Skip to main content

South African Township Homegrown Artists: Township-Style Sounds: African Cultural-Musical Echoes & Polyrhythmic Licks

  • Author:
  • Updated date:
Although this is a name of an album, I am using it here as a 'meme' or 'zine' to give essence to the Grooves that are what this Article is about- Kasi (Township) Flavored Spunky Sounds Systems

Although this is a name of an album, I am using it here as a 'meme' or 'zine' to give essence to the Grooves that are what this Article is about- Kasi (Township) Flavored Spunky Sounds Systems

The Soulful and African Funky group' personnel of "STIMELA" in a Photo-shoot.. They are a stupendous group

The Soulful and African Funky group' personnel of "STIMELA" in a Photo-shoot.. They are a stupendous group

Sipho "Hotsticks" Mabuse paying flute during his days with Harari

Sipho "Hotsticks" Mabuse paying flute during his days with Harari

Jabu Khanyile and Bayete

Jabu Khanyile and Bayete

Sakhile on stage and in action and in their element

Sakhile on stage and in action and in their element

Sakhile in Concert

Sakhile in Concert

Batsumi's Cover Album

Batsumi's Cover Album

When the Beaters chaged their name to Harari- on album cover - from left to right- Alec Khaoli(red Hat; Selby Ntuli, on keyboards and Sipho Mabusi on drums(not in Picture is Saitana)

When the Beaters chaged their name to Harari- on album cover - from left to right- Alec Khaoli(red Hat; Selby Ntuli, on keyboards and Sipho Mabusi on drums(not in Picture is Saitana)

Sipho Mchunu and Jonathan AClegg perform their Zulu dance routine(Clegg always fascinated africans with his ability to do Zulu Dances-he said he grew up amongst the Zulu people)

Sipho Mchunu and Jonathan AClegg perform their Zulu dance routine(Clegg always fascinated africans with his ability to do Zulu Dances-he said he grew up amongst the Zulu people)

Juluka was a South African music band form in 1969 by Sipho Mchunu and Jonathan Clegg. "Juluka" in Zulu means 'sweat", and was the name of a bull owned by Mchunu

Juluka was a South African music band form in 1969 by Sipho Mchunu and Jonathan Clegg. "Juluka" in Zulu means 'sweat", and was the name of a bull owned by Mchunu

Philip Tabane and Malombo, live in action

Philip Tabane and Malombo, live in action

Philip Tabane and his Malombo African Drum Players

Philip Tabane and his Malombo African Drum Players

Winston Mankunku Ngozi with one of his best tunes ever, called "Yakhal' Inkomo(The cow bellowed) along with another track called "Spring", see and listen to the video within the Hub

Winston Mankunku Ngozi with one of his best tunes ever, called "Yakhal' Inkomo(The cow bellowed) along with another track called "Spring", see and listen to the video within the Hub

Amampondo

Amampondo

Hugh Masekela

Hugh Masekela

Miriam Makeba

Miriam Makeba

Brenda Fasie

Brenda Fasie

Lucky Dube

Lucky Dube

Caiphus Semenya and Letta Mbulu

Caiphus Semenya and Letta Mbulu

The Music And Sound Of The People

Kasi (Township) Flavor

Scroll to Continue

African Music, the music of the indigenous peoples of Africa. Sub-Saharan African music has as its distinguishing feature a rhythmic complexity common to no other region. Polyrhythmic counterpoint, wherein two or more locally independent attack patterns are superimposed, is realized by handclaps, xylophones, rattles, and a variety of tuned and non-tuned drums. The remarkable aspect of African polyrhythm is the discernible coherence of the resultant rhythmic pattern.

Pitch polyphony exists in the form of parallel intervals (generally thirds, fourths, and fifths), overlapping choral antiphony and solo-choral response, and occasional simultaneous independent melodies. In addition to voice, many wind and string instruments perform melodic functions. Common are bamboo flutes, ivory trumpets, and the one-string ground bow, which uses a hole in the ground as a resonator.

During colonial times, European instruments such as saxophones, trumpets, and guitars were adopted by many African musicians; their sounds were integrated into the traditional patterns. Scale systems vary between regions but are generally diatonic.

