Rio Loco -the South African music event June 2010 Toulouse France

Greetings all, it’s now official, the program for the festival Rio Loco has been published!

This year in June the city of Toulouse, France will showcase the best of contemporary South African music all in one festival. The line-up is truely amazing and you will have the change to see and hear the most important  South African artists in a marathon gathering between June 17th -21th with additional dates added.

From Mashkanda, Mbaqanga, Zulu styles to folk, jazz, hip-hop and electronic, the South African rhythms will make nearly 2000.000 festival-goers vibrate during one of the most important world music French festivals; Rio Loco.

International stars will share the stage with new talents unknown in France or Europe. The audience can attend creation between South Africans and French musicians or original artistic meetings specially created for the festival. The exceptionally low prices surely will attract a wide public; entrance fee is only 5 Euro.

The festival Rio Loco takes place on various stages throughout the city, along the river Garonne,  in parks, in clubs, at special locations and after- parties. Surely this festival is not to be missed!

Find all info on artists, locations and schedules here.

South Africa South 03/06 20:00
Echo à Dollar Brand 10/06 20:00
Soirée électro mix, hip-hop 11/06 19:00
Concert Sam Tshabalala Quartet 12/06 15:30
Desmond & the Tutus 17/06 18:30
The Mahotella Queens 17/06 20:00
Johnny Clegg 17/06 22:00
Abdullah Ibrahim 17/06 23:30
Ilanga 18/06 18:30
Thandiswa Mazwai 18/06 20:00
Afrika Rocks ! BLK JKS meets Vieux Farka Touré 18/06 22:00
Marcus Wyatt & Language 12 18/06 23:30
The Dizu Plaatjies Ibuyambo Ensembe 19/06 18:30
Hugh Masekela 19/06 20:00
Concert Nibs van der Spuy & Marcus Wyatt 19/06 21:00
Ashes to Machines 19/06 22:00
Zim Ngqawana 19/06 23:30
Intsholo 20/06 18:30
Concert avant première Nibs van der Spuy & PIers Faccini 20/06 18:30
Freshlyground 20/06 20:00
Tumi & the Volume 20/06 22:00
Carlo Mombelli & the Prisoners of Strange 20/06 23:30
Nibs van der Spuy & Piers Faccini 21/06 18:30
Hommage à Miriam Makeba 21/06 22:00
E.J von LYRIK 21/06 23:30
Zaky Diarra & Occidental Indigène 25/06 21:30

YEBO! Zulu Vocal & Jive pt 4

Mbaqanga developed in the South African shebeens during the 1960s. Its use of western instruments allowed mbaqanga to develop into a South African version of jazz. Musically, the sound indicated a mix between western instrumentation and South African vocal style. Many mbaqanga scholars consider it to be the result of a coalition between marabi and kwela. Check  YEBO! Zulu Vocal & Jive, Marabi Jive pt 3 for  ‘Lobola Mgca’  by Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje.

Here is a 45 by an another band that uses the same name  but only with a slightly different spelling; Izinsizwa Zesi Manje Manje.  Can it be the backing band of Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje without the singers??

Izinsizwa Zesi Manje Manje -Tarfontein

‘Tarfontein’ spells African Jazz,  it’s an instrumental and the date of release is unknown, I guess this was released between 1967-1969.

Simon 'Mahlathini' Nkabinde 1988

Simon ‘Mahlathini’ Nkabinde (1938 – July 27, 1999) became perhaps the most influential and well-known South African “groaner” of the twentieth century who formed the Mahlathini Queens outfit to record as a studio unit for the Gallo Record Company. During the late 60’s mbaqanga evolved into the more danceable mgqashiyo sound when bassist Joseph Makwela, from the group Makhona Tsohle Band and guitarist Marks Mankwane joined forces with Mahlathini. Their music soon became a national sensation, pioneering mgqashiyo all over the country to great success.

1967 saw the arrival of Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje, an mgqashiyo female group that provided intense competition for the Mahotella Queens. Both groups were massive competitors in the jive field, though the Queens usually came out on top.

