Songs of Africa


There is no background sound to this page to enable you to listen to the selected midis.

Turn Music On


Many thanks to all the websites from whom I have downloaded many midis over the years!

The music featured in Blithe Spirit is but a small sample and what I have needed I have uploaded to my files on the Beepworld server.

Other midis come from BeepWorld's midi collection.

The music in the following links is for the original pages of Blithe Spirit.



Opening Sequence



Dances with Wolves

Original from the film by the same name



Let there be Light

Improvision on Tubular Bells




Original from the film by the same name



Music courtesy of Jesper Moonen

A guy from Holland who composes his own music called The Search for the Land of Light, and who has been inspired by Pink Floyd, Rick Wakeman and Genesis


Original composition by Jesper Moonen


Africa South

Tribal Dance

Original by 2 Unlimited









A South African song

Mielies Tronk

An Informative and Humour personal website in Afrikaans, one of the official languages of South Africa, also featuring linkable midi compositions of traditional South African music.



Music from Beepworld


Shaka Zulu

Music courtesy of Jesper Moonen

Rhythm of the Heat

Original composition by Jesper Moonen



Special Star




Dark Star




Dark Light

Soundtrack from the film


North Africa




Music from Beepworld



Arts & Culture


African Dreaming



African Arts

Music from Beepworld


An Artists Perspective

Music from Beepworld


African Culture

Music from Beepworld


African Mythology & Origins

Can't Get You Out Of My Head

Original by Kylie Minogue


African Proverbs

Pata Pata

Original by Miriam Makeba


African Shamanism

Shamanic Tubular Bells/Source of Secrets

Improvisation on Tubular Bells


History of the Gun

Private Investigations

Original by Dire Straits



Liberian Girl

Original by Michael Jackson



Safri Duo


European Beliefs

Shine on You Crazy Diamonds

Original by Pink Floyd



Tubular Bells


The Slave Trade

Photo: Looking At You by Terry Wilson

Pacha Mama



Music by Beepworld


Voyages of Intrepidation

River of Dreams

Original by Paul Simon


Darkest Africa

Music from Beepworld


Kwetha Boys

Music from Beepworld


Black Hawk Down


Adagio for Strings by William Barber


Piracy on the High Seas

Sailor's Hornpipe 


Buffalo Soldiers



Sailing Up the Rufiji

Music by Beepworld


The Konigsberg

Music by Beepworld


Lions of Africa

Dark Lady



Grzimek's Humourous Photos

Music by Beepworld


Heita da!

Daddy Cool 


The African Daily






African Visions

Music from Beepworld


Raid on Entebbe

  Alien Ant Farm

Original Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson


Cape Dutch Style

Birds of Morning 

Music courtesy of Dolphin's Dream

A personal homepage with midis to relax the spirit.


South African Houses

Takada Drumming


African Dogs

O Come All Ye Faithful


Fighting for Survival

  The Wall

Original by Pink Floyd

Forbidden Zone

Ursus (mp3)

Courtesy of Ape City

From the films Planet of the Apes


Selected Music

Kalahari Hunter



Johnnes Berger

Restless Ocean

Portuguese & Arabs


Arctic Sadness MP3

Industrial Percussion

Kinshasa (Save only)

Enya   Take My Breath Away   The Long & Winding Road   Lady Marmalade   Domino   Beth    Sure Know Something   Whole Lotta Rosie   Love Song for a Vampire   I Don't Want to Miss a Thing   A Taste of Honey   I Wanna Hold Your Hand   The Rose   Oh So Quiet   Is this Love   Funeral for a Friend   Your Song   Don't Cry   Fear of the Dark      Mr. Crowley   Feel the Beat  I Try (Save only)

African Music on CD


African songs, chants and games for children







Igqirha lendlela nguqongqothwane
Igqirha lendlela kuthwa nguqongqothwane

Ebeqabel' egqithapha uquongqothwane
Ebeqabel' egqithapha uquongqothwane

Igqirha lendlela nguqongqothwane
Igqirha lendlela kuthwa nguqongqothwane

Ebeqabel' egqithapha ugongqothwane
Ebeqabel' egqithapha ugongqothwane

In English, Qongqothwane is also known as The click song. This song full of clicks refers to the language in which it is interpreted: Xhosa.

In Xhosa, which is one of eleven official languages in South Africa, certain syllables are formed by pressing the tongue against the palate, which produces a clicking sound.

It tells the story of a ladybird and its friend the shepherd. They become so inseparable that the ladybird will happily guide the way when the shepherd gets lost.