Music is highly functional in ethnic life, accompanying birth, marriage, hunting, and even political activities. Much music exists solely for entertainment, ranging from narrative songs to highly stylized musical theater. Similarities with other cultures, particularly Indian and Middle Eastern, can be ascribed primarily to the Islamic invasion (7th-11th cent).

South African Music Musings

A lot of articles and some couple books have been written about the Music of Africans in South Africa. It has been given all types of names, to try to suture it into a convenient genre. Like, Bubble Gum, World Music, African Music, Mbaqanga, and so forth. Some have even gone to the extent of noting that it was influenced by Disco music. One of my favorite writers on the music of South Africans is David Coplan. Adding to what I was talking about above he states:

"The social history of urban Black(African) performing arts is an account of the development and relationship of styles. The phrase 'performing arts may in turn require an explanation. I say it because it best reflects the nature of Black (African-musical?) expression in South Africa, which cannot be divided realistically into Western categories of music, dance or drama.

"These categories are not only foreign to Africa: they fail to recognize the close integration of song, lyric, tone, rhythm, movement, rhetoric and drama. I use the term 'performance culture' as well, to represent a crucial conjunction between performance and everything that immediately supports it - a social cross-roads of performers, participants, styles, categories, materials, and occasions of performance.

"These workers who had been drawn form the different regions into what came to be called Townships(Ghettoes) or as Coplan states: "a proletarian majority among the permanent Black(African) townsmen(township dwellers, to be more precise), lived by their wits in the shadows and shanties of the mushrooming Locations(Townships), creating hybrid styles of cultural(mixed and elaborated differentiated cultural sounds) that shaped Black (African) music and drama."

Performance became key for musicians in South Africa because of the hurdles that were foisted upon them by Apartheid and British 'separate development,' which mean one and same thing for Africans.

Africans in South Africa were exposed to performance traditions from all over the subcontinent and the world beyond. Some brought their rural culture to life in the diamonds compounds and barracks. Others, mission school educated(Like Hugh Masekela) and others), became the Black (African elite and adopted European and Afro-American culture to their social needs.

The proletarian majority, mission graduates and migrant workers, professional Black(African) performers, itinerant artistic entrepreneurs, people from the rural and farm areas blended them together and brought new African urban influences and brought these new urban influences into the changing musical landscape and changing performance culture of the Townships and countryside.

What we see today as music of Africans in South Africa, comes from the 1920s-30s, where the churches, schools, clubs, drinking houses(called Shebeens,now changed to Taverns, parties, weddings, dance halls) and in the process they were evolving and producing generations of performance musical professionals.

Versatile musicians absorbed almost anything, played for almost everyone, and gave birth to an authentically South African Jazz, Mbaqanga, Marabi Funk and Spunk. Singers, dancers, and comic actors drew on local African lore and traditions, Africa as a whole contributions, and American vaudeville thus creating these specific musical genres local theater. Class formation in a segregated society, with its associated symbols of status and cultural identity, made the relationships between performers and audiences, styles and occasions/performances increasingly complex.

In this Hub I will be showcasing various musical videos of the Music of South Africans as listened to Africans in various settings of their day-to-day lives.

If one were to read the posts from those who have listened to these videos, one can a sense how powerful this music is. As I have said, the impact and interpretation of the Music of Africans in South Africa, is best illustrated by the videos that will be posted here, and I hope the reader/listener will appreciate the variety and depth of the Music of Africans of South Africa. The purpose of this Hub is to present more of the music of Africans in South Africa in its beauty, rhythm, Funk and Spunk.

The music of Africans in South Africa as presented here along with the artists whose videos one will be listening to, should be seen in the background and hardships that were imposed by the Apartheid government, its recording companies and radio stations. Every conceivable obstacle was placed in the path of the growth and development of this music by the Apartheid's "cultural war" on Africans.

We know that there was a cultural, political, social and economic war and impediments that were placed to prohibit Africans' Humanity, evolution and development by Apartheid. But, as we can see and listen to the music emanating from that era, one can see the resilience, strength and determination of a people, who, with everything thrown against them(alcohol and poverty, etc.) being the modus operandi and mainstay of Apartheid rule, the Africans of South Africa proved that they can do better, are better.