Mahlathini & The Queens -Umkhovu

‘Awufuni Ukulandela Na?’ by Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje and  ‘Umkhovu’ by Mahlathini & The Queens are featured on ‘Next Stop Soweto’, a new compilation by Strut that was released at the beginning of March 2010.

The people at Strut have done a great job; immaculate choice of material, great restoring of the original 45’s, good cover art…even the pressing sounds excellent.

But why does some of the chosen material sounds so distorted?? Is it the mastering? Restoration of the original recordings??

This question can only be answered by listening to the original recordings and after doing so, I have to admit that some of the tracks on this compilation were recorded either in poor conditions or possibly by speedy producers who wanted to record as many tunes as possible within the limited  time scale of a  studio rented for the day.

Many titles are by totally obscure groups whose singles were short lived whilst other groups like Mahotella Queens and Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje gained popularity during their careers and who became South Africa’s best known popular artists.

‘Next stop Soweto’ comes as a double vinyl package whilst the CD package features an extensive booklet featuring detailed notes by compiler Francis Gooding alongside many previously unseen archive photos.

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Essential Listening

‘Next stop Soweto’ vol 1 Underground Township Jive 1969-1975 (Strut 054)

compiled by Duncan Brooker and Francis Gooding

Volumes 2 and 3 will be released across Spring and Summer 2010 and cover rare SA soul, funk & Hammond R&B and jazz

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Township Jive & Boogie pt 4 -Zulu Vocal Girl Groups

greetings to all of you who visit these pages. After spending two months in the glorious summer of South Africa I just came back  to Amsterdam where the Dutch winter is hopefully near over. I brought back a few boxes of rare vinyl this time, lots of 45’s and a few great SA Jazz albums, hopefully some of this music  will warm the cockles of your heart.

It is quite amazing to find records like these in the wild, sometimes hidden in boxes of the usual thrift store stock. One has to dig deep to find treasures like this…

this post is about girl groups;  Zulu Jive Vocal from the mid 60’s up to 1984. The  two titles on Motella are by the Dima Sisters and Mthunzini Girls, two group names that were probably fabricated to cover the work of studio regulars of the Mavuthela recording team.

Mthunzini Girls -Uyangibiza 1967

Dima Sisters -Limathunzi 1968

The Mahlatini Queens -Asibonisane 1974

S’Modern Girls -Bantwana Base Afrika 1984

Other names like the S’Modern Girls remain totally obscure. The 78rpm disc by ‘The S’Modern Dolls’,  from the mid 60’s,  is probably by the same group recording under another name.

This disc is a true novelty as the record was pressed at 78 rpm speed, not on shellac but on vinyl. 78rpm records were pressed in South Africa throughout the 1960’s, long after nearly every other country with a record industry had abandoned the speed. So switching from  shellac to vinyl while pressing records on 78 rpm format must have been a short-lived experiment of an industry in transition. I’ve never seen a record like this before although the Plastik label has produced many 45’s  by producer David Thekwane.

another gallery of South African music on 78

Umtale Chipisa Band -Zuwa Rachona

Alfred Mchunu -Amadumbe 1965

Freddy Gumbi -Jika Jika Jive -1967 Sax Jive

Spokes Mashiyane -Banana Ba Rustenburg

The Lower Buttons – Intogeymy 1967

The Makala Singers -Championi

Three Petersen Brothers -Sugar Candy Cane

thanks to ILAM, Grahamstown SA

hip to the jive

I can’t think of a better way to end  the year 2009 than with a groovy mix for the holiday season. One song chosen for each month of the year with just one more for good luck…13 songs in one mix of 35 minutes. Time to celebrate!

2009 has been a great year for Soul Safari, and I’m very happy to have met, conversed and shared music with so many kindred spirits from all over the world who are hip to the jive…

for the mix I selected several  musical styles from many different ethnic groups from around South Africa; Zulu, Shangaan,  Sotho, mbaqanga, some kwela….and I wanted the mood of the compilation to be happy, vibrant, energetic, just a great danceable jive to fit the festive days ahead.



