Bujy Bikwa has been in the industry and he continues to make sure that he owns the industry with his uber-personality and amazing talent.
The Zimbabwean-born artist was born as Sthembinkosi Junior Bikwa before he moved to the South African shores during the fall on 1992 with his mother and by the sassy Bujy had already knew what he came to South Africa for.
He rose to fame after he was featured on the game show - Dance Your Butt Off where he showed feisty dancing skills that claimed his spot in the industry.
Now, known as an influencer, producer, television and radio presenter and recently ventured into music he will still to continue reigning in the industry.
We spoke to Bujy about his plans in the industry, life as an influencer and his future endeavors and this is what is what he had to say:
INSPIRATION BEHIND BUJY
A lot of people do not know how Bujy came about. Mind enlightening me about it?
Before the whole “Bujy” character started, I was fresh from Orange Farm. I got to YFM known as Junior Bikwa and when we introduced ourselves as part of the Y Academy, at that time we were 12 finalists that were chosen to be part of the academy and I was fresh from the LoveLife Learnership while everyone was from University, I was quite intimidated to be honest but I had to roll with the punches.
When everyone as asked to introduce their names I called myself Big Jay because from LoveLife I have been calling myself that but my fellow mates also called me Big Show.
My programmes manager asked for my on-air alias and I stated that I will have to go with “Big Jay” and everyone chuckled when I uttered that name but then I ended up resorted to Big Show, they chuckled even more. When questioned why I did not go with a flamboyant alias since I am gay - I immediately thought of “Boogy.” I had to simplify it and that is when the alias “Bujy” was born as it was how I viewed it.
THE LIFE OF BUJY
How do you consider your life in 5 minutes?
I consider my life to be very real and extremely artistic because if someone had to stay in my mind, they would literally move out within 2 minutes because I am forever pondering about being innovative and I am constantly inspired. I would say that I am one individual who learn and meet new people on a daily. Unfortunately, for the industry that I am in being real and authentic, it is really not what people want. So, in a nutshell, my life is the realest, pure authenticity and absolutely exciting.
BUJY BIKWA THE FASHIONISTA
You have always been a person that takes the fashion industry on a different level. How do you define your style? What inspires it?
I always define my style this way: BIG, BOLD and UNAPOLOGETIC - and that is what most fashionista’s lack. When you look at the likes of EJ Johnson’s style (when he was still plus-sized) and the style of other established plus-sized designers; they were BOLD. It is absolutely somber that people want me to dress like a Gospel artist [no offense] but with being a size 42 (before losing weight I was a size 56) when you are a certain size, you cannot wear clothing that will make you look uncomfortable, the only way is go bigger, be braver and embrace it. Unfortunately, my sexuality does play a major role because I am gay and I will always be criticized about the way I dress myself. All the time when I dress, what inspires me is: I Pray that someone who is my size somewhere can be inspired by my outfit, because we are thought to be big, wear black and blend-in but when you are fully-figured and you cannot blend-in, it is a problem. What I am trying to say is that every time when I dress, when I put on that cape, when I make that statement, when I create movement in my outfits, I am literally liberating that person and that is what inspires my style on a daily. Be big, be brave when rocking the red-carpet because 2 years down the line, Fashionista’s are going to shake my hand for the bold style is displayed
A CHALLENGE, CANNOT BE A HURDLE
There are quite a handful of challenges in the industry what are some of the challenges you faced before coming into the industry?
To be honest, when you start in the industry it is quite complex but I had already prepared myself for the industry. There is one thing that youngsters need to understand before they say: “I want to be on television” - they must know what they want beforehand. I knew that there was something different about me from my toddler days up until now. One needs to define oneself before penetrating the industry. When coming into the industry, a sense of understanding of what one wants to do in the industry, it is very vital. I always knew that I wanted to do television and radio but I wanted something that has substance and frankly, radio has always been substance for any entertainer, you can do television but radio will define you intellectually. While in the industry, I knew that there is something different to offer and there was definitely no one like me in the industry. I only had gay guys like 3Sum, Somizi and David Tlale amongst a few that I could relate to but there was no one would talk to the audience like I did as I was still the younger one.
I still recall that I had mentors that would assist me in regards to propelling in the industry, at that time Bhoza from Skwatta Kamp was my mentor, Hlelo and Ntando when they were still on YFM mentored me as well. I used to call them once in a while and converse about radio. I really do not know but perhaps it is because I am smart [laughs] but I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
When you see a moment that defines you, a moment that you know you can make it, go for it. I am glad that I started off from being a dusty young man from Orange Farm and escalated myself to where I am now. I did not experience any challenges when penetrating the industry, I experienced them when I was already in the industry.
DANCING MADE ME WHO I AM
Dancing has propelled you to greater things. After Dance Your Butt Off, what are some of the things you pursued?
I can literally say that Dance Your Butt Off gave birth to my television personality and the brand that is Bujy, it gave me the stamp of approval in the industry to say: “Yes, we agree”. When I was on Dance Your Butt Off, I was absolutely flabbergasted that I was that famous [laughs] and I was not even aware that the show was sitting on 7 million views every Tuesday. There was a point in time where I saw my picture on the side-cover of a magazine and honestly speaking I never dreamt of that ever in my life. After, Dance Your Butt Off I worked with MTN and did an advert with them, which came with a lot of lessons such as: responsibilities, who you befriend and who you put on your trust list. When I got eliminated on the show, I went back to work at YFM and ventured into television presenting soon after that I became a socialite and being an MC. I was fortunate enough to work and meet a lot of celebrities such Bonang, Dineo Ranaka and Twasa amongst a few I grew up looking up to such individuals.
