Mohato “Wildebeats” Lekena

Producer & DJ

Mohato Lekena is mad about music, creating it, playing it and promoting it through a variety of ventures.

He specialises in electronic beats, marrying his passion for music with his passion for technology.

He’s currently doing a master’s degree in computer science at the University of Cape Town, where his main research involves designing a mobile phone application for a drum machine that captures African rhythms.

He is working on that for Nokia, which asked him to help with its research into promoting mobile music in Africa.

When he’s not studying, Lekena is pumping out electronic hip-hop through his alter ego Wildebeats. His performance won him a trip to the UK in February with the British Council, which hailed him as a rising new talent in its Connect ZA project.

“I went to the UK to perform at the Roundhouse, where Bowie and Hendrix have performed,” he says.

Lekena is also a co-founder of glowLDB, which stages multi-media performances featuring young musicians in Cape Town and releases them as podcasts. GlowLDB also designs websites, releases music and has produced a video for the local band John Wizards.

While Lekena has his fingers in several musical pies, his projects are all interconnected. Hopefully there will be money in it too, once he finishes his studies. “Having done computer science puts me in a great position to be able to run projects and help people run projects that are close to my heart,” he says.

“I’m going to run as many projects as I can to make people leave their house and go and enjoy the city somehow, using computer science. I’m also trying to build more sites for artists.”

At the end of the year he hopes to land a job for a while in Berlin, which has blossomed as the centre of software development for music applications.

Before he leaves Lekena is also working to produce a compilation of his music and make it available online. — Lesley Stones