And there is a promise today that they will still be producing these golden musical nuggets for the enjoyment of their people and the world into the foreseeable future. Most of the artist here have passed on, but their music still lives on in the hearts and minds of the Poor and all types of Africans of any stature in South Africa and Africa, and the world as a whole.

I end the video selections for this Hub with Brenda Fasie and Lucky Dube, who (Brenda) is one of the most famous, well-loved and very much liked artist in South Africa. I would like to dedicate a Hub to her and her music in the future, because she really captured the essence of Township vibes and personified the Township (Kasi) Funk and Spunk like no other.

Her lyrics and the music are a reflection of the life, times, pains, wishes, hopes, failures and successes and all that the people of the Townships have had to go through. Even today, in the Townships (Kasies'), when someone blasts their car stereo or House stereo in any occasion, or gathering, the response of the people there is to do what all African South African do, when they hear their favorite music and artists: DANCE. Rest in Peace "Mabbrr.. (as she was affectionatley called by everyone and her fans).

I am writing about the music of South Africans from the perspective and appreciation that is found amongst the Africans of South Africa. It is important to do this because, nowadays, when everyone who is anyone and is not from South Africa writes about the music and the people of South Africa. Well, this Hub is written from the point of view of the Africans of South Africa and the ways and means through which they enjoy and appreciate their music. Some of the artists presented here in this Hub are well know, and some are not.

As I will be writing Hubs about the Music of South Africa, some artist will be unknown to the world, but they are famous and much appreciated in South Africa, from the past, to date. I have already written a Hub called "The Music of The People: Africans in south Africa and their musical Sound Systems"; I also covered a little about the music of Africans in South Africa in one of my Hubs called, "Music is the Soundtrack Of Our Lives: Breaking an Breaching The Musical Sound Barrier."

As I have noted above, I will be writing and posting now more of the music and sounds of South Africa, and this particular Hub about Township Funk and Spunk, wherein I have now begun to post the music on video alongside the history an evolution of music in South Africa, and is my hope that it edifies the claim I made that this will be written form the perspective of Africans in South Africa and how they "Appreciate" their musical forms, performances and style.

The struggle for 'cultural autonomy' goes on in urban African South Africa. In Soweto and other Townships around South Africa the music that has been presented above have found its place and is still growing and developing throughout the country-post Apartheid and the world-which with its vicious 'cultural war' (Apartheid) it had waged against Africans in South Africa, had managed to short-circuit African cultural growth, expansion and expression.

The music was continuing then under those harsh repressive conditions, and even today, it promises to develop in leaps and bounds. Even when the Apartheid government and their White entertainment industry remained(during apartheid) even today, they are still the powerful forces to contend with, and in the performing arts of the Africans of South Africa continue to play an active role in the evolution of African identity and the internal definition of African musical aspirations within South Africa.

It is Hubs like these that will and are hard-pressed to present a sane musical society history and discourse that is demonstrated by the videos posted herein, to begin to give recognition, respect and awareness(both locally and in Africa) along with the World as a whole. You can also check most of this music posted in this Hub on my Internet Radio Station at this link: live365.com/stations/djtot12/ and the name of the Station is called FASTTRACKS.

Focus: Music of South Africa, 2nd Edition (Focus on World Music Series) [Paperback] Carol A. Muller

Despite efforts to expropriate African performance culture, and to use it to impose an Apartheid version of African Identity, there were ways of resisting. Many of South Africa's most popular progressive groups and artists, like the "Stimela" (Posted above in Live in Concert)," "Juluka", and the African rock rock group, "Harari", began with independent Black(African) producers and resisted signing with major studios unless they were given full control of their music.

Many groups continued to produce political, socially relevant, authentic Township music even though, during Apartheid it was never really played on Radio. But the listeners brought the music, mostly on vinyl during those days, and kept the groups in the forefront of musical appreciation and performance.

The reader and music lovers of South African music should pay attention to and recognize the importance of this musical form as well as lyrical content(spiced with "Kasie Slang" (Township Slang) and English and local African languages, along with the cultural politics of African South Africans music. Songs whose lyrics have little explicit political reference at times communicate a sense of cultural pride and creative development vital to African identity formation and African political consciousness.

