Phila Madlingozi (born 26th of October in 1989) is a South African actor, musician, filmmaker, and rapper. He is popularly known as Bunto Toto for his role in the TV series, The Queen and also as the son of the legendary music artist Ringo Madlingozi.
Phila’s love for music was certainly inspired by his father and considering that Ringo Madlingozi is a musical sensation, one wouldn’t expect anything less from his offspring. However, Phila, who doesn’t deny that his father’s musical career inspired him, has not failed to state categorically that he is not coming under his father’s shadows. He intends to create a unique name in the South African music industry for himself, outside what his father has done.
Summary of Phila Madlingozi’s Biography
- Full name: Phila Madlingozi
- Gender: Male
- Date of birth: October 26, 1989
- Place of birth: Johannesburg, Gauteng Province, South Africa
- Phila Madlingozi’s Age: 34 Years Old
- Ethnicity: African
- Nationality: South African
- Zodiac Sign: Scorpio
- Phila Madlingozi’s Parents: Ringo Madlingozi (father)
- Occupation: Actor, filmmaker, rapper, and musician
Phila Madlingozi Was Raised By His Grandmother
Although Phila Madlingozi was born in Johannesburg, he was raised in Port Elizabeth by his grandmother. According to Phila, his grandmother taught him and his siblings how to live right, and when she passed away, he took to Instagram to wish her soul peaceful rest. At the age of 14 in 2003, Phila moved back to Johannesburg to stay with his father and it was at this time that he resolved to do music because of the love his father received.
His passion for music was not just inspired by his father, but also by his uncle Mxolisi Lokwe (MXO) who is also a singer and songwriter. It is not known who Phila Madlingozi’s mother is. Despite the spotlight that is shared by both father and son, the only thing known about Phila’s mother is that she married Ringo Madlingozi in 2004 before divorcing him. The role she played in his upbringing is not known. It is not also known if she is the mother of Phila’s five siblings.
He Appeared on Idol SA 11 and Made it to the Top 16
Phila Madlingozi started his music career in 2014 when he released his eponymous debut song which was featured on the television series Mutual Friends. In 2015, he auditioned for the 11th season of the South African talent show, Idols SA, however, the fact that he made it to the last 16 caused a lot of controversies. A lot of viewers believed that he achieved success in the competition as a result of his surname. They believed his family had a good relationship with the talent show as in 2014, a year prior, his father, Ringo Madlingozi, performed as a guest artist at the grand finale of the show.
The speculation that Phila’s success was a result of his father’s influence didn’t go down well with his father who did not see reasons why people should speak that way about his son. Phila, on the other hand, who hates the fact that he is always being referred to as “Ringo’s son” did not let those negative criticism get to him, but was rather determined to prove them wrong.
No doubt, he has gone ahead to actually start making a name for himself and before the age of 30, he already won a Golden Horn Awards for Best Achievement in Original Music/Score on the TV Drama for Isikizi season 2 in 2018. He did not even attend the awards ceremony because he wasn’t expecting to win, even after all his hard work and efforts, but he clinched the award.
His Music Career Officially Began in 2014
Building a music career as the son of a successful singer and musician can be a daunting task as people always try to compare what you are doing with the standards set by your parent. There are those who would write you off already because you don’t sound like your successful parent or do the same music style as he/she did. Phila Madlingozi has had his own share of these experiences and reminds his fans that he is in music to make his own name in the industry and not step into his father’s shoes. So far so good, he has released a number of songs and has been featured by other music artists like Solo Langa and DJ AJ. Here are some of the works he has done:
- Phila (2014)
- Girls Night Out (2014)
- Cinderella (2015)
- A Safer High (2016)
- Isikizi (2017)
- Bawo (2018)
- Proud (2018)
Igaqa Le Ice (2020)
Phila Madlingozi Started His Acting Career In College
In 2012, Phila Madlingozi began to study film and television production at Varsity College, a private institution of higher learning in Sandton. While in college, there was an open audition by SABC1 for actors to come and audition for roles in their upcoming drama series, Intersexion. After auditioning, Phila landed the lead role in season two of the soap opera and his performance in the TV series launched his acting career.
In 2013, just at the beginning of his career in the entertainment industry, Phila made it to the list of 12 sexiest men in Mzansi. He believes he made it to the list as a result of his performance in Intersexion where he played the role of ‘Zolile’, a marketing student who despite having a girlfriend falls in love with another lady and finally contracts HIV.
Having caught the entertainment bug, the Cinderella crooner struggled to continue with schooling and had to quit in his second year. He has featured in a variety of popular television series after his debut appearance in Intersexion. In 2016, Phila Madlingozi appeared in the drama series, Isikizi, where he played the role of Sizwe in seasons 1&2. He also played the role of ‘Thabiso’ in seasons 1&2 of the SABC drama series Mutual Friends.
Also, he played the role of ‘Tswelo’ in the first season of the television series ‘Single Galz’. He became a cast member of the fourth season of Mzansi Magic’s television drama The Queen, which ended in July 2020. He interpreted the character of the troublesome ‘Buntu Toto’. In 2020, also joined the cast of Rhythm City, in what is been his first homosexual role on TV. Phila Madlingozi is playing the role of a bisexual polyamorous musician, Nathi.
The Isikizi Hitmaker Has Been Far More Consistent With Acting Than Music
Although Phila Madlingozi intends to make a unique name for himself in the music industry, it is quite obvious that acting takes more of his time. He admits that although he has an undying passion for music, acting actually pays the bills, and in a bid to avoid putting a lot of pressure on himself, he has decided to take things one step at a time. It is not a surprise that Phila actually admits to the truth that acting pays his bills, considering the fact that he has consistently been on television since 2013, starring in major roles.
With all the television series Madlingozi has been featured in, he still believes that he still has a lot to learn in acting, and makes intentional efforts to improve his skills. He believes that he is still in the building stage and in no time, he would successfully create a unique name for himself and take the Xhosa language to the world.
Just Like His Father, Phila Madlingozi Keeps His Personal Life Private
Just like Ringo Madlingozi who got married in 2004, and kept the name of his wife secret, his son, Phila, follows his footprints in that regard as he keeps his relationships private and away from social media. On his Instagram account where he has over 100k followers, he only uploads pictures and videos of himself and his music or acting roles.
No doubt, Phila Madlingozi is a hardworking young man, and if before the age of 30, he already won an award, then we can actually expect a lot of interesting things from him as the years go by.