Sindile “Ringo” Madlingozi is one of South Africa’s most popular performers. Born in Cape Town in 1964, Ringo spent his childhood and school days in Gugulethu township, but finished high school in Umtata in the Eastern Cape. Ringo was musically active from a young age, and while at school led an acapella group which performed at community and youth functions. He later became vocalist for the group Ikwezi and then Peto, where his unique vocal talents were first recognized nationally. Peto won the national Shell Road to Fame talent competition in 1986, bringing the band – and Ringo – national exposure, with television profile, touring engagements, and the role of support act for the King’s Trust concert in Swaziland that was headlined by Eric Clapton.
Peto soon disbanded, and Ringo moved base to Johannesburg, where he spent the early 1990s as a member of Gecko Moon. During this time, he also did a lot of studio session work – for radio commercials, film, and album recordings. Early in his career he worked with the likes of Hugh Masekela, Simply Red, Teddy Pendergrass (on ‘The Power of One’) and Caiphus Semenya, and also contributed to the sountrack for the movie ‘The Lion King’.
Ringo’s first album, ‘Vukani’ (Wake Up!) was released in 1996. That year he also served as a support act when Papa Wemba toured South Africa. His second album, ‘Sondelani’ (get closer) was released late in 1997, and with its themes of reconciliation and national unity, carried a strong message for South African people. The album achieved double platinum status and established Ringo as a sought-after act on the performing circuit in South Africa. Other albums include ‘Ntumba’ (2009), ‘Jayiva Sbali’ (2010) and most recently ‘Vulani’ (2014).