Born Donovan Chad Mansoor in Pretoria, Chad (formerly Chad Da Don) has been in the spotlight since a young age. As a soccer player at 14 years old, his team won the under 14 world cup tournament in Switzerland. He later explored golf and went pro. Behind all of this, lurked his love of rap even though he had never taken it as a career. At age 18, his passion for rap was amplified. Coming from a Christian background and having a close relationship with God, he ventured into Christian rap as one of the performers at a church festival, performing to more than a thousand people. His music was well received and a music video followed soon afterwards. He decided to go commercial because he wanted his music to appeal to all who had lost hope in some form or fashion. From there he was able to produce major hits through collaborations with some of South Africa’s most established Hip-Hop artists such as Cassper Nyovest, Ifani, and Locnville.
He entered the rap scene as Chad Da Don, then later Chad. This marks ‘a new chapter…a new stage of my life’, explains Chad. He released an album entitled The Book of Chad that speaks about ‘a young boy trapped and lost…then turns to rap…it motivated people not to give up’, says the rapper. On what music means to him, Chad says, ‘music is the reason I wake up…it is my girlfriend, my fiancée, my kid…it will not hurt me like my dad did’. It is through his music that he is able to fully express himself. He aims to cater to and relate with people from different backgrounds. Adding some SeTswana words and phrases in his lyrics is a right step into reaching out to a variety of audiences. This is also another way of branding his sound authentically South African. He raised a few eyebrows, however, when he released ‘a beef track’ which he describes as ‘an angry song’ expressing his displeasure towards the fallout he had with Cassper Nyovest. Despite their differences, Chad still acknowledges Cassper’s success and influence as an artist. His mother’s support also played an enormous part in encouraging him to pursue rap as a career. He also credits God for pulling him out of dark times and always being with him.
Besides making ‘millions and millions of records… [Chad aims] to be the best to ever do it musically’, so concludes Da Don.