Lyric: Miriam Makeba – QONGQOTHWANE – From the album Mama Africa



I qi-gha lendlela u-qo-qo-n’twane

Iqi-gha lendlela u-qo-qo-n'twane

Iqi-gha lendlela u-qo-qo-n'twane

Iqi-gha lendlela u-qo-qo-n'twane

qabu qaq-ithapha u-qo-qo-n'twane
qubu qaq-ithapha u-qo-qo-n'twane

Sele-qa bu qaq-ithapha u-qo-qo-n'twane

Sele-qa bu qaq-ithapha u-qo-qo-n'twane

qi-gha lendlela hiya u-qo-qo-n'twane
qi-gha lendlela kuthwa u-qo-qo-n'twane

Iqi-gha lendlela hiya u-qo-qo-n'twane
qi-gha lendlela kuthwa u-qo-qo-n'twane

bu qaq-ithapha aw-u-qo-qo-n'twane

Sele-qabu qaq-ithapha u-qo-qo-n'twane
qabu qaq-ithapha aw-u u-qo-qon'twane

Sele-qabu qaq-ithapha u-qo-qo-n'twane



The words to this song were pillaged from the website: Pesenki.Ru and as I do not have a Xhosa/English dictionary to cross reference, I cannot vouch for their accuracy in spelling.


Miriam Makeba however clearly says the word “Sele” and not “ele”.


In the above version of The Click Song I have split the word and highlighted the clicks so that it can be more easily read and learnt.


The “gha” is pronounced like the gutteral German “g” or the Scottish “ch” as in loch.


The “th” as in “kuthwa” and “ithapha” is pronounced as a hard “t” and not “th” as in the English word “the”.


Likewise the “ph” in “ithapha” is pronounced as a hard “p” and as an “f” as in the English word “phantom”.


The word “lendlela” is prounced “len-dlela” and not “lend-lela” and the “dl” is run together not pronounced separately as a “d” and an “l”.


There are two words which Miriam Makeba sings for which I do not know the African spelling – they are “hiya” (pronounced as “high ya” not “hee ya”) and “awu”.


In the first instance she sings the word as “aw” as in the English “ow” and in the second instance she sings the word as “awu” as in the English “ow woo”.


Lastly all the “u” sounds in the song are pronounced as a short “oo” and not as in the English word “up”.




In south African languages words include 3 click sounds –

The C in representing the dental click (|) in Xhosa (the sound used in English for ‘tsk tsk!’).

The Q which is the apical alveolar click (!), reminiscent of a popping cork.

The lateral click (||), represented by X (as in the word Xhosa), and rather like the English sound used to encourage a horse.





Nkosi Sikelele Afrika : Songs Lyrics  Nkosi Sikelele Midi



English (Lovedale)

Nkosi, sikelel' iAfrika;
Malupakam'upondo lwayo;
Yiva imitandazo yetu

Yihla Moya, Yihla Moya,
Yihla Moya Oyingcwele

Sikelela iNkosi zetu;
Zimkumbule umDali wazo;
Zimoyike zezimhlouele,

Sikelel' amadol' esizwe,
Sikelela kwa nomlisela
Ulitwal'ilizwe ngomonde,

Nawo onk'amanenekazi;
Pakamisa wonk'umtinjana

Sikelela abafundisi
Bemvaba zonke zelilizwe;
Ubatwese ngoMoya Wako

Sikelel'ulimo nemfuyo;
Gxota zonk'indlala nezifo;
Zalisa ilizwe ngempilo

Sikelel'amalinga etu
Awomanyana nokuzaka,
Awemfundo nemvisiswano

Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika;
Cima bonk' ubugwenxa bayo
Nezigqito, nezono zayo

Lord, bless Africa;
May her horn rise high up;
Hear Thou our prayers
And bless us.

Descend, O Spirit,
Descend, O Holy Spirit

Bless our chiefs
May they remember
        their Creator.
Fear Him and revere Him,
That He may bless them.

Bless the public men,
Bless also the youth
That they may carry the land
        with patience
and that Thou mayst bless them.

Bless the wives
And also all young women;
Lift up all the young girls
And bless them.

Bless the ministers
of all the churches of this land;
Endue them with Thy Spirit
And bless them.

Bless agriculture and
        stock raising
Banish all famine and diseases;
Fill the land with good health
And bless it.

Bless our efforts
of union and self-uplift,
Of education and mutual
And bless them.

Lord, bless Africa
Blot out all its wickedness
And its transgressions and sins,
And bless it.



Nkosi Sikelele Afrika was composed in 1897 by Enoch Sontonga, a teacher at a Methodist mission school in Johannesburg.

The words of the first stanza were originally written in Xhosa as a hymn.  In 1927 seven additional Xhosa stanzas were later added by Samuel Mqhayi, a poet.

Most of Sontonga's songs were sad, witnessing the suffering of African people in Johannesburg, but they were popular and after his death in 1905 choirs used to borrow them from his wife.

Solomon Plaatje, one of South Africa's greatest writers and a founding member of the ANC, was the first to have the song recorded.  This was in London in 1923.  A Sesotho version was published in 1942 by Moses Mphahlele.

The Rev J.L. Dube's Ohlange Zulu Choir popularised Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika at concerts in Johannesburg, and it became a popular church hymn that was also adopted as the anthem at political meetings.

For decades Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika was regarded as the national anthem of South Afrika by the oppressed and it was always sung as an act of defiance against the apartheid regime. 

A proclamation issued by the State President on 20 April 1994 stipulated that both Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika and Die Stem (van Suid Afrika)would be the national anthems of South Africa.  In 1996 a shortened, combined version of the two anthems was released as the new National Anthem.