1. Kid JoJo -Peanut Bump

2. Boyoyo Boys -Daveyton Special

3. Osiyazi -Sibaya Reception

4. Pikinini Khumbuza -Jackpot

5. Elias Mathebula & The Chivani Sisters -Ntlela A Tingangeni

6. Majozi -Ngimbonile Ubaba

7. Umakhathakhathananmachunu -Ezweni Likshaka

8. Majakathatha -Ke Saea Maseru

9. Izazi –Bayesutha

10.Dilika -Ngayishela Yavuma

11. Manka Le Phallang -Khutsana

12. Mzikayifani Buthelezi -Themba

13. Amahlokohloko -Asisangenelani

download ‘hip to the jive’ here


Happy Holidays & best wishes for 2010 from Soul Safari!



brothers on the slide -Steve Kekana -Township Soul & Boogie pt 2

I can not write about  South African artists and their music without mentioning the politics that defined the era in which these artists lived and produced their music. South African pop music between 1970-1990 appeared in conflict with the white ruling class, especially with the Apartheid system that limited black artists in many ways.  Earlier in the 1950’s many artists had left the country and were  living in exile; Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela and Dorothy Masuka a.o. because of their  performances,  tainted by strong political views.

A South African beach during the apartheid era. E. Andrews—Impact Photos/Heritage-Images

By the mid-1980’s as the struggle against Apartheid intensified, censorship had been stepped up even from the severe restrictions of the 1970’s and woven more tightly into the structures of the police state. A national state of emergency was declared in 1985. In the same year, a Zulu cultural organization, the Inkatha Freedom Party began to take on a far more active role as a political party. Inkatha had been formed as a royalist cultural group in 1920 and revived in 1974 to shore up the credentials of the Kwazulu homeland. Its leader, former ANC Youth League member Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, had broken with both the black consciousness movement and the ANC by 1980. Initially most influential in its home province, the decade saw Inkatha becoming more active in the workers’ hostels of Vaal, harassing Zulu-speaking workers  who held anti-apartheid views and launching attacks on township political gatherings. The messages of Zulu music began to be redefined, through Intaka patronage, so that ‘authenticity’ ruled out anti-apartheid sentiments. Musicians involved in the struggle, received death threats and beatings.

At the same time, the government offered lavish payments to musicians to join the “Info Song” recording project; a pop song extolling the virtues of the status quo. A Mbaqanga singer like blind Steve Kekana took the money only to receive  death threats, many township residents boycotted his concerts and records from that moment on. But times do change…

Steve Kekana


Steve Kekana’s voice is wonderful, the way the words become rhythmic while the melody keeps the groove going. I love the soothing effect of Kekana’s voice and above all, the way he sets a sensible mood to carry his words. Not an American Soul-shouter like James Brown but more in the tradition of Al Green or Marvin Gaye.
He was born in 1958 in Zebediela in South Africa’s Limpopo Province,
he lost his sight at age five, and attended a school for the blind in   Pietersburg. During his school years, he nurtured his love for  singing, and was a   member of amateur groups whilst a teenager.



Steve Kekana -Mama Katuli 1981

In 1979 and 1980, Kekana won what was then known as the “SABC Black Music Award” for Best Male Vocalist. Further awards followed, with the singer taking the “Top Male Vocalist” award on Radio Zulu, and being the runner-up on the Tswana and Sotho Radio Stations.