The groups or artists that exemplify that these trends are "Philip Tabane and his Malombo Jazzmen", "Harari", "Sakhile" and "Batsumi" who were banned during the apartheid era, and many others which might be explored and exposed in a subsequent Hub to this one. Also presented here are the groups and artists like"Amampondo". "Hugh Masekela", "Miriam Makeba", "Juluka", Winston Mankunku Ngozi and Sipho Mabuse of Harari, Brenda Fasie, Amampondo, Lucky Dube, all in Video mode where one exists, plus, added to that, is a short history of the groups and artists and a very short history of how and for whom this musicians performed.

South African Music: A Century of Traditions in Transformation (World Music (ABC-Clio)) Hardcover by Carol A. Muller & Michael B. Bakan

From an African cultural and traditional perspective, for the time that Africans have spent now living in the Townships the evolution and morphing of different cultural sound of Africa, with an accommodation for the International listening public(songs sung in english, of course in African languages) one can begin to note the evolution and growth that the Music of the Townships have undergone, as one listens to Stimela's selection above.

Stimela is one of the most enduring and popular groups that is loved throughout all the different Townships and rural areas by Africans. Because no article of this type as the one I am writing have been attempted before, and this Hub will be about those songs that are loved by and are popular with the masses of Africans of South Africa.

I usually write about politics, music, art, sports(where possible), and use a lot of pictures in the Photo Gallery to illustrate my point. But in this Hub, I am more interested in exposing and putting into the Global viral front the music that few people get to hear from South Africa. I will indulge some more with Stimela's Live take performed by Ray Phiri(the leader) and Stimela - Fire Passion and Ecstasy.

Below we present 'Thiba Kamoo' (Dinyonyana Di a baleha) ((Block The Other Side Because The Birds(Dinyonyna) are escaping or flying away). Sipho Mabuse, who belonged to the famed and well-known African Funk group, "Harari", has updated and revamped this song originally sung and played by "Harari" (Thiba Kamoo-'Block The Other Side), and made it into an energetic and explosive video below.

Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse, co-founder and member of the Group "Harari - "Thiba Kamoo"

Sound of Africa: Making Music Zulu in a South African Studio Paperback by Louise Meintjes

Africans in South Africa have created genuine communities and the Apartheid regime continuously knocked down these enclaves. According to Copland: "Groups tend to be multi-ethnic, reflecting the blending of various local African musical tradition in the urban areas over the many decades, as producers' efforts to find musical 'common denominators' among the heterogeneous urban Township audience along with rural music lovers.

"Vocalist(in the Mbaqanga genre and other township vibes in different groups or artists, are kept as a unit for all performances. Instrumentalists, on the other hand, are used independently according to the demands of a particular recording or live show.

"The months of practice that go into the most polished acts encourage producers to keep groups together, particularly once they become popular and recognizable to the public. These are groups like "Jabu Khanyile and Bayete"; "Skakhile"; "Harari", "Philip Tabane and the Malombo Jazz Men"; "Batsumi". Below is the sample sound of Jabu Khanyile and Bayete:

SAKHILE

More than two decades ago, 'Sakhile' made its debut in the community halls and theaters of South Africa. A fountain of creativity during a time of repression and cultural stagnation, Sakhile fed ears and minds of a hungry and depressed African nation. Innovation in genre, as much as musicianship, Sakhile as a collective carried the burden of being ahead in that moment. It was a passionate cultural mission, rather than commercial acclaim which propelled Sakhile through the 1980s.

Sakhile (meaning "We Have Built") laid foundations at a time when so much else needed construction in South Africa. They textured a sound which defied the condescending categories legislated by Apartheid and its broadcasters: Proudly African, unashamedly traditional, and uncompromisingly electric. The released albums in 1982 and 1984, but with limited radio air-play and support, the opted for live acts which primarily benefitted and blessed the African Fans that they had unfiltered Music belted out by Sakhile, (Listen to their video in the video sets) who played in political rallies and schools, and tasted teargas and tears).

Through their own music, and also through onstage reference to then-exiled artists such as Johnny Dyani, Hugh Masekela and Caiphus Semenya, Sakhile nudged audiences to make the links, discover and harvest a heritage that had been concealed.

