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South African house music DJ and producer Black Coffee built his career gradually over nearly two decades, riding the growing global interest in his home country's burgeoning dance music scene and eventually becoming arguably the biggest DJ in Africa. Reserved and intellectual, this unlikely superstar was born Nkosinathi Maphumulo on March 11, 1976, in Durban and grew up surrounded by music, particularly influenced by his uncle's extensive reggae collection. At the age of 12, after his parents' divorce, he moved with his mother to the poor township of Mthatha, Eastern Cape. Two years later, on the day of Nelson Mandela's release from Robben Island, Maphumulo lost the use of his left arm when he was one of dozens of people run down by a taxi driver in a politically motivated attack. Throwing himself into music even harder than before, he eventually went back to Durban to study music theory at Natal Tech, majoring in jazz. He dropped out before the completion of his course, though, and he and two friends, Thandukwazi "Demor" Sikhosana and Mnqobi "Shota" Mdabe, became backing singers for acclaimed folk-blues guitarist Madala Kunene before going on to form the soul-pop trio Shana. At the same time, he continued learning about electronic music production, and in 2003 was accepted into the Red Bull Music Academy, jump-starting his career.