August Mix Special! From Bubblegum 2 Kwaito

August 7, 2015

the early years of Bubblegum or Mapantshula Afro pop.

Legends like the late Brenda Fassie and the Big Dudes, Chicco Twala, Dan Nkosi, Ebony, Richard Makhubale of Volcano, Dan Tsahnda of Splash, Yvonne Chaka Chaka to name a few, are some of the most known South African artists in the genre. But the genre crossed borders as well, from Namibia to Zimbabwe, Bubblegum became most popular through the radio and rapidly captured the dance floor. Bubblegum was a response to Western styles like disco and the fast spreading house music which originally came from the black ghettos of Chicago and New York. When the second Summer of Love took the UK over in 1988, first house, and later techno conquered the world. DIY – do it yourself – a motto that had already appeared in the punk movement, lifted the young house scene to the next level. With a minimal set up – keyboards, some drum machines and samplers it was suddenly possible to make music without having to rent expensive studios. Township disco was born, Bubblegum was the next logical step, followed by Kwaito. Brenda & The Big Dudes

1994 -the rise of Kwaito

The early 1990s saw many changes in South Africa; these include the release of Nelson Mandela, the lifting of political, economic, cultural and sports sanctions, an agreement on a new constitution and the country’s first democratic election in 1994. These changes inevitably dramatically affected the South African music performance structures and industry. The lifting of sanctions provided South African musicians with easier access to international music and a radical revision of censorship, while the easing political situation allowed for greater freedom of expression. Freedom of expression meant that for the first time the youth of South Africa could make their voices heard. The music genre kwaito emerged during this period and represents a culmination of all these changes; it is a practical manifestation of that freedom of expression for which the youth had longed.

The origin of the word kwaito comes from the Isicamtho word amakwaitosi (which means gangster). Amakwaitosi derives from the Afrikaans ‘kwaai’, which means strict or angry. The association of kwaito with gangsters is because kwaito in itself is all about ghetto music. To kwaito musicians and their fans alike, the term simply implies that the tracks are ‘hot and kicking’. kwaito comp The subject of kwaito remains a relatively unexplored topic within the academic environment because up until recently the focuses of musicological and ethnomusicological studies in Africa have been restricted to indigenous music, as opposed to urban music.

Can kwaito be deemed an authentic South African phenomenon?

A new urban genre developed in the 1980s, an Afro-dance pop, mainly influenced by mbaqanga and African-American popular styles. Bubblegum marked a shift or a cultural turn in the content and form of South African music. This genre developed because of promising developments in the fight against Apartheid as well as the introduction in South Africa of television in 1976, which allowed for the promotion of music across all ethnic groups. It represented a move towards music that was more urban then traditional. All these factors made an enormous contribution towards the development of kwaito, which began at the pinnacle of bubblegum music and when the aprtheid era was drawing to an end


Kwaito instrumentals are usually made entirely of synthesised sound. The tracks are constructed using a fusion of slowed down house music tracks (normally 100 and 120 beats per minute) and African percussion, which forms the core of the rhythmic pattern. The lyrics in kwaito are normally not sung, but recited in rhythmic speech, usually in Isicamtho or any of the South Afrcian official languages. Times are changing for Kwaito and the artists constantly pursue new sounds. Artists are spending more time on the production of their albums than before and have broadened their frontiers of influence. The music is becoming more developed and complex, with artists constantly seeking new idioms and mediums of expression like adding an opera singer or live instruments that give elevated status. Kwaito draws a lot of its traits from American hip hop and house. African-Americans (the pioneers of hip-hop and house) and black South Africans both have a similar history of oppression by the whites. Thus, there are similarities present between the original American music genres and kwaito but that does not make kwaito a direct descendant of hip-hop nor house. Kwaito draws its musical influence from various sectors of the music world, including American and European music, but also from various South African music genres and makes extensive use of local African instruments, for example marimba and xylophone, Izibongo praise poetry and, most importantly, lyrics that use indigenous South African languages as an alternative for English. For these reasons, kwaito can be considered an authentic South African phenomenon.

Source: partial text from the essay ‘Kwaitofabulous’ the study of a South African urban genre by

Thokozani Mhlambi

KWAITO EP 12inch_discosleeve

Cape 2 Nassau -August Mix Special

from 99.8 bpm to 118.2 bpm

Mara Dee -Uphetehe Yiphi Patleo4U -Abobaby Mara Dee -Phinda Mzi Street Vibe -Cho-Bee Dare 2B Different -Ash Lo Baby Malume -Uxam Binghi B -African Herbsman Bongi & Mashashane Kids -No Rubber No Pencil Bongi & Mashashane Kids -Black Mampatile Mara Dee -Rhythms Of Life Tata -Afro Breakdance Street Kids -Try Me (Game Nr. 2) Blondie & Pappa -Cape 2 Nassau

 kwaito dancing


August Special! South African Boogie &Disco -Ebony -Feeling Good 1987

July 31, 2015

every week during the month of August 2015, Soul Safari presents a selection of the hottest, rarest and above all most exemplary Boogie & Disco from Africa. All records were originally produced, recorded and released in South Africa. Get ready for a real hot August!

