Maphumulo was born on 11 March 1976 in Umlazi, South Africa. He later moved to Umtata, the home town of Nelson Mandela, and grew up in Durban. Maphumulo majored in Jazz Studies at Technikon Natal now Durban University of Technology before working as a backup singer for Madala Kunene together with then schoolmates: Mnqobi Mdabe (Shota) and Thandukwazi Sikhosana (Demor). Maphumulo, Shota and Demor later formed an Afro-pop trio called SHANA (Simply Hot and Naturally African) which was signed to Melt 2000, then headed by Robert Trunz. Maphumulo was chosen as one of two South African participants in the Red Bull Music Academy in 2003, jump-starting him into the South African dance music scene. His first big break was when his song "Happiness" was featured on the DJs at Work album.
The multi-award-winning artist’s real name is Nkosinathi Maphumulo. He was born in South Africa’s house music province, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and raised in the Eastern Cape province, where Nelson Mandela hailed from, before moving back to KZN to study music. He is second richest artist in Africa but first in South-Africa with a current net worth of $60 million this 2020.