Steve Kekana -Mamacane 1982

Steve Kekana -Ntombifuthi 1981

Since 2001, he has frequently collaborated with different vocalists like Nana Coyote, and  Joe Nina, who produced his most recent album “African Lady”. With over twenty albums to his credit, singer/songwriter Steve Kekana has been a consistent force in the South African music scene since the early 1980’s

 

article contains excerpts from ‘Soweto Blues’ by Glen Ansell (Continuum 2004)


hey sista, go sista, soul sista -Township Soul & Boogie

township soul & boogie logo final

In the middle of the 70s, American disco was imported to South Africa, and disco beats were added to soul music, which helped bring a halt to popular mbaqanga bands such as the Mahotella Queens. In 1976, South African children rebelled en masse against apartheid and governmental authority, and a vibrant, youthful counterculture was created, with music as an integral part of its focus. Styles from before the 1970s fusion of disco and soul were not widely regarded, and were perceived as being sanctioned by the white oppressors. Few South African bands gained a lasting success during this period, however, with the exception of the Movers, who used marabi elements in their soul.
In the middle of the 70s, American Disco was imported to South Africa, and Disco beats were added to Soul music, which helped bring a halt to popular Mbaqanga bands such as the Mahotella Queens. In 1976, South African children rebelled en masse against apartheid and governmental authority, and a vibrant, youthful counterculture was created, with music as an integral part of its focus. Styles from before the 1970s fusion of Disco and Soul were not widely regarded, and were perceived as being sanctioned by the white oppressors. Few South African bands gained a lasting success during this period, however, with the exception of The Movers, who used Marabi elements in their Soul.  Our friends at Matsuli have posted an excellent bio on The Movers so I refer to that page for more information on the band.

Olga Mvicane

Olga Mvicane played only a small role in the movie Sarafina! (1992), a story of the courage and spirit of the children of South Africa’s townships in their resistance to apartheid, starring Miriam Makeba and Whoopie Goldberg, but Olga’s records were far more popular than her acting.
Here are a few rare 45 rpm’s by Olga Mvicane, all sides produced by Marks Mankwane.

Olga Mvicane -Gqobokani labelOlga Mvicane -Gqobokani 1979

Olga Mvicane -Ndiyazisola

Olga Mvicane -Ndeyelekini

Olga Mvicane -Ndeyikeleni 1978

Patricia Majalisa

Patricia MajalisaWhen a very young Patricia Majalisa left her home town, East London, in the Eastern Cape in 1978, she had a dream of becoming one of the  most successful local pop female singer. After an initial ten years struggle to have a niche for herself in the music industry, ‘Lady Luck’ came      her way when she met hit producer Dan Tshanda. Like all other artists desperate for a recording deal, they were a frequent sight at the old Gallo Studios in Kerk Street. Fortunately, ace producer Hamilton Nzimande from Gallo Records, listened to their demo tape and he liked what he’d heard. That culminated in them recording their debut album ‘Mr Tony’ which although not a hit, made them realise their potential. The late Mr Nzimande did not give up on them.

This made everyone see that the group had the potential to make it  and that’s when Ray Phiri of Stimela give them the name ‘Splash’ . This really splashed them with the production of the hit album ‘Peacock’ .  As the album attained sales of more than 50 000 copies,  producer Hamilton Nzimande decided Patricia should do her first solo album ‘Cool Down’.  The album sold Gold, that’s when she knew then that she had arrived and the goal she was seeking.

Her second and third albums, ‘Witch Doctor’ and ‘Gimba’ earned her platinum discs with sales in excess of 50 000 copies each.  This shows that Patricia’s talent is not something that fades away, having been in this industry over 16 years she is still hot and her message to youth should be taken seriously.

Patrica Majalisa -swingono

Patricia Majalisa -Swigono 1987

Patrica Majalisa -witch doctor

Patricia Majalisa -Witch Doctor 1987

disco-ball green

Mavis Maseko, Blondie Makhene & The Movers

…and to finish this post here are three 45 rpm records by The Movers, produced by David Thekwane,  each with a different vocalist;  Mavis Maseko, Blondie Makhene and an uncredited male singer .  Soul with a dash of Marabi while the organ and saxophone remain a prominent part of the sound. Each record brings out the diverse qualities of The Movers; they can play “cross-over” Pop, Soul and Disco and still add their own unique touch.