First up is this LP by singer Ebony -real name Linah Khama- who was active mostly between 1984-1989. Her biggest hits include the 12″ singles  ‘I Need Somebody’ (1984) and ‘I Don’t Need You / Ooh La La Hop’ (1987).‎


ebony feeling good cover front watermarkedc

Ebony -Feeling Good  (Righttrack ‎– RTL 9026 South Africa 1987)

ebony feeling good cover back watermarked

ebony feeling good label 1 watermarked

ebony feeling good label 2 watermarked


Basa Basa ‘Homowo’ aka Basa Basa Experience ‘Together We Win’ -Ghana

July 12, 2015

Originally released in 1979 in Nigeria this album remains one of the highly prized ‘holy grails’ of African music. Basa Basa Experience ‎– Together We Win Label: Take Your Choice Records (TYC) ‎– TYC 115-L


see also previous post Piliso -Thumela -rare Afrobeat from South Africa 1983

Both albums by Piliso and Basa Basa Experience ‎were produced by Themba Matebese, a member of Nigerian band T-Fire. Other members are Igo Chico, Kenneth Okulolo, Lekan Animashaun, Mike Collins, Tobahoun Abalo, Tunde Williams.  In T-Fire Themba Matebese was responsible for the vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards and percussion as well as for the composition of most of their songs. He also wrote  ‘African Soul Power’, the standout track on ‘Together We Win’. The album got repressed on Peach River Records in Holland in 1983 under a new title ‘Homowo’, the group name was shortened to Basa Basa.

Liner notes; Basa Basa is a highlife band, the nuclues being the Nyaka Twins from Accza, Ghana, West Africa. They both play guitars and drums and compose their own songs. Recorded at Decca Studios, Lagos, Nigeria. Classify under tight funky disco high life afrobeat.

Basa Basa‎–Homowo – Highlife Music

basa basa homowo cover front + watermark basa basa homowo cover back watermarked

basa basa homowo label A watermarked

basa basa homowo label B watermarked

Peach River Records ‎– BB SP LP 03 -The Netherlands 1983

 Thumbs up to reader Afrikola for his valuable information on the origins of this rare record. 


Piliso – Thumela -rare Afrobeat from South Africa 1983

June 8, 2015


Piliso – Thumela

I  wish I could find some more info on this rare album by Piliso, released in Holland only in 1983. Unfortunately nothing pops up on Google or anywhere. Discogs clarifies that the same album was released in 1979 as Uwandile ‎– The Tie Breaker in Nigeria. A few acetates were cut at Trident Studios in 1981 for release of album by Boom Records in Nigeria. Not sure if the Boom release ever happened.

Some info from the sleeve of the Dutch release; Uwandile Piliso is a singer and hails from Johannesburg, South Africa

Recording artists; Guitar -J. Ndlou Bass -Andre Abramse

Drums -Butley Moore

Vocals -Uwandile Piliso

Fender Rhodes -Gboyega Adelaja Keyboards -T. Matebese Horns -E. Oyewole/O. Julius

Recorded and mixed at Decca Studios, Lagos Nigeria

All songs written by Uwandile Piliso

Artwork; Susan E. St George

released on Peach River Records ‎– BB SP LP 02 The Netherlands 1983

Thumbs up to reader Afrikola for his valuable comment. This post was edited on June 16th 2015 and the following info added

This was a group of South African exiles in Nigeria at the time. Wandile also played with Themba Matebese in his T- Fire group that got comped on some Soundway Nigerian compilations.That group featured big names from Africa 70 , like Lekan Aminashaun,Tunde Williams and Kenneth Okulolo. Andre Abrahamse and Josi Ndlovu from Zimbabwe did a nice AfroDisco album called Amandla , as well as backing the drummer Butley Moore on his own record , Happy Merry Music.All from around the same time on Boom Records.After coming back from exile , Andre Abrahamse was a well sought after studio musician , appearing on lots of Jazz albums. Themba Matebese also produced the Basa Basa Soundz album Together We Win , that also got repressed on Peach River Records under another name Basa Basa Homowo.


remember District 6?

