Good day all.
In one of my previous posts I introduced singer Mqonga Sikanise, an obscure artist of Xhosa origins who plays the concertina.
The instrument was originally imported from European shores to South Africa, a variation of the accordion, sometimes called the “Donkylung” or the “Xmas-worm” in local slang.
The instrument was played originally in South African “boere” music which directly translated means farmer music. “Boer” also refers to Afrikaans speaking Europeans, thus a “Boer” can also be called as such without necessarily being a farmer.
Most of the Boere-tunes are folksongs. The great trek from the Cape in 1838 , inland to the Transvaal has a lot to do with the popularity of the concertina, as well as the distribution thereof. There must have been quite a number of concertinas around in the Cape as it was under British rule at the time. There were quite a few players at the time who mastered the instrument by that time so the concertina was on the move around the turn of the 20th century. Many black musicians made it part of their music and dances.
In later years the accordion became more popular, often played together with guitar or saxophone.
Here is a selection of tunes by a few of the most popular groups and players from the 70’s specialising in Accordion & Sax Jive; The Naledi Boys, Wilson Ndlovu, Boyoyo Boys, Kid Zondi…