Slikour is a 42 year-old South African hip-hop pioneer, entrepreneur, and author born Siyabonga Metane on April 13th, 1981. Slikour rose to fame as a member of the record-breaking hip-hop group, Skwatta Kamp. He got married to Melissa Wilkinson in 2017.
Along with his best friend, Lebo Mothibe (aka Shugasmakx), Slikour started recording his own music on cassette and was selling it on the streets at the age of 12. The two eventually founded a 7-member hip-hop group, Skwatta Kamp, which became the first hip-hop group in South Africa to land a major record deal. Slikour later went solo and then transitioned into a businessman who now owns a taxi business and a popular digital media platform known as SlikourOnLife.
What is Slikour’s Real Name?
Slikour’s real name is Siyabonga Metane. He was given the moniker ‘Slikour’ by his peers during his basketball days for being sleek on the court. However, he has since dropped Slikour as his stage name to adopt a new name, ‘Siya Metane’ in March 2021. He debuted his new professional name with the release of his first single in ten years, ‘Fulfilled’ featuring RJ Benjamin.
It’s undeniable that Siyabonga Metane has left an indelible mark on the hip-hop industry. He is not only famous for his music career exploits but also for creating opportunities for young aspiring musicians to launch their careers.
How Old is Slikour?
Slikour is 42 years old as of 2024. He was born on April 13th, 1981, and raised in Leondale, East Rand.
Growing up, Slikour had to aspire past his neighborhood and find a way to make things happen. He built his success brick by brick and emerged as a role model to South African urban youth in his thirties following the launch of SlikourOnLife―a platform that gives access to aspiring artists to make their voices heard.
Slikour’s Early Life in Leondale
At the age of 12, Slikour teamed up with Lebo Mothibe and they started recording their own music on cassette tapes and sold it in their neighborhood of Leondale for R15. One of the challenges he had living in the neighborhood was the inability of the people living in such a place to recognize that there were opportunities open outside the environment.
Hence, there were no aspirations past the neighborhood. Nonetheless, he found a way to escape the limiting mindset. One of the things that helped him was his mom getting him bursaries to pursue his education. He attended Holy Rosary Convent and St. Benedict’s College. There, he was surrounded by rich white kids, full of privilege and with a wealth of aspirations.
Even though Slikour couldn’t further his education due to lack of funds, he was determined to make something out of life. Having set up a studio at his mother’s house, he focused on making music. Interestingly, some of Skwatta Kamp’s songs were recorded at his home studio in Leondale.
Slikour Became One of the Founding Members of Skwatta Kamp in 1996
Slikour and Lebo formed Skwatta Kamp in the year 1996 and the group comprised 7 members, namely Slikour, Shugasmakx, Nemza, Nish, Infa, Flabba, and Bozza. The group dropped its first album, ‘Khut En Joyn’ in 2002 and it sold more than 20,000 copies and was certified gold. Then, they recorded more success with their second album released in 2003.
Their sophomore album, ‘Mkhukhu Funkshen’ sold more than 25,000 copies and was considered Skwatta Kamp’s best work. Slikour and his band members released another album titled, ‘Washumkhukhu’ the following year, and in 2009, their album, ‘Fair and Skwear’ was released and the group eventually disbanded, with many going solo.
While they existed, Skwatta Kamp won many awards for their work. They won two South African Music Awards for Best Rap and Best Album. The group also took home the Channel O Best Hip-Hop Music Award. Skwatta Kamp changed the face of rap music in South Africa and had devoted fans who were willing to burn down music stores not selling the band’s albums.
In April 2023, Skwatta Kamp reunited to release their final album, ‘SVN’. The album was a tribute to their long-term friendship, though the group lost two members—Flabba and Nish. They reportedly called it quits finally after the release of ‘SVN’.
Slikour Released His First Solo Album at the Age of 24
In 2005, when Slikour was 24 years of age, Slikour released his first album as a soloist. It was a mixtape titled ‘Ventilation Mixtape Vol. 1’. Two years later, he released his second album, ‘Ventilation Mixtape Vol. 2’. He won the Metro FM Music Award for Hit Single of The Year with his song, ‘Umsindo’. Another single from the second album titled, ‘Dreamer’ was selected as the official song for the Heartlines Stand for Good Campaign.
