If there is a phrase to describe Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, it would be "the gentle giant of South African music". For the past 60 years he has entertained audiences from Carnegie Hall, New York to Newtown Johannesburg. Born in Johannesburg in 1951, Sipho began playing the drums from the age of 8 – the instrument that he would master to such an extent that he quickly gained the nickname "Hotstix", a name that follows him to this day. He became a household name in 1985 when his funky township disco jive jam ‘Burn Out’ became the first major crossover hit in South Africa – the same year that former president PW Botha declared a state of emergency in the country. Looking back at his illustrious career, Sipho says that his has big plans to celebrate his 60 years in music: "I would really love to do a huge free show in my home town of Soweto. I want to give back. Soweto is a very special place for me." He also told The Beat of some projects his is working on for 2012: "I've been approached by a number of artists to guest on their albums with the Sax and also, hopefully, local muso RJ Benjamin and I can write some songs together. We starting talking about this last year. RJ is a really special warm humble man. We had great fun performing together last year." For the fans, he Sipho gives this advice for 2012: "Be true to yourself and always ask questions."