If you have ever come across the YouTube channel ‘Dawud TV’, you will have witnessed the immense talent that Mduduzi Dawud Phungula possesses.
Also known as King Langabi, the 24-year-old YouTuber and content creator is the man behind the number 1 vernac channel currently. With content delivered purely in IsiZulu, his confidence in front of the camera and behind the microphone draws you in instantly!
Hailing from Inchanga (a village situated on the outskirts of Durban) Phungula’s hope was to further his studies after matriculating, but the situation at home did not allow; leaving him with no option but to job hunt. With no luck of employment, he opted to give radio a shot.
After recording a demo and sending it to Radio Al Ansaar, he landed the Saturday midday slot – calling his show The Dawud Show.
“To be honest I would be lying if I say there is something that made me choose to venture into entertainment. It came naturally as I have always loved being a presenter, since my primary school days I remember I would stand in front of the mirror and imitate Psyfo from YoTV. In high school I would write and recite poetry,” he reminisces.
Because digital media is rapidly growing and replacing mainstream media, Phungula later capitalised on the popularity of online streaming services, therefore using YouTube to gain a formidable audience.
A first of its kind, Dawud TV has reached over 12 000 subscribers and boasts over 1.8 million views over a period of 3 months. The channel’s unique selling point is that the content is strictly delivered in isiZulu, yet still competes with similar channels that use the foreign English language as a medium of communication. Not restricting the target market, it instead shows how more and more Africans are slowly starting to appreciate online television delivered in their own languages.
Phungula’s presenting and online media career has taken off at such a rate that he was recently honoured the Best Social Media Initiative award at the 9th annual KwaZulu-Natal Young Achievers Awards (YAA) held at the Durban ICC. The award ceremony recognizes and honours fresh KZN talent making a mark in the entertainment industry.
However, this was not his first achievement as he also won the best Youth Radio Initiator award in 2017. Having been awarded twice at the KZN YAA, he says it is the biggest honour being recognised at home and shows that his hard work does not go unnoticed.
The South African industry has been criticised for recycling talent and not giving others a chance. When asked if he had any doubts that his online channel would blow up the way it has (seeing that people might mistake it for targeting a specific audience) he said: “I have realised that there is a huge gap when it comes to YouTubers delivering content in vernacular. I saw an opportunity and I seized it, not knowing that this is really what people have been waiting for ever since the introduction of online streaming services.”
In light of Heritage month, it’s only best to recognise a talent that hones his mother tongue and has the growing support from people, not only in KwaZulu-Natal but also outside the province.
Follow him on Twitter & Instagram: @king_langabi | Phot Cred – Nkosenhle Sibisi