Ayikho inkomo yobuthongo, is a popular isiZulu saying; when loosely translated it simply means there is no cow that benefits anything from sleeping. Fully understanding this is Umlazi born and bred hip hop artist, Ace Pablo who, in order to further his studies and rap career, became a taxi and Uber driver.
With very scarce job opportunities in the country, Ace (whose real name is Mfan’fikile Ntini) had no choice but to take up a job that many people often look down upon – sitting behind the wheel of a quantum.
Driving in and around town, working as a taxi driver for three years, made him become more street smart and extra vigilant in terms of making money, especially with taxi owners. He admits that he tapped a bit into the gangster world for some time in order to make extra cash which eventually helped him to buy an Uber cab.
While transporting passengers as an Uber driver, Ace had the privilege of meeting different people from various places, with different personalities and he would learn a lot from the conversations he had with them. While others had funny stories to share, others had motivational stories that gave him enough reason to continue with his hustle.
As a friendly and swaying Uber driver, he also made sure to talk his clients into listening to some of his music and the response was always overwhelming. During this time he was also fortunate to meet Aux Cable from WTF (Witness The Funk) and together they produced the banger, Angeke Basiqede.
Like most jobs, especially when dealing with a lot of people every day, being a driver was sometimes very stressful to a point where thoughts about giving up crossed his mind.
Knowing very well as to what was at stake, Ace brushed the negative thoughts away and carried on with what he needed to do at the time. With that attitude he has managed to carry himself closer to the finish line as he is now embarking on his last year in sound engineering at the Creative Arts Collage and also has managed to release his first project called Q-Ban Wolves.
This mix tape was released on all digital platforms on the 1st of May this year and it consists of songs that were recorded at a studio in his room and mastered at his campus’s studio as he always took advantage of the equipment at his disposal.
Choosing to study sound engineering was a smart move for Ace as it will help him work on his future projects without having to pay sound engineers. His acquired skills are also useful in making him extra cash as he makes money out of sound engineering for other emerging artists.
Going further to elaborate on his mixtape, Ace says he is very excited about the numbers and that the responses he received are beyond his expectations.
“It is doing well in terms of downloads. People are loving it according to the feedback I have been receiving especially on social media,” he says.
The street wise artist hopes to take his craft into even bigger heights and anticipates that in a few years’ time, he will be counted amongst the best rappers to come from South Africa.
To connect with Ace Pablo online, like his Facebook page: Ace Pablo and follow him on Instagram: @ace_pablo_sa. For bookings, call: +27 61 912 7676
~ Thabile Shange