Zuma and Sibonelo - The Beat Goes On© Sundowns MediaAuthor: Kamokgelo Malinga In the throbbing heart of every football stadium, among a sea of passionate supporters, there exists individuals who ignite the spirit of unity and passion like no other. As the players take to the pitch and the crowd roars with anticipation, it is the rhythmic beat of drums that adds an electrifying pulse to the atmosphere, elevating the passion and devotion to unparalleled heights.The Mamelodi Sundowns Digital Magazine crew shines the spotlight on the unsung heroes who make the stands come alive with their percussive prowess- the men behind the yellow drum.
Their tireless dedication extends beyond the ninety-minute spectacle, Lebohang ‘Zuma’ Nkosi and Sibonelo Mafuhave become the stewards of tradition, preserving the rich heritage that unites generations of the yellow nation. The rhythm of their drums mirrors the flow of the game, mirroring the rise and fall of hope, ecstasy, and heartache that defines football’s unpredictable nature.

Discover how their thundering rhythms instil a sense of belonging, turning the stands into one unified force, all in support of Mamelodi Sundowns.

A Closer Look at Bafana Ba Sgubhu
Lebohang Nkosi, popularly known as ‘Zuma’ is one of the engine’s drummers behind the yellow nation. The 36-year-old who resides in Mamelodi, home to the DStv Premiership Champions, started supporting the club from a tender age when he was still part of the Mamelodi Football Association.

Being a part of the football association, one of the benefits was entering the stadium for free and if lucky, getting chosen to be a ball boy. Among the group that cheered for the team, he had had the opportunity to meet Mamelodi Sundowns Legend, Daniel ‘Mambush’ Mudau and other legends of the time.
Through the years Zuma attended numerous Sundown’s football games and shared the stadium experience that turned his blood yellow, “A game I will forever cherish is when Sundowns played against Hellenic and I was exposed to the club’s Shoe Shine and Piano style of play which is when we inherited the Brazilian name. From the start, I was fully behind the club.”

Zuma testified that practicing communication and coordination between himself and the yellow nation is vital in creating a unified and lively atmosphere for the players on game days.

“When we played against Orlando Pirates at Orlando Stadium last season, Themba ‘Mshishi’ Zwane changed the game tempo around the 65th minute, Ronwen made a plea by waving at us to sing louder because of what Themba was doing on the field. We switched to singing the song about him (Mshishi) and he managed to score a goal. After the final whistle, Themba, Teboho Mokoena, and other players ran to our side to sing and celebrate with us. That moment showed unity and embodied the meaning of (Ubuntu- Botho) that sits on our kit,” relayed Lebohang.
Lebohang Nkosi, also known as ‘Zuma’ © Sundowns MediaWith a love that started at a young age for musical instruments, Sibonelo Mafu watched keenly as the legendary drummer, Majembeni, conducted the singing in the stands. After witnessing the magic of Majembeni, the young music enthusiast vowed to attend all the home games for the 2009/10 season where his love for the team continued to grow. Being a regular at the stadium, he had time to observe how music and the drum had the power to contribute to the teams’ results.
Watch the Sundowns Stories of Majembeni - His Blood Is Yellow
After the unfortunate passing of ‘Master Drum’, John Black Madumo in 2022, the game after his funeral, Sibonelo took it upon himself to play the drum paying tribute to John Black. Easily falling in love with handling the ‘yellow’ drum, he ignored the criticism he received during his first few times and focused on the responsibility he has bestowed upon himself influenced by his love for music and the club.

Pursuing his passion through his role as part of the collective to get the crowd going, the 30-year-old Sandwana shared the rewards of leading the supporters in song, “Nothing warms my heart like seeing supporters interacting with the players and the technical team through a song led by a drum. I understand how it makes the Yellow Nation feel and I always anticipate the next game to have the same experience with the team.”

Sibonelo touched on the significance of making the new players feel welcomed and refuelling the team for the new season using the yellow drum in the stand.

“Ensuring that new additions feel welcomed and creating a united team spirit are crucial factors for a successful season. The yellow drum and the Masandawana faithful play a significant role in achieving this. When new players join a team, they need to feel accepted and supported to quickly adapt and integrate into the squad. The yellow drum and the energetic atmosphere generated by Masandawana help create a welcoming environment. The beats from the drum and chants foster a sense of belonging and enthusiasm, making it easier for new players to feel a part of the team,” declared Mafu.
Sibonelo Mafu © Sundowns MediaOutside of the stadiums, the influence of the men behind the yellow drum resonates in the football community as their cool, composed demeanour and boundless enthusiasm play a vital role in growing the Masandawana supporter base. As members of the supporter's committee that lead in recruiting new members to join the Champions, the duo carries unmatched charisma and the infectious energy to entertain and unite.
With sticks in hand and passion in their hearts, Zuma and Sibonelo hope to turn every match in the 2023/24 season into an unforgettable experience for Bafana Ba Style, Banyana Ba Style, and Masandawana.
Zuma & Sibonelo’s Compilation of 7 Iconic Masandawana songs
A re yalo-Ntate Mostepe
 Themba Zwane
Bo Yaya Bo Yellow
Phakamisa u-7
Ha re kwanamoyeng