The group kept close contact with the exiled musicians, and by the late 1980s, collaborations with both Masekela and Semenya were routine. Sakhile toured extensively in Europe, Scandinavia, Africa and the USSR, and recorded a third album. In 1990 they served as a core musical group for South African performers at the Wembley Mandela Tribute; and, in 1992, they featured at the Montreux Jazz festival as part of a Quincy Jones Showcase.

Group members evolved through the years, making Sakhile the alma mater of many of South Africa's finest instrumentalists. Sipho Gumede, Khaya Mahlangu, Menayatso Mathole and Mabi Thobejane are individually acclaimed artists.But now stand together as original members of a defining group. The name and spirit "Sakhile" is indeed apart of South Africa which has been built against so many odds. With "Togetherness," Sakhile offered their debut recording made in a "free" South Africa.

The music of Sakhile and this track is called "Sakhile"(We have built-"Sakhile" - here)

J

Hip Hop Africa: New African Music in a Globalizing World (African Expressive Cultures) Paperback by Eric Charry

Jabu Khanyile

The Video of Jabu Khanyile is followed-up by the sample video of the group "Sakhile": This Jazz riff but Township vibe is one of the many groups and artists who made their mark and impression in the psyche, consciousness and lives of Africa South Africa's during the apartheid era.

Batsumi

Recorded in 1974 in Soweto, this is an intriguing, rousing reminder of the inventive styles that flourished in apartheid-era South Africa, but never came to the notice of the outside world. Batsumi were an Afro-jazz outfit led by a blind guitarist, Johnny Mothopeng, along with his keyboard-playing brother Lancelot and bassist Zulu Bidi. They worked in the sprawling Johannesburg township in the early 70s, and their debut album has been unobtainable for decades.

Remastered from the original tapes, and best played very loud, it's a vibrant, energetic workout in which slinky, repeated riffs are matched against wailing, sometimes psychedelic effects, with saxophone and flute solos added. There are five lengthy tracks here, and they range from the opening Lishonile, in which hypnotic, repeated phrases and solos give way after nine minutes to equally furious chanting, and the cool Anishilabi, in which a classy keyboard workout and bass solo ease into a cool, loping riff. An obscure African recording, maybe, but this is still great dance music.

Race Music: Black Cultures from Bebop to Hip-Hop [Paperback] Guthrie P. Ramsey

BATSUMI

South Africa’s 1970s are rightly remembered as a time of rising militancy. From the universities to the docks to the schools–the decade saw the rise of Black Consciousness and Steve Biko’s calls for a radical reorientation of black culture towards the struggle for political and mental liberation. We curate our memorials to that decade with raised right fists and confrontations between uniformed students and uniformed police.

But by choosing to title his column in the, SASO Newsletter, “I Write What I Like,” Biko called above all else for unapologetically creative responses to the tensions of the moment. Black South Africans answered this call in a variety of ways, some stridently political, others defiantly original. Oswald Mtshali, Mongani, Wally Serote and others answered his call in words; Dan Rakgoathe, Winston Saoli, Louis Maqhubela and others on canvas. Batsumi answered with a cascade of sound.

Founded in Soweto in 1972, in 1974 Batsumi recorded an album that will be re-released later this week by Matsuli Music. The music is stunning, from the moment the album opens with Zulu Bidi's searching bass, and expands to include horns, flute, what sounds like a didgeridoo, drums, voices and Johnny Mothopeng’s guitar.

This is the past, reaching out to the present to remind us that we still don’t understand. Today Biko and Black Consciousness’s legacy as a political movement is contested and debated, invoked across the political spectrum and twisted to fit present-day concerns. But Batsumi is closer to the truth of that moment.

This music doesn’t preach, it doesn’t declaim, it doesn’t sloganize — but it also doesn’t offer flee from the radical demands of its present. Indeed, although these tracks are not stridently political they are by no means escapist fare, suitable for shuffling dance steps at late night shebeens. Take the third track, “Mamshanyana.”It opens with Mothopeng’s acoustic guitar, the spare, patient twang of which could not be more different from the township jazz sounds we associate with this time period.

