Once a primary member of Bayete, Jabu Khanyile is now the driving force for the latest versions of the band, as well as its mastermind. Khanyile's path to the present is somewhat of a circuitous one -- his father is described as "a playboy," while his mother passed away early in Khanyile's life. With existence becoming a struggle, and little support, Khanyile was unable to finish school, and found himself unsuited to holding down any sort of regular job. The major influence from his father came in the form of Mbube music, performed by his father and friends on Sunday afternoons.
Khanyile's elder brother John, a member of a group called Editions, who released several popular singles, eventually bought Jabu a guitar, after allowing him to come along to various Editions gigs.Khanyile taught himself enough guitar to be able to busk for a living. Young Khanyile's interests also extended to drums and percussion; whenever possible, he would get behind the drumkit at Editions gigs.