Mavis Maseko -ngonilie mama

Mavis Maseko -Ngonile Mama 1978

Mavis Maseko -Sebenzani 1978

Blondie Makhene with The Movers -hopeless love

Blondie Makhene with The Movers -Hopeless love 1970

The Movers -give me a day

The Movers -Give me a day 1981

afro_funk logo by  brev87 + township soul & boogie

South African Soul Divas pt 3 Dolly Rathebe, Mabel Mafuya, Nancy Jacobs, Eva Madison

di·va

1. An operatic prima donna.

2. A very successful singer of nonoperatic music: a soul diva

here is Part 3 in the South African Soul Divas series. I admit that the singers in these series are not  ‘Soul’ singers like  American counterparts  Aretha Franklin and  Lyn Collins et al.  Their specific way of singing could be described as Jazz,  Mbqanga or Township Soul as well.   But they sing from their souls and have often lived a life of hard times  under the brutal repression and exploitative injustice during Apartheid days.

Despite of all this, a singer like Dolly Rathebe developed her artistic career and became a well respected and established artist. Dolly Rathebe was one of the most prominent singers in the 1950’s,  together with Miriam Makeba and Dorothy Masuka.  She was also an actress who starred in a few movies.

dolly rathebe foto jurgen schadeberg

Dolly Rathebe 1949 -photo by Jürgen Schadeberg

Dolly Rathebe was born in Randfontein in 1928 in South Africa but grew up in Sophiatown which she describes as having been “a wonderful place”. She was discovered around 1948 when a talent scout from Gallo approached her and it wasn’t long before she became a star.  Rathebe became the top jazz and blues singer of her generation and considered so beautiful that a metaphor was coined for her. ‘It’s dolly’ meant ‘it’s wonderful’ and was an abbreviation of the Afrikaans ‘S’Dolly se boude’ (it’s Dolly’s tights).

She rose to fame in 1949 aged 19 when she appeared as a nightclub singer in the movie “Jim Comes To Jo’burg ” by director Jürgen Schadeberg, the first film to portray urban Africans in a positive light.  But despite it’s success, ‘Jim comes to Jo’burg’ also became a scornful metaphor among black intellectuals for all back-to-the-homelands literature. And there was  musical cross-fertilisation between urban and traditional styles. Rathebe scored an early hit with the song ‘Sindi’, a bluesed up version of a neo-traditional concertina tune ‘Good Street’, dedicated to a Sophiatown thoroughfare. The record was taken back to the United States by Sidney Poitier and picked up by Johnny Hodges under the title ‘Something to Put Your Foot to’.

When Alfred Herbert’s African Jazz and Variety show opened in 1954, Dolly appeared and stayed as Herbert’s main attraction for many years. She became an international star when she sang with the Afro-jazz group, the Elite Swingsters in 1964 and one of the first performers to make an impact in black TV drama in the late 1970’s. Her career suffered, like all others, from the intensifying repression of the 1980’s, but in the late 1990’s, she began to tour nationally and internationally again.

dolly rathebe and the inkspots

Dolly Rathebe with The African Inkspots -Unomeva 1954

After Sophiatown was flattened by the Apartheid government in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Rathebe found it more and more difficult to perform, especially after an 8pm curfew was imposed. She moved with her family to Cape Town township, and to survive, ran a shebeen for many years.

dolly_rathebe_2

Elite Swingsters -Thulandiville 1960

the elite swingsters -soul blues label

here’s a rare instrumental Elite Swingsters -Soul Blues

In 1989 she re-united with the Elite Swingsters to perform in a film that was set in 1950s Johannesburg. In her latter years Rathebe was a leading light in Pretoria’s Ikageng Women’s League. In 2001 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the South African Music Awards.

In 2003, at the age of 75, Dolly appeared in a Johannesburg show, Sof’Town, A Celebration!, where she sang “Randfontein”, the story of a drunk miner returning home to find his wife in bed with another man, who is then beaten and chased out.

She was awarded the South African Order of Ikhamanga in Silver for her excellent contribution to music and the performing arts and commitment to the ideals of justice, freedom and democracy in 2004. Dolly Rathebe died on 16 September 2004 from a stroke.

