy

Vukani newspaper: Journalist covering press conference on the Pop, Soul & Food event.

Daily Sun, Sunday Sun and GroundUp.

Hectic 99 on S.A.B.C 2,

Radio unique fm, Ngqubela fm, Helderberg fm, Ekhephini fm, Radio Zibonele, Bush Radio (my music is on rotation and few interviews)


Notable High Profile people I performed for

President Jacob Zuma

Pallo Jordan (former minister of arts and culture)

Sepp Blatter (F.I.F.A President)

Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown

Hellen Zille (D.A)

Gwede Mantashe (A.N.C)

Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu

Causes I’m involved with

Ambassador for One Billion Rising: a movement against the abuse of women

Brand Ambassador for Red Lion Pimpin: a Hip Hop cap clothing line based in Johannesburg.