There are eleven different versions of this traditional appeal to the Almighty where he is implored to protect the people of Africa: in the nine official black languages of Africa, in English and in Afrikaans. 


This history has been lifted from Unwembi's resource of South African Government Information.



National Anthem of South Africa

This is the official version of the national anthem, combining
Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika and
Die Stem/ The Call of South Africa



Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika
Maluphakanyisw' uphondo lwayo,
Yizwa imithandazo yethu,
Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo.

Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso,
O fedise dintwa la matshwenyeho,
O se boloke, O se boloke setjhaba sa heso,
Setjhaba sa South Afrika - South Afrika.

Uit die blou van onse hemel,
Uit die diepte van ons see,
Oor ons ewige gebergtes,
Waar die kranse antwoord gee,

Sounds the call to come together,
And united we shall stand,
Let us live and strive for freedom,
In South Africa our land.                                                      
Midi : South African National Anthem


The Call of South Africa : Die Stem

Ringing out from our blue heavens, from our deep seas breaking round;
Over everlasting mountains where the echoing crags resound;
From our plains where creaking wagons cut their trails into the earth -
Calls the spirit of our Country, of the land that gave us birth.

At thy call we shall not falter, firm and steadfast we shall stand,
At thy will to live or perish, O South Africa, dear land.

In our body and our spirit, in our inmost heart held fast;
in the promise of our future and the glory of our past;
In our will, our work, our striving, from the cradle to the grave -
There's no land that shares our loving, and no bond that can enslave.

Thou hast borne us and we know thee. May our deeds to all proclaim
Our enduring love and service to thy honour and thy name.

In the golden warmth of summer, in the chill of winter's air,
in the surging life of springtime, in the autumn of despair;
When the wedding bells are chiming or when those we love do depart;
Thou dost know us for thy children and dost take us to thy heart.

Loudly peals the answering chorus; We are thine, and we shall stand,
Be it life or death, to answer to thy call, beloved land.

In thy power, Almighty, trusting, did our fathers build of old;
Strengthen then, O Lord, their children to defend, to love, to hold -
That the heritage they gave us for our children yet may be;
Bondsmen only of the Highest and before the whole world free.

As our fathers trusted humbly, teach us, Lord, to trust Thee still;
Guard our land and guide our people in Thy way to do Thy will.


Die Stem van Suid Afrika : The Call of South Africa

Uit die blou van onse hemel, uit die diepte van ons see,
Oor ons ewige gebergtes waar die kranse antwoord gee.
Deur ons ver-verlate vlaktes met die kreun van ossewa -
Ruis die stem van ons geliefde, van ons land Suid-Afrika.

Ons sal antwoord op jou roepstem, ons sal offer wat jy vra:
Ons sal lewe, ons sal sterwe - ons vir jou, Suid-Afrika

In die merg van ons gebeente, in ons hart en siel en gees,
In ons roem op ons verlede, in ons hoop of wat sal wees,
In ons wil en werk en wandel, van ons wieg tot aan ons graf -
Deel geen ander land ons liefde, trek geen ander trou ons af.

Vaderland! ons sal die adel van jou naam met ere dra:
Waar en trou as Afrikaners - kinders van Suid-Afrika.

In die songloed van ons somer, in ons winternag se kou,
In die lente van ons liefde, in die lanfer van ons rou,
By die klink van huweliksklokkies, by die kluitklap op die kis -
Streel jou stem ons nooit verniet nie, weet jy waar jou kinders is.

Op jou roep sę ons nooit nee nie, sę ons altyd, altyd ja:
Om te lewe, om te sterwe - ja, ons kom Suid-Afrika.

Op U Almag vas vertrouend het ons vadere gebou:
Skenk ook ons die krag, o Here! om te handhaaf en te hou -
Dat die erwe van ons vad're vir ons kinders erwe bly:
Knegte van die Allerhoogste, teen die hele węreld vry.

Soos ons vadere vertrou het, leer ook ons vertrou, o Heer -
Met ons land en met ons nasie sal dit wel wees, God regeer.



Sarie Marais : Songs Lyrics



My Sarie Marais is so ver van my hart,
Maar'k hoop om haar weer te sien.
Sy het in die wyk van die Mooi Rivier gewoon,
Nog voor die oorlog het begin.

O bring my trug na die ou Transvaal,
Daar waar my Sarie woon.
Daar onder in die mielies
By die groen doringboom,
Daar woon my Sarie Marais.

Ek was so bang dat die Kakies my sou vang
En ver oor die see wegstuur;
Toe vlug ek na die kant van die Upington se sand
Daar onder langs die Grootrivier.

Die Kakies is mos net soos 'n krokodille pes,
Hulle sleep jou altyd water toe;
Hul gooi jou op n skip vir 'n lange, lange trip,
Die josie weet waarnatoe.

Verlossing die kom en die huis toe gaan was daar,
Terug na die ou Transvaal;
My lieflingspersoon sal seker ook daar wees
Om my met 'n kus te beloon.