Sharon Katz performs in a legendary house concert at Miriam Makeba’s home on December 26th, 2003 at a party  with Miriam Makeba, Dolly Rathebe & Abigail K

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Mabel Mafuya


mabel mafuya & the star queens -iMini label

Mabel Mafuya & The Star Queens -iMini

Mabel Mafuya & The Green Lanterns -Nomathemba 1956

Mabel Mafuya was one of the most popular and prolific vocalists of the mid-to-late 1950’s. Sadly, a year or so after the recording of ‘nomahtemba (a woman’s first name)’, a botched goiter operation badly affected her voice and thereafter her musical career began an inexorable downhill decline. Mabel was cast as one of the ‘Chord Sisters’ in ‘King Kong’ and later traveled with the show to London in 1961. After returning to South Africa, she decided to make a name for herself as an actress.  Musically speaking, Mabel is best remembered today for her novelty hit ‘hula hoop’ but ‘nomahtemba (a woman’s first name)’ is her masterpiece. The song’s narrative of broken ties would have encapsulated the dislocating experience of rural-to-urban migrancy for many township residents. Mabel’s searing vocal delivers the message with a direct conviction and intensity that has almost completely disappeared from any form of modern music.

Nancy Jacobs & Her Sisters -Meadowlands 1955

The rather shy and reserved Nancy Jacobs enjoyed a succesful singing career for a few years in the mid 50’s before she married in Cape Town and retired from public life. Her ‘Sisters’ were in reality her mother and first cousin. “Meadowlands” is one of South Africa’s great evergreens, an instantly recognizable melody with a fascinating history.

Eva Madison -an african lullaby

Eva Madison and the Bertha Gray Singers -An African Lullaby (tula baba)1963

Little is known about Eva Madison and The Bertha Gray Singers but this single published in 1963 features a famous lullaby that mothers use to help their crying babies to relax and then sleep.

Tula Tu Tula baba Tula sana Tul’umam ‘uzobuya ekuseni Tula Tu Tula baba Tula sana Tul’umam ‘uzobuya eku…

South African Soul Divas pt 2 Dorothy Masuka, Mahotella Queens, Irene & The Sweet Melodians

dorothy 1

Dorothy Masuka was one of the most famous township singers in 1950’s South Africa and a pin-up to boot.

She was best friend’s with Miriam Makeba and wrote some of the biggest hits of that decade. But then she dared to write a political song about the then Prime Minister Dr Malan and was exiled for over 30 years.
After many years working as a flight attendant for Zambian Airways, she returned to South Africa and to music at the beginning of the 1990’s.

Dorothy Masuka -Ufikizolo

Dorothy Masuka – South Africa´s Grand Lady

Equally at home in South Africa and Zimbabwe, Dorothy Masuka is not only one of the most important singers of the generation of Miriam Makeba, but has for decades also been a talented songwriter whose pen, for example, produced Makeba´s hit “Pata Pata”.Dorothy Masuka was born in what was back then South Rhodesian Bulawago in 1935 and lives in Yeoville/ Johannesburg today.

Together with Dolly Rathebe and Miriam Makeba, Dorothy Masuka is the third great singer to appear in the milieu of South Africa´s black music scene in the late forties and the fifties, an era seen today as the golden age of Township Jazz. She was born in what is today Zimbabwe, and her parents came from South Africa and Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). At the age of ten she went to a Catholic mission school in Johannesburg. She soon became the leader of the school choir. In a small Chinese shop next to the boarding school there was a juke box through which Dorothy Masuka discovered North American Swing music and singers like Ella Fitzgerald or Sarah Vaughan.

