The Roots Project | P.Z.Y.

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Born Mbono "John-Paul" Mkhize, P.Z.Y. grew up in the township of Kwadengezi, KwaZulu-Natal South Africa. His parents, Thulani(John) & Sibusisiwe(Jackie), along with 3 older siblings moved to Oklahoma to be free from the grasp and social restraints of the Apartheid riddled place they called home. His father, also known as "John Mkhize", caught Scholastic and media attention with his efforts in mediation in the township of Shongweni, during the Apartheid era in South Africa. Upon being awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Award by Coretta Scott King in Atlanta, on his arrival home he decided to bring his family back to the States. Moving to a basically whole new world at the age of 11, P.Z.Y. cultivated friendships at a quick rate due to how outspoken and approachable he was, and that garnered him the chance to adapt in his new opportunity filled environment.
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Besides music, from his online show, "Ask The People" where social and political discussions and questions are brought to the public for their opinion in the matters, to his motivational and educational videos he posts on a regular basis, P.Z.Y. tends to keep himself busy due to the fact that it keeps him out of trouble..when asked what is the end game for him when it comes to music, entertainment and life? It was simple...to leave this earth and his people better than he found them.

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Coming from an extremely musically rich family, from one of his Grandfathers being a tap dancer in the 20'-30's, and the other playing multiple instruments at an early age, to his cousin Bongiwe, who is an international Opera Singer in South Africa. Most importantly, service to community has been an attribute strongly instilled in the self-taught acoustic guitar player who echoes his social and political concerns through his vehicle of music. From enrolling teen drop outs back into school, to mentoring young outalessons who are socially deemed inferior. With the Poetic bones of his artistic mind, translating his perception through song or poetry has been an escape for the young ZULU boy ever since he could remember. His first personal encounter with hip hop, he learned the lyrics to 2 Pac's "Dear Mama" and its been on ever since.
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