(The amazing quality of this remaster is most apparent here, incidentally — you can literally hear the subtle reverb of the strings.) Drums, bass and organ, join, come together, voices crest, flute and sax echo. As it builds, it swings, coalescing into a uniquely compelling statement of intent. By the time and sax and flute solo over organ, bass and drums, Batsumi has got you.

Here is another group called "Batsumi" (Hunters), whose sounds and production of a mixture of South African musical culture, tradition and nuances are capture in stark, hauntingly and edifying rhythmic soulful earthy relief and very Africanized songs. Apparently this scared the Boer Censors and the group was banned and prohibited form playing.

And that’s precisely the point. They have you nodding along in the same way that people respond to an accurate rendering of some richly remembered past. (Albeit with considerably more rhythm than that which attends to most story-telling.)

It’s fairly easy to see Batsumi in your minds eye — the township practice sessions, the clothes, the conversations — at the risk of cliché, you can practically smell the incense. But when they start to blow, or jam, or pound or chant, there’s an abandon that demands our attention — the compulsion to express oneself, at a time when self-expression was radical and political in and of itself.

Batsumi didn’t need to respond to protests or apartheid or Bantu Education to be revolutionary. It just was, without ideology or partisan squabbling, no program necessary. That Johnny Mothopeng was the son of imprisoned PAC president Zephania Mothopeng is incidental; he played a mean guitar. His band played what they liked and what they played kicked ass. This was black consciousness, this was the 1970s. This was revolution.

Sound Offerings from South Africa 2 ~ Various Artists (Artist)

HARARI

The following Group, "Harari" which has been dubbed the African rock group was and is still the best and funkiest sounding group to date. Harari began in 1968 with four friends who were students at Orlando West High school with the personnel being Selby Ntuli (Keyboards and composer) Alec Khaoli (bass guitar), Saitana(Lead guitar(but he would eventually leave the group and became South Africa's African lead guitar soloist in this genre-except of course for Philip Tabane and Allen Kwela), and finally Sipho Mabuse on drums.

In the beginning the called themselves "The Beaters" (which was during the 'soul era' in South africa of the late sixties and early seventies). When they returned from touring Zimbabwe, in 1976, they changed their name to the famous African Township near Salisbury, now also called Harari. But in so doing, their continued to develop their 'South African soul' sound, with a tinge of African American funk, progressive rock and their African traditional music and the heavy effects and tones of Mbaqanga Music (this uniquely South African genre will be treated in full in an upcoming Hub).

HARARI - "Musikana"

Bitches Brew [Extra Tracks, Original Recording Reissued, Original Recording Remastered] Miles Davis

I will also like to follow-up with another selection of Harari in their funky and groovy party mode. This was one of their songs that rocked and injected life, raised the spirits and hopes of the destitute Africans under Apartheid. Their willingness to forego premature stardom in favor of musical integrity greatly aided their creative development and the social integration in and within their Soweto Community. They produced successful Albums like "Rufaro" that spawned a new movement in African South African Music.

After the death of Selby Ntuli in 1978, the band reorganized itself and emerged stronger than ever with a string of popular live appearances. With their production of songs like "Jikeleza [go round and round] on the Album Kalahari Rock [Gallo ML4303] still contained the freshness, power and cultural authenticity of their best previous work. At this time, the group featured Sipho Mabuse, Alec Khaoli, Oupa Segwai, Thelma Segonah(she replaced Selby Ntuli on the Keyboards, Masike Mohape and Doc Mathilane. Harari had a heavy appeal to the working class, the 'created" African middle class, also, as well as the poor African masses, and they wore their unlooked-for identity as a leading Black(African Consciousness band and were expected to survive the conflict between Apartheid cultural repression and were again looked at as a band that would meet the expressive and revolutionary demands of the Township audience. Here is their "Soul fire" ditty.

Harari - "Soul Fire"

Mingus Ah Um [Extra Tracks, Original Recording Reissued, Original Recording Remastered] Charles Mingus

Juluka

A group called Juluka learned to walk the political tight rope because it was one of the first bands to have mixed races personnel, and had remarkable success, and was created by Sipho Mchunu and Jonathan Clegg in the golden days of Grand Apartheid in south Africa. Clegg was a young White social anthropologist and performer of Zulu guitar, song and dance, also, who learned the Zulu language and performance in the workers' Hostels(where mine and industrial workers from the farms and all over Africa lived and worked) in Johannesburg.

During the 1970s, he and his friend Sipho Mchunu, a Johannesburg gardener, composer and dancer from Natal, put together an original blend of Zulu rural music and dance, Mbaqanga, and part-Western folk music. After struggling for years and local radio station refusing to give them airplay, because the Apartheid minions and their African lackeys, considered Clegg a 'threat and an insult' to Apartheid and African or Zulu culture. They were really considered a threat to cultural apartheid…

So, Sipho and Clegg begun playing for a multi-racial audience in concerts which was a taboo in terms of Apartheid race relation, as duly noted above. With his acquired knowledge of Zulu guitar playing, language and dances, Clegg drew a lot of different audiences in his act during Juluka's performances. With their authentic African sounds, Juluka is still one of the most popular and achieved international success with their act, dance and music, and the power of their lyrics and songs.

Juluka - "Scatterlings of Africa"

Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times (The Nathan I. Huggins Lectures) Hardcover by Robin D. G. Kelley

Philip Tabane and Malombo

Philip Tabane is the founder and guiding spirit of Malombo is a son of an Ndebele mother and 'Tswana father who grew up in Pretoria's Mamelodi Township. As a youngster, Philip began playing the guitar by himself, picking up a variety of musical ideas from the neo-traditional, Mbaqanga, African Christian, and American Jazz styles that floated around the township. He left school at standard(grade) one, Tabane spent his time improvising and blending heavily African musical elements into an impressionistic, loosely structured and intensely personal style.

Malombo is a Venda word referring to ancestral and other spirits consulted by traditional diviners, and signifies the deeply African spiritual attitude that the group brought into and made their music sound more traditional, customary and African-like. Tabane and Malombo developed a new , expressionistic, multi-traditional.

The music's loose progression of improvised phrases, disjunct melodic and rhythmic lines, and poeticized aphorisms was not much like neo-traditional (but it was adding a new dimension to it) Tabane's music had affects and influences form traditional, neo-traditional, African church-more of the Pedi traditional vibes, and quasi-Mbaqanga and Zulu guitar picks, and customary chants giving it a very rural, indigenous and urban contemporary urban style.

Over time, Tabane included the drumming of drummer and dancer Gabriel "Mabee" Thobejane, after he, Abie and Julian Bahula split because Tabane was not interested in getting involved in political. He and Thobejane travelled to the US and played with the likes of Miles Davis, Max Roach, Pharaoh Sanders, McCoy Tyner and other first rank muscians. Free from Apartheid restrictions, Malombo gained fame and financial success.

As time went bye, Tabane suffered from creative expression through isolation from the sources of his inspiration from the rural areas and the Townships. In 1973 he and Gabriel returned home to perform for and re-learn from their own people in the Townships throughout the former Transvaal Province(Now Gauteng and other provinces). His album Pele Pele, and they were also spurred on to greater heights with their appearance at the New York Newport Jazz Festival in 1977. They continues to play in may concerts in the Townships and at Market Theater, Market Cafe in Johannesburg during 1976-1977.

Philip and Gabriel continued playing using their style of almost competitive musical dialogue, with Philip always playing his guitar, Kalimba(hand piano), flute, and Gabriel on African Drums. His intense guitar-playing, solos and melodic poetic recitations, supplemented and backed-up Gabriel's percussive power and dynamics with African drums, dance, and ankle tattles kept the audiences in the Townships jumping all over the place along with the White concert goers.

The content and style of Malombo remains unique in the annals of contemporary music in south Africa with its blend of traditional resources symbolizing the cultural Orientation of African Consciousness. Although Tabane's songs, in most cases, refer to a deeper cultural and spiritual sensibility. Tabane's faithfulness to urban and rural cultural identity saved him from social and creative alienation and made him a leader in the musical realization and shaping and making permanent that African identity that so much characterizes his music. In the video below, performing in Market Theater, he featured his son on drums, and it is worth watching this act. In a Nutshell, Phillip is singing that" "The bum or punk has gone away with my Pedi Woman"

Phillip Tabane and Malombo Live at the Market Theater, Johannesburg

Sorcerer Miles Davis

Winston Mankunku Ngozi