Dorothy Masuka was herself discovered as a sixteen year-old by the record company Troubadour, and a short time later went on a tour throughout South Africa with the famous band African Inkspots and began to write her own songs, among them hits like “Pata Pata”. It was not only the concert organisers who were clamouring for her but also the photographers. She was photographed countless times for the legendary magazine Drum, for example.

dorothy 2

It was in 1957 that she first came into conflict with the regime, because of a song about the apartheid minister Malan, and the record had to be withdrawn from the market. In 1961, after the censors had banned her song ”Lumumba”, about the recently murdered Congolese politician, and confiscated all the records including the master tape, Dorothy Masuka returned to Bulawayo, for she had been declared persona non grata in South Africa, something which was not to be reversed until 31 years later. Four years later she also fell out with the Southern Rhodesian authorities and was only able to avoid arrest by fleeing to Zambia, by then independent. She spent the following sixteen years in exile, there as well as in Malawi, Uganda and Tanzania lost her husband and two sons, who belonged to the militant wing of the ANC, and was only able to return to Bulawayo after the independence of Zimbabwe, where she continued her temporarily interrupted musical career. Eleven years later, in 1992, she was also finally able to return to South Africa, where she lives and works today. For, as she says it: “To stay alive I have to sing.”

Almost all the successful South African singers from Miriam Makeba to Letta Mbulu are deeply indebted to Dorothy Masuka´s art, have learned from her, worked with her and been influenced by her. Hugh Masekela, who has many Dorothy Masuka songs in his repertoire, says of her: “Her talent and her courage have always impressed me. For me she is one of the best artists of our generation!”

Author: Wolfgang König culturebase@hkw.de

The Mahotella Queens

mahotella queens 2 copy

Legendary South African song and dance crew Mahotella Queens have been purveyors of lush vocal harmonies and unique bouncy dance steps for more than four decades. They are some of the most notable exemplars of mbaqanga, a style emerging from Johannesburg suburbs like Sophiatown which fused rural Zulu vocal music with Afro-American pop (initially big band swing) later, incorporating gospel, r&b, and other styles as it further defined itself and rose to prominence in the 1960s.

Mahotella Queens -Mama Thula

Other groups like Irene & The Sweet Melodians  are simply formed from former members of the Mahotella collective

irene & the sweet melodians label -good luck

Irene and The Sweet Melodians -Nginifisela Inhlanhla (good luck)

irene & the sweet melodians label -Uthlmangithini

Irene and The Sweet Melodians -Uthi Mangithini

irene and the sweet melodians -nqgoqo

Irene and The Sweet Melodians -Nqonqo

irene & the sweet melodians label

Irene & the Sweet melodians -awulilela

YEBO! on my iPod

the original songs in their full length can be heard in previous posts.  Zulu Jive, Marabi Jive, Xhosa Vocal…soul and jazz grooves with an unique South African flavour  were selected and highlighted  in the YEBO! series. Thank you for all your feedback.

Reader NickAll I can say is… wow. I love the soul and jazz-infused Makgona Tsohle Band 45rpm, it is one I had never come across previously. Thank you for sharing these musical treasures, they are all sublime and are all very much appreciated.”

all 20 selections of YEBO! in a 33 minute Mix

1- Isazi – Ingabonga Isudu
2- Lazarus Kgagudi And The Neighbours – Mlamu Wami
3- Irene & The Sweet Melodians – Nawulilela
4- Retsi & The Jacaranda Girls – Mongezi
5- Olive Masinga – Indlela Enhle
6- Izintombi Zesi Manje Maje – Lobola Mgca
7- Retsi Pule – s’Dula
8- Korrie Moraba – Ngixulaelawena
9- Indoba Band – Keep On Jiving (Pt 1)
10- Sophie Thapedi – Mabitso Abatho
11- Retsi & The Jacaranda Girls – Manikiniki
12- Lazarus Kgagudi And The Neighbours – Amadoda Asemgodini
13- Makgona Tsohle Band – Take Your Time
14- Patience Africa – Sala Sithanda
15- Kabasa – Burning Splinters
16- Dark City Sisters – Kudelangibuya Khona
17- Vusi Nkosi With Mabone Boys – Amazambane
18- Zacks Nkosi – Kwasibasa
19- The Alexander Shamber Boys – Finish
20- Vusi Nkosi With Mabone Boys – Superman Jive


Download the mix here: YEBO! on my iPod