Khuli Chana is ready to talk about the darkest time of his life through his documentary Picking Up the Pieces.
The hip-hop star, whose real name is, Khulane Morule, was shot and wounded by police in 2013 after being mistaken for a criminal suspect.
He sustained minor injuries and had a bullet lodged in his right finger after the incident. After a lengthy court battle, he reached a settlement with the South African Police Service.
“After the saga with the police nothing was ever the same. I got depressed because I didn’t wanna talk about it,” Chana says.
The documentary shows highlights of his hip-hop stardom, including winning a SAMA for album of the year in 2013 for Lost In Time released in 2012. It also shows him and his girlfriend Asanda Maku, depicting what she termed “great vibe”, and the energy for life Chana had before the shooting incident.
“That year saw the best moments of his career, coupled with the birth of our daughter,” states Maku in the documentary.
Picking Up the Pieces features guest appearances, including Chana’s close friend and fellow rapper Jabulani Tsambo, better known as Hip Hop Pantsula (HHP), who explains how this ordeal was also an eye-opener for him.
“When a close friend escapes death like that, you find yourself thinking about how unpredictable life can be, how important family is…” says HHP in one of the scenes.
“You think that God set you up… but later you realise that it is so people can learn from your hardship.”
Although the documentary has a sombre, reflective mood, Chana has managed to portray himself as a family man who has forgiven and is ready to move on.
“This is one way of freeing myself from the police shooting incident, while letting people know that I’m Picking Up the Pieces,” says Chana. “For the longest time it seemed like it will never end. Picking Up the Pieces is me burying the entire ordeal, and at the same time motivating others who my have suffered the same thing.”
The documentary is produced by Chana’s girlfriend Asanda Maku and Monde Sibisi, with the rapper himself as the executive producer.
“It was shot in about a week… a week filled with a lot of reflection. It was very emotional,” says Chana, adding that at a point where he felt he had no voice, his fans become that voice.
“My fans deserve closure. It is the least I can do. Here people are able to see what really happened that night,” he says.
Though he didn’t want to divulge the details of when he plans to release an album again but says Mzansi should expect a fresh and evolved Chana.
“People look at me like am back from the dead or something… now it’s time to prove that I am still an extraordinary rapper,” he says.
The documentary screened for the first time in Midrand at the Mall of Africa on Wednesday this week.