Dance Your Butt Off took me from being just a radio presenter to someone that was literally celebrated in South Africa. You were named the most influential gay man of Vuzu’s 10 over 10. What can you say makes an influencer? I saw that I was top three of the most influential gay personalities in South Africa and what I can say makes an influencer is someone that gives another individual a voice and with me I have given a voice of size and homosexuality. An influencer, in my own words I would say its someone that has presence, someone that gives life to another being. I have made a statement to say: actually as much as they think thy certain gay guys do not exist but this does exist. Most of all what I am about, you liberate people to compromise and to work with each other - that is the life of an influencer.
READY TO TAP INTO THE MUSIC INDUSTRY
You are on the verge to release a new song. Can you please tell me more about it. What can your fans anticipate from it? Any collabo’s?
I am releasing a new song which will be released by August. I am nervous [laughs] because I was busy with mastering the song. The song is exactly what has always inspired me when I started out dancing, I used to dance to artists such as Destiny’s Child, Missy Elliot and Rihanna just to name a few, it is exactly what made me move when I was young, what made me want to dance. The title of the song is called Body Quake. There are slow songs as well because I am planning to release to release an album. I will be doing visuals for the song first as I want to release a detailed package.
My fans an anticipate to dance and I Pray that Hip Hop / Pop diskjocks are going to love it as well. It is really a hardcore song and I am ecstatic about it. Body Quake will make one to quake to be more precise, my fans should definitely be ready. The sypnosis of the song is about someone who is heartbroken, someone who is trying to find love and eventually that long-awaited person does avail. They both find themselves dancing and caught up together. In essence, through all the heartbreak the dance floor splurges with love and glorifies the newly found love birds. I am not doing any collaborations as of yet because I do not want to force myself into artists lives. I am hoping to do a bit of collaborations soon with Fifi Cooper and Gigi Lamanye as I have always been a fan to them both. I would want to collaborate with a female artist on my second single. My second single will be released during the month of October. This amazing single will be dedicated to my lesbian and gay family - the title of the single will be called We Gonna Stand. I hope that everyone will enjoy it.
MULTI-TALENTED AND THERE IS NOTHING THAT CAN STOP ME
You are a content producer, radio-presenter, dancer, musician, actor and presenter amongst a few. How do you juggle everything in one?
I juggle everything at once because I like keeping busy and one thing that has motivated me was when people would say NO to me and that NO, not being that I am not talented nor am I do not fit their caliber even for the fact that the show does not need me. When people say NO to me and insult me its fills so much fire in me. I moved to television production because I was not acting or being hired anywhere and I came with a concept and had a production company. Mzansi Magic gave me an opportunity to do one if their Mzansi Bioskope called Jealous Makelwane.
So, when people say NO to me I always find something to do as I am an entertainer, a creative and I am unstoppable. For me, it is never saying NO and that is how I keep busy. Music is something that I was born with. My father was a musician and my sister - Rudo Love is also a musician, who is currently pushing her music as well.
Mainly with Bujy - music is what I always wanted to do, presenting is a skill that I learned through radio and to master. I am still trying to master the auto-cue part of things.
Music or making television?
Why did you choose that field?
I would like to say that everything happens in a good time as I am so happy. I did radio, moved to television doing a music game show, it is quite amazing how God works.
Everything that I have learned, it is going into one bag [laughs].
Music or making television? Both. Anyday, because you make television, you need sound and when you make sound you need the visuals. They are all married [laughs].
MY INSPIRATION DOMINATES AND SO DO I.
Who would you say inspires you on a daily basis and why?
What inspires me everyday is when I wake up in the morning and say to myself: “What can I do in my life, what best can I do in another person?”
Family inspires me on a daily basis and growing up in Orange Farm, the dusty streets always motivated me to propel and aspire to certain things. I am also inspired by love, I have seen people who have nothing but have unconditional love for each other. As much as I can be an entertainer, I do not want to die sad and lonely without comprehending the meaning of love and that is what inspires me.
THE BRIGHT FUTURE OF BUJY BIKWA
What can your fans anticipate from you in the near future? Any endeavors in the pipeline?
I am definitely Praying that soon I can make it back to radio because I have been working very hard. I hope my fans can Pray for me to make it back to that direction, it is not easy but I am working my way there. I still feel like my fans need some Buji on-air. More films are underway, more singles are making their way and more shows will be presented.
I have a production company and when I am hosting auditions I would love to see each and every youngster to come and audition when I have open auditions. During the moth of October I will be throwing a major Gay Pride event. It is going to be something legendary. I will be working with DJ Eugene and Khanyi Mbau just to mention a few and not be a spoiler. Anything in the pipeline that I am pushing now is definitely music as I am still working on that now.
FROM BUJY TO YOU
What advice can you provide to someone that would want to be where you currently are?
I would say to any youngster who wants to be where I am now or aspires for bigger things is to say to them: Ask yourself one question - what is it that you want to offer? One thing to always remember is: nothing comes to you in a silver plate, you have to work for it and transmit your energy to the universe. Most importantly be careful who you surround yourself with. Your friends are important, the people that you hang out with will define how far you want to go with life. Do not be afraid to start at the bottom. You can always start on Mzansi Bioskope’s and escalate yourself in that regard. Do volunteer, even if it means MCing free for a gig. Start working on your career now, before you go for that audition. Start pushing your talent, so that when you in the industry, you are ready to receive the best. Always remember: You are young, you are beautiful, most importantly love yourself and always love God, regardless. Go for your dreams child. Run and catch them. “Accept that what is yours will come to you in the right way at just the right moment.” You can connect with Bujy Bikwa on social media.
His social media handles are:
Facebook: Bujy Star
By Lindokuhle Ndaba