Rai is his Radio name. This is a name he got from Primary School as a Basketball player. Team mates had to come up with a short for Lionel, hence the name “Rai”. No surprise at all, if you are Lovemore they’ll call you “Ravhu”. Later in the era of Simon Pashoma as Radio Zimbabwe Station Manager, a new name was born and this one is shared because it represents two guys “ Sungura Boys” one of the famous two is Lionel Mnkandla. The other Sungura boy is G. Gweje. They saw it fit to call themselves the Sungura boys because back then the two were instructed to play nothing other than Sungura. What a name to match the two. Born in Harare. Lionel attended primary education in Bulawayo, that was grade 1 to grade 3. He had a hard time though because having been born in Harare, he had to learn Ndebele in a short period of time because everyone else at school was Ndebele. He then moved back to Harare when he was in Grade 3 of which by then his Shona had vanished. This is the background as to why he speaks both languages but he feels comfortable with Shona than Ndebele.