Jacobus Toerien is one of the first poets to use Afrikaans, a mixed language derived from Dutch which was imported into South Africa by the explorer Jan van Riebeeck in 1652 and which developed in a very particular way during the centuries of colonisation. Already in 1889 Toerin wrote Sari Maré as a hymn for his wife Maré.

10 years later the song became famous when the Afrikaner soldiers sang it for consolation during the Boer War.

The title Sarie Marais came about by accident, because at the time music was passed on in writing using scores; the typing mistake –Marais instead of Maré - was only discovered by Toerin when it was too late and the namehas stuck.


Vat jou goed en trek Ferriera


Vat jou goed en trek Ferriera
Vat jou goed en trek
Agter die bos is 'n klompie perde
Jannie met 'n hoepelbeen

Swaar dra al aan die eenkant
Swaar dra al aan die eenkant
Swaar dra al aan die eenkant
Vat jou goed en trek



Shosholoza : Songs Lyrics


Kule ... Zontaba
Stimela siphume South Africa

Kule ... Zontaba
Stimela siphume South Africa

Kule ... Zontaba
Stimela siphume South Africa

Kule ... Zontaba
Stimela siphume South Africa


Workers from Mozambique and Zimbabwe who are hurrying by train to the gold and diamond mines of South Africa sang this song as a way of passing the time.

It is a song of love which gives them strength. Shosholoza evolved in the musical tradition of Africa to become the unofficial national anthem of the Zulu people and you will hear many a labourer singing this song. 

Shosholoza has also been adopted by rugby fans in South Africa to encourage their teams.



From the album - IpiTombi :: Shosholoza : Song lyrics

Ku leZontaba
Stimela si ghamuka e South Africa


Ku leZontaba
Stimela si ghamuka e South Africa

Wena u ya baleka
Wena u ya baleka
Ku leZontaba
Stimela si ghamuka e South Africa

Kule ... Zontaba
Stimela siphume South Africa

Kule ... Zontaba
Stimela siphume South Africa



….. Upbeat tempo ….


Yebo yebo yebo yebo



Dig dig digging in the street

Hiya hiya ho

Men must work to eat


Work work working in the sun

Hiya hiya ho

We all work as one


Im working in the heat

Im working in the rain

Digging in the sun

Digging up the drain

The time when men are weak

And things do go wrong

If we had a song

Then we will get along




Dig dig digging in the street

Hiya hiya ho

Men must work to eat


Work work working in the sun

Hiya hiya ho

We all work as one


The time when we feel bad

The time when we feel sad

If we have a song

That cant be all that be bad

The time when we feel lost

The time when we feel not strong

If we have a song

Then things will not be bad




Dig dig digging in the street

Hiya hiya ho

Men must work to eat


Work work working in the sun

Hiya hiya ho

We all work as one



Dig dig digging in the street

Hiya hiya ho

Men must work to eat


Work work working in the sun

Hiya hiya ho

We all work as one


Yebo yebo yebo yebo




Tula Tula : Songs Lyrics


Tula Tu Tula baba Tula sana
Tul'umam 'uzobuya ekuseni

Tula Tu Tula baba Tula sana
Tul'umam 'uzobuya ekuseni

Hush my baby close your eyes
Time to fly to paradise
Till the sunlight brings you home
You must dream your dreams alone

Tula Tu Tula baba Tula sana
Tul'umam 'uzobuya ekuseni

Tula Tu Tula baba Tula sana
Tul'umam 'uzobuya ekuseni

Hush my baby go to sleep
I'll be with you counting sheep
Dreams will take you far away
Sleep until the break of the day

Tula Tu Tula baba Tula sana
Tul'umam 'uzobuya ekuseni


Tula Tula is a lullaby and is a Zulu song which is known everywhere in Black Africa. And it is always very popular with mums who like to calm their child and lead it into the world of dreams: "sleep baby sleep, tomorrow your mum will be with you again".

In this version, Helmut Lotti has added some verses in English.

I first heard the song on the album ipiTombi - Mama Thembo's Wedding which was a great hit in South Africa in the 1970s. ipiTombi was made into a film. 





Pata Pata : Songs Lyrics


Saguquka sathi bheka nantsi patapata
Saguquka sathi bheka nantsi patapata

Yiyo mama yiyo mama yi pata pata
Yiyo mama yiyo mama yi pata pata

Saguquka sathi bheka nantsi patapata
Saguquka sathi bheka nantsi patapata

Saguquka sathi bheka nantsi patapata
Saguquka sathi bheka nantsi patapata

Yiyo mama yiyo mama yi pata pata
Yiyo mama yiyo mama yi pata pata

Saguquka sathi bheka nantsi patapata
Saguquka sathi bheka nantsi patapata

Saguquka sathi bheka nantsi patapata
Saguquka sathi bheka nantsi patapata


Thanks to the impressive voice and charisma of Miriam Makeba, probably the best known South-African singer, Pata Pata became a major hit in 1967.

The song is however much older and has its origins in Xhosa culture where it is accompanied by a traditional and very agile dance during which man and woman touch as much as possible by "brushing" against each other in a slightly erotic manner. 

Pata Pata means "light touch".