The 42-year-old subsequently dropped his third album, ‘Ventilation Vol. 3’ in the year 2010. The album featured artists like Kwesta, Craig Heinz, Zakhi Ibrahim, ProVerb, and AKA. Furthermore, in 2016, Slikour was featured in Nasty C‘s song, ‘Inspiration’ alongside Cassper Nyovest. He later stopped rapping music to focus on his media career.
Slikour Owns a Popular Digital Media Platform
With a desire to create a platform that will give young black artists a voice and established artists the opportunity to reach out to the youth, Slikour launched his urban hip-hop publication, SlikourOnLife. The popular website carters for music fans by offering exclusive music downloads, music videos, artist interviews, and event coverage.
Also, a wide range of shows are hosted on the website which include:
- What SA Hip Hop Said
- On The Ground
- Red Couch
- Behind The Bars
- Verse of the Month
- Tusko’s Court
- Rhymes & Reason
- The Recipe
- Hot on The Streets
- The Wrap Up
- Backyard Sessions
- The Ultimate Plug
- Slikour Talks To…
Interestingly, SlikourOnLife averages between 200,000 and 250,000 unique visitors per month. The digital platform ranks as one of the top 1,000 websites in South Africa. With the focus on making a real difference and giving the voiceless a voice, Siyabonga Metane launched the music careers of 12 undiscovered artists in October 2017.
He achieved this through the launch of a compilation album titled, ‘SlikourOnLife Incubator’. The hip-hop pioneer compiled the album by selecting the best hip-hop songs submitted to SlikourOnLife.
Slikour’s Hosting Gigs
Slikour worked as a presenter in the first season of the SABC1 show, Stars of Mzansi and presented the R1 million award prize. Then, in 2008, he also presented the statute for Best Dance Album at the South African Music Awards. He served as the host of the SABC1 music entertainment show, Jam Alley Crew vs Crew in 2011.
Two years later, he was announced as the new host of the e.tv dance reality competition, Step Up or Step Out. He was one of the celebrity contestants in the eighth season of Strictly Come Dancing. Additionally, in early 2023, Slikour added a new title, ‘author’ to his profile after publishing his memoir, “Slikour: The Life Story of a Hip-Hop Pioneer.” He co-authored the book, which gives all access to his life and music, with Helen Herimbi-Moremi, a music journalist.
Besides launching SlikourOnLife in 2013, the East Rand-born entrepreneur owns many other businesses. He co-founded Buttabing Entertainment, a record label and artist management company with Shugasmakx in 2002. He also founded Ventilations Productions – a marketing agency and production company in 2006.
Meanwhile, he ventured into the taxi business with the first R100,000 he made from music, heeding his father’s advice. He has now grown the business into Metane Transport, a corporation that operates a taxi service. More so, Slikour owns a fintech company known as OnLife which has an app with a digital wallet and also carries out electronic transfers.
The former Skwatta Kamp member further established SOL Distro – a music distribution service under SlikourOnLife. The online platform enables musicians to monetize their music by distributing them to all streaming platforms. The artists are offered unlimited music uploads to stores for free and take 20% of the royalty share from the streams accrued.
Who is Slikour’s Wife?
Slikour is married to Melissa Wilkinson. The two got engaged in late 2015 after dating for a long time. They had their traditional wedding, Umembeso in May 2017 and their civil wedding took place five months later. Slikour was excited to have married the love of his life.
He didn’t hesitate to share his joy while celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary on October 14th, 2022. The beautiful couple have been together for over seven years.
How Many Children Does Slikour Have?
Slikour has two children, a son and a daughter. He had his son from a previous relationship and he was reportedly born in 2011. Also, his wife, Melissa had a daughter from her past relationship. The two then welcomed their first child together, a daughter named Shaka Khensani Anathi Metane in March 2020.