May 18, 2015

Running small convenience stores in townships is a dangerous business for foreigners. Often serving their customers through locked gates, they are accused of spreading disease, stealing jobs and sponging off basic government services like electricity, running water and healthcare.

But as violence against them continues, the South African government insists that criminality is behind it, not xenophobia

Remember District 6?

In 1986, District Six – The Musical- by David Kramer and Taliep Petersen told the story of District Six in a popular musical which also toured internationally.

By the turn of the century District Six, originally known as the Sixth Municipal District of Cape Town, was already a lively community made up of former slaves, artisans, merchants and other immigrants, as well as many Malay people brought to South Africa by the Dutch East India Company during its administration of the Cape Colony.

After World War II, during the earlier part of the apartheid era, District Six was relatively cosmopolitan. Situated within sight of the docks, it was made up largely of coloured residents which included a substantial number of coloured Muslims, called Cape Malays. There were also a number of black Xhosa residents and a smaller numbers of Afrikaans, whites, and Indians. district 6 the musical pics

Government officials gave four primary reasons for the removals. In accordance with apartheid philosophy, it stated that interracial interaction bred conflict, necessitating the separation of the races. They deemed District Six a slum, fit only for clearance, not rehabilitation. They also portrayed the area as crime-ridden and dangerous; they claimed that the district was a vice den, full of immoral activities like gambling, drinking, and prostitution. Though these were the official reasons, most residents believed that the government sought the land because of its proximity to the city centre, Table Mountain, and the harbour.

On 11 February 1966, the government declared District Six a whites-only area under the Group Areas Act, with removals starting in 1968. By 1982, more than 60,000 people had been relocated to the sandy, bleak Cape Flats township complex some 25 kilometres away. The old houses were bulldozed. The only buildings left standing were places of worship. International and local pressure made redevelopment difficult for the government, however. The Cape Technikon (now Cape Peninsula University of Technology) was built on a portion of District Six which the government renamed Zonnebloem. Apart from this and some police housing units, the area was left undeveloped.

Since the fall of apartheid in 1994, the South African government has recognised the older claims of former residents to the area, and pledged to support rebuilding.

District Six also contributed mightily to the distinguished history of South African jazz.

Basil Coetzee, known for his song “District Six”, was born there and lived there until its destruction. Before leaving South Africa in the 1960s, pianist Abdullah Ibrahim lived nearby and was a frequent visitor to the area, as were many other cape jazz musicians. Ibrahim described the area to The Guardian as a “fantastic city within a city..In the late 50s and 60s, when the regime clamped down, it was still a place where people could mix freely. It attracted musicians, writers, politicians at the forefront of the struggle as the school Western province Prep were a huge help in the struggle, but the head boy at the time and an exciptionaly great help was . We played and everybody would be there.”

 district 6 the musical cover back

And the story continues with ‘District 9’, probably the most stunning sci-fi movie I have ever seen.

Released in 2009, directed by Neill Blomkamp, written by Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell, and produced by Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham.

The film won the 2010 Saturn Award for Best International Film presented by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, and was nominated for four Academy Awards in 2009:

The story, adapted from ‘Alive in Joburg’, a 2005 short film directed by Blomkamp and produced by Sharlto Copley and Simon Hansen, depicts humanity, xenophobia, and social segregation. The title and premise of District 9 were inspired by events in District Six, Cape Town during the apartheid era. The film was shot on location in Chiawelo, Soweto, presenting fictional interviews, news footage, and video from surveillance cameras in a found footage format.

More then a great science fiction action thriller it’s a social commentary. Replace the word “alien” with any legal or illegal inhabitant of a township and the message the movie was conveying becomes clear. Not for the squeamish.

source; Wikipedia, YouTube, Aljazeera


my wish is that South Africans never give up belief in goodness -Nelson Mandela

April 24, 2015

stamps South Africa 2015

my wish is that South Africans never give up belief in goodness -Nelson Mandela

zuma as zulu warriorJoseph Marais + Miranda -The Zulu Warrior

see also xenophobiasouthafrica by Khadija Patel and Azad Essa



Machanic Manyeruke And The Puritans -Zimbabwe Gospel

April 17, 2015

Machanic Manyeruke And The Puritans pic -bewerkt

it doesn’t take much to make great music; a guitar, a synth and above all powerful voices praising the greatness of God…that is exactly that is on offer on this remarkable record coming out of Zimbabwe. Recorded in Harare and produced by Bothwell Nyamhondera. File under Gospel.


Machanic Manyeruke label A

Machanic Manyeruke label B

Machanic Manyeruke And The Puritans (Cook 025)

Released in 1989 by Gramma Records/Cooking Vinyl London UK

buy the album on Discogs


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