Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse was born in Johannesburg on 2 November 1951. Mabuse got his start in the African soul group the Beaters in the mid-1970s. After a successful tour of Zimbabwe they changed the group's name to Harari. When they returned to their homeland in South Africa they began to draw almost exclusively on American-style funk, soul, and pop music, sung in Zulu and Sotho as well as English. He has also recorded and produced for, amongst others, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Ray Phiri and Sibongile Khumalo.