The Izicatulo Gumboot Dance

This is a rhythmic dance, based on traditional solo step dancing, spontaneously created by Natal dockworkers who were issued gumboots for their jobs and discovered their percussive qualities. Similar are the steps from dancers on the gold mines and some of these dancers appeared in the film DINGAKA produced by Jamie Uys'.

The dancers begin to stomp and then they bend down and slap either their right or left gumboot in unison; it is very fast moving and exciting to watch. The boots are strung with rattles made with “imifece” moth cocoons and this adds an additional rattling sound.

The sheet music for this, instead of having lyrics, has Ls and Rs, which is annotated as follows:

     L = Left foot stamp
     R = Right foot stamp
     LR = Land hand on right boot
     RL = Right hand on right boot
     LL = Left hand on left boot
     RL = Right hand on left boot

The entrance is: L R L R L R L R, etc.


The first pattern is called Lefu laiti and goes L RR LR R RL L RR LR R RL LL clap RL LL L RR, R


The second pattern is called Saluti and goes L R clap/feet-together R L LR R RL L

LR clap/feet-together R L LR R L


Then pattern 1 is repeated and the finale is: clap LL L clap RR R clap LL L clap RR R clap LL L RR LR R RL LL L clap and everyone shouts "Ha!"


It is pointed out the above lacks rhythmic or metric units. The space of time taken by two foot beats should be taken as a unit and marked accordingly.



Jikel' Emaweni


This is a song with the famous Xhosa clicks and it's so rhythmic and attractively staged, it doesn't matter you don't know what the lyrics mean (it is a boasting song about young Xhosa boys doing a martial art form of stick fighting).


Intonga zamakwenkwe                               The sticks of the young men

Zapugel' emlanjeni wo-hmm                       Are being broken at the river

Ukubeta kubetsw' intonga ya-hmm            Because there is stick fighting going on!

Amadod' ayoyika ukubeka                         Even grown men are afraid

Mlanjeni wo-hmm                                       To go down to the river

Ukube ka mlanjeni wo-hmm               

Ukuba kubetsw' iintonga, ya-hmm             Because there is stick fighting going on!


O Jikele maweni ndiyahamba                     Turn back at the cliffs; I'm going.

Jikele maweni ndiyahama

O Jikele maweni ndiyahamba

Jikele maweni ndiyahamba


Aqensa makwenkwe                                    The young men are dancing

Aqensa kwabamand'                                    Dancing at the mine

Aqensa makwenkwe                                    The young men are dancing,

Aqensel' emgodin'                                        Dancing at the mine.



Repeat Jikele Maweni


Ajika' madoda ajika kwabamand'                 The men are turning, turning beautifully

Ajika' madoda                                                The men are turning

Ajikel' emgodin'                                             Turning at the mine.



Repeat Jikele Maweni and


Ajika' madoda

Intonga zamakwenkwe                                    The sticks of the young men

Zapugel' emlanjeni wo-hmm                            Are being broken at the river

Ukuba kubetsw' intonga ya-hmm                    Because there is stick fighting going on!


Ag Pleez Deddy (The Ballad Of The Southern Suburbs)


AG PLEEZ DEDDY was recorded live - at a Cape Town recording of Wait a Minim - in 1962 a year after it had been written by Jeremy Taylor and the single sold more copies in South Africa than any of Elvis Presley's.


The song contains many Afrikaans words and colloquialisms.



Ag pleez deddy

Won't you take us to the drive-in

All six seven of us eight nine ten.
We wanna see a flick about Tarzan and the ape-men

And when the show's over you can bring us back again.


Chorus –


Popcorn chewing gum peanuts and bubble gum

Ice cream candyfloss and Eskimo Pie

Ag deddy, how we miss nigger balls and liquorice

Pepsi-cola ginger beer

And Canada Dry.


Ag pleez deddy

Won't you take us to the fun fair

We wanna have a ride on the bumper cars.
We'll buy a stick of candyfloss

And eat it on the octopus

Then we'll take the rocket ship that goes to Mars.




Ag pleez deddy

Won't you take us to the wrestling

We wanna see that ou called Sky Hi Lee.
When he fights Willie Liebenberg

There's gonna be a murder

Coz Willie's gonna donner that blerry Yankee.




Ag pleez deddy

Won't you take us off to Durban

It's only eight hours in the Chevrolet.
There's spans of sea and sand and sun

And fish in the aquarium

That's a lekker place for a holiday.


Popcorn chewing gum … Ag pleeeeez deddy!

-           VOETSEK!


Ag sies deddy,

If we can't kraak to bioscope or go of to Durban

Life's a henguva bore.
If you won't take us to the zoo

Then what the heck else can we do

But go on out and moer up all the outjies next door.




Words & Music - Jeremy Taylor © 1961 MPA            Sample Midi: Ag Pleez Deddy



Lift Girl's Lament


Going up!

First floor!

Knitwear nappery beachwear sportswear corsetry millinery ladies underwear - thank you!


We are the lift girls
in a big department store
we kindly take the patrons going up from floor to floor
don't wonder if we're weary of standing up all day
Cos when the doors fly open it's our job to say …


Second floor!

glassware ironware hardware brushware crockery cutlery
El Fandango Tea Room - thank you! Orange juice lemonade
arsenic rat poison thank you!

Going up …


We are the lift girls
we're careful how we dress
I like my job but I'd very much rather have been an air hostess
but as I was always airsick and I couldn't pass the test
I stand here pushing buttons and the lift does all the rest


Third floor!

cosmetics perfume and cologne belts buttons teen and twen-ty dresses - thank you!

"Excuse me, can I find glasses on this floor?"
glassware ironware hardware brush ware cookery cutlery El Fandango Tea Room - second floor!

"Oh, are you perhaps going down?" …

Going up!


Ag si's tog, Marlene, what a helluva job this is
the boss won't even give us time to go and have a zizz
and while we're on the job we can't even have a smoke
ag, I'm so tired, man, I'd give anything for a Coke.


Fourth floor!

Kiddies wear juvenile children and sub-teens teens twen-teens middle age old age senility dotage and decomposition
Funeral shrouds

Going up!


Don't lean on the buttons please don't lean on the doors
the car's full up now you'll have to walk to the other floors
hey, take your hands off me who do you think you are?
I may do a thousand feet a day but I'm not gonna go that far


Fifth floor!

radio department electrical appliances hairdressing salon
Friendly Sewing School - thank you!

Going up, sixth floor! Offices and accounts! Offices and accounts sixth floor going up!


Going down!


If only I had minute or two to sit down on my seat
I'm gonna sue this company for giving me flat feet
I've got fallen arches and lumbago in my back
and I suppose it won't be long now before I get the sack
Now if the lift gets stuck for an hour or two you really can't blame me
if I don't appear to sympathise with your anxiety
'cos I've seen enough of these four walls to last for many a day
and when the clock says half past five I'm overjoyed to say …

Going home!


Words & Music Jeremy Taylor © 1962 MPA


My father bought these two 45in singles as he thought they were amusing. I can’t remember what was on the B sides.



Je taime

Je t´aime

Je t´aime je t´aime
Oh oui je t´aime!
- Moi non plus.
- Oh mon amour...
- Comme la vague irrésolue
Je vais et je viens
Entre tes reins
Et je
Me re-

- Je t´aime je t´aime
Oh oui je t´aime!
- Moi non plus.
- Oh mon amour...
Tu es la vague, moi l´ěle
tu vas tu vas et tu
Entre mes reins

Tu vas et tu viens
Entre mes reins
Et je
Te re-

- Je t´aime je t´aime
Oh oui je t´aime!

- Moi non plus.
- Oh mon amour...

Comme la vague irrésolue
Je vais et je viens
Entre tes reins
Je vais et je viens
Entre tes reins
Et je
Me re-

Tu vas et tu viens
Entre mes reins
Tu vas et tu viens
Entre mes reins
Et je
Te re-

- Je t´aime je t´aime
Oh oui je t´aime!
- Moi non plus.
- Oh mon amour...
- L´amour physique est sans

Je vais je vais et je
Entre tes reins
Je vais et je viens
Je me retiens
- Non! main-

Orginal von Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg   Midi: Je T'aime


This song was released in South Africa and circulated for a while until the South African Censorship Board was given the English translation of the lyrics. They found it lewd and banned the song. In their doing so, it became a much sought after record and collector’s piece.


One of the first pop songs that I remember vividly is I Wanna Hold Your Hand by the Beatles. The reason for this is because the Golesworthy family had a native gardener who used to entertain us kids by singing and jiving to it. His antics and pronunciations used to have us in hysterics but he loved to perform for his young audience and he would launch into this song every time he saw us.




Ingoma Yesive

Swaziland’s National Anthem


SiSwati Words


Mnikati wetibusiso TeMaSwati,


Siyatibonga tonkhe tinhlanhla,

Sibonga iNgwenyama yetfu,


Live netintsaba nemifula.

Busisa tiphatsimandla takaNgwane

Nguwe wedvwa Somandla wetfu;


Sinike kuhlanipha

Lokungena bucili


Simise usicinise,




English Words

O Lord our God, bestower of the blessings of the Swazi;

We give Thee thanks for all our good fortune;

We offer thanks and praise for our king;

And for our fair land, its hills and rivers;


The Blessings be on all rulers of our Country;

Might and power are Thine alone;

We pray Thee to grant us wisdom without deceit or malice.

Establish and fortify us, Lord Eternal.


Midi:  Swazi National Anthem


Lyrics: Andrease Enoke Fanyana Simelane (b.1934) Music: David Kenneth Rycroft (b.1924) Adopted: 1968.


Historical Background

The music to the Swazi anthem was composed by musicologist and linguist Professor David Rycroft.



"Lumbanyeni Zambia"

(Stand and Sing of Zambia, Proud and Free)

Upon independence in 1961, Zambia adopted the popular African song "God Bless Africa", composed by Enoch Mankayi Sontonga, for the melody (also used by Tanzania, formerly used by Zimbabwe, and in a slightly different version by South Africa), yet the lyrics (whose author is unknown) have been adapted to specifically reflect Zambia, and, as such, the anthem of Zambia is entitled "Stand and Sing of Zambia, Proud and Free".

Stand and sing of Zambia, proud and free,
Land of work and joy in unity,
Victors in the struggle for the right,
We have won freedom's fight.
All one, strong and free.

Africa is our own motherland,
Fashion'd with and blessed by God's good hand,
Let us all her people join as one,
Brothers under the sun.
All one, strong and free.

One land and one nation is our cry,
Dignity and peace 'neath Zambia's sky,
Like our noble eagle in its flight,
Zambia, praise to thee.
All one, strong and free.


CHORUS (after third verse only):

Praise be to God.
Praise be, praise be, praise be,
Bless our great nation,
Zambia, Zambia, Zambia.
Free men we stand
Under the flag of our land.
Zambia, praise to thee!
All one, strong and free.


Lumbanyeni Zambia, no kwanga,
Ne cilumba twange tuumfwane,
Mpalume sha bulwi twa cine,
Twikatane bonse.

Bonse tuli bana ba Africa,
Uwasenaminwa na Lesa,
Nomba bonse twendele pamo,
Twikatane bonse.

Fwe lukuta lwa Zambia lonse,
Twikatane tubyo mutende,
Pamo nga lubambe mu mulu,
Lumbanyeni Zambia.
Twikatane bonse.

CHORUS (after third verse only):

Lesa, Lesa, wesu,
Apale calo,
Zambia, Zambia, Zambia.
Fwe bantungwa
Mu luunga lwa calo.
Lumbanyeni Zambia.
Twikatane bonse.

More Afrikaans Liedtjies



Cuando Calienta el Sol

Cuando calienta el sol aqui en la playa
Siento tu cuerpo vibrar cerca de mi,
Es tu palpitar, es tu cara, es tu pelo
Son tus besos, me estremezco, oo, oo

Cuando calienta el sol aqui en la playa
Siento tu cuerpo vibrar cerca de mil
Es tu palpitar, tu recuerdo, mi lo cura, mi delirio,
Me estremezco, cuando calienta el sol.

Amor, estoy sуlo aqui en la playa
Es el sol quien me acompaсa
Y me quema, y me quema, y me quema.

Cuando calienta el sol aqui en la playa
Siento tu cuerpo vibrar cerca de mi.
Es tu palpitar, es tu cara, es tu pelo
Son tus besos, me stremezco, oo, oo. 

Perfida   Besame mucho   Quando una Donna fa l'Amore   Cuando Caliente el Sol

Musica de Juan Perez






African people have very harmonious and melodic voices. Often they will sing without the accompaniment of musical instruments. As the lyrics in the song Shosholoza suggests, it helps them to focus on the work in hand, or in some cases, distract them from the tediousness of the task.


There are many more notable African singers including Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, and the Ladysmith Black Mambaso, but probably the best for harmony without musical accompaniment is the Ladysmith Black Mambaso.


Primarily their music is religious but they do sing traditional African lyrics, although none that are familiar to me.


Afrikaans traditional music tends to be countrified and is called a "lied/liedjie" but there are serious pieces, choral works, and of course pop songs in this language.


Many of the more modern day musicians are mixing lyrics of the different languages, as in South Africa’s new national anthem where part of Nkosi Sikelele Afrika and Die Stem are sung within the same song.


And some artists, like Hennie Bekker , are mixing traditional African beats with symphonic sounds and animal voices creating a subtle blend of African New Age ambient music.




Miriam Makeba



As with reggae, the buoyant, celebratory sounds of Miriam Makeba's music often belie the serious social commentary of the lyrics. Her career began in the late 1950's, and with the support of no less than Harry Belafonte, she quickly became known worldwide for both her singing and her firm, outspoken stance against racial inequality. An ardent Black Nationalist, in the 60's she was disallowed entry into South Africa, the country of her birth. This ban was lifted in 1990, and through it all Miriam continued to fight for peace and racial equality everywhere in the world. A practice she continues, thankfully, to this day.



Hugh Masekela


b. Hugh Rampolo Masekela, 4 April 1939, Witbank, Johannesburg, South Africa.


South Africa's leading émigré trumpeter and bandleader was born into a musical family which boasted one of the largest jazz record collections in the city. One of Masekela's earliest memories is of winding up the household gramophone for his parents; by the age of 10, he was familiar with most of the 78s issued by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Cab Calloway and Glenn Miller.


Other early influences were the traditional musics of the Swazis, Zulus, Sutus and Shangaan, all of which he heard at weekend musical gatherings in the township and neighbouring countryside.


A difficult and rebellious schoolboy, Masekela was frequently given to playing truant. On one such occasion, he saw Kirk Douglas in the Bix Beiderbecke bio-pic Young Man With A Horn—and decided there and then that he wanted to become a trumpeter and bandleader when he grew up.


His teacher, the anti-apartheid activist and Anglican priest Trevor Huddlestone, welcomed this enthusiasm and gave Masekela his first trumpet, a battered old instrument owned by a local bandleader. A year later, in 1955, Huddlestone was expelled from South Africa. In New York, he met Louis Armstrong, and enthused to him about Masekela's talents and persuaded Armstrong to send a trumpet over to Johannesburg for the boy. With trombonist Jonas Gwangwa, Masekela dropped out of school in 1955 to form his first group, the Merry Makers. His main influences at this time were the African-American bop trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie and Clifford Brown and by 1956, the Merry Makers were playing nothing but bop.

By 1958, apartheid had tightened up to the extent that it was very difficult for black bands to make a living—they were banned from the government-controlled radio and were not allowed to travel freely from one town to another. Masekela was obliged to leave the Merry Makers and join the African Jazz and Variety package tour (which also included his future wife, Miriam Makeba).


Operated by a white man, Alfred Herbert, the troupe was able to circumvent some of the travel restrictions imposed on blacks and continued to tour the country. In 1959, with Makeba, Masekela left Herbert to join the cast of the ‘township musical’, King Kong.The same year, he formed the pioneering band, the Jazz Epistles, with Gwangwa and pianist Dollar Brand (now Abdullah Ibrahim). They became the first black band in South Africa to record an album, all previous releases having been 78s.

In 1960, the year of the Sharpeville massacre, the government extended the Group Areas Act to ban black musicians from working in inner city (that is, white) clubs. The move effectively ended the Jazz Epistles’ ability to make a living, and Masekela decided the time had come to emigrate to the USA.


With the help of Trevor Huddlestone and Harry Belafonte in New York, he obtained a passport and, after a brief period in London at the Guildhall School of Music, won a scholarship to New York's Manhattan School of Music.

Initially aspiring to become a sideman with Art Blakey, Masekela was instead persuaded by the drummer to form his own band, and put together a quartet which debuted at the Village Gate club in 1961.


A year later, he recorded his first album, TRUMPET AFRICA, a considerable critical success. In 1964, Masekela married Miriam Makeba, another of Belafonte's protegees (who was to divorce him a few years later to marry Black Panther activist Stokeley Carmichael).


Continuing to lead his own band, Masekela also wrote arrangements for Makeba and toured with her backing group. Husband and wife became prominent critics of the South African regime, and donated part of their touring income to fund scholarships which enabled black musicians to leave South Africa.


In 1964, Masekela also released his second solo album, THE AMERICANIZATION OF OOGA BOOGA, and appeared at the first Watts, Los Angeles, California Jazz Festival.


In 1966, he linked up with old Manhattan School of Music classmate Stewart Levine to form the production company Chisa. The origin al idea was for Levine to be the artist and Masekela the producer, but the success of Chisa's debut release, an album called THE EMANCIPATION OF HUGH MASEKELA, lead to a role-reversal. (The Levine-Masekela partnership would continue through the '60s, '70s and '80s.)

In 1967, Masekela appeared at the legendary Monterey Jazz Festival and released two more albums, THE PROMISE OF A FUTURE and COINCIDENCE.


Unable to find top-quality South African musicians to work with in the USA, Masekela became drawn into the lucrative area of lightweight jazz/pop. His first chart success in the genre was an instrumental version of Up Up And Away in 1967, which reached number 71 in the US charts.


In 1968, he had a number 1 hit with Grazin' In The Grass, selling four million copies. The follow-up, Puffin' On Down The Track, disappointingly only reached number 71. Not surprisingly, given the mood of the times, the latter two singles were widely perceived to carry pro-marijuana statements in their titles and, in autumn 1968, Masekela was arrested at his home in Malibu and charged with possession of the drug.

Despite the urging of the record business, Masekela refused to capitalize on the success of Grazin' In The Grass with a lightweight album in the same vein, and instead recorded the protest album MASEKELA, which included track titles like Fuzz and Riot. 

In 1970, Masekela signed with Motown Records, who released the album RECONSTRUCTION. Also that year, he formed the Union of South Africa band with fellow émigrés Gwangwa and Caiphus Semenya. The band was short-lived, however, following the lengthy hospitalization of Gwangwa from injuries sustained in a car crash.


Frustrated in his attempt to launch an American-based, South African line-up, Masekela visited London to record the album HOME IS WHERE THE MUSIC IS with exiled South African saxophonist Dudu Pukwana.


Deciding to re-immerse himself in his African roots, Masekela set off in late 1972 on a ‘pilgrimage’ to Senegal, Liberia, Zaire and other countries. He worked for a year in Guinea (where his ex-wife Makeba was now living) as a music teacher, and spent some months in Lagos, Nigeria, playing in Fela Anikulapo Kuti's band.


He finally ended up in Ghana, where he joined the young highlife-meets-funk band Hedzolleh Soundz.


Between 1974 and 1976, Masekela released five albums with the group—YOUR MAMA TOLD YOU NOT TO WORRY, I AM NOT AFRAID, THE BOYS DOIN' IT, THE AFRICAN CONNECTION and COLONIAL MAN.


By 1975, however, leader and band had fallen out, with Hedzolleh accusing Masekela of fin ancial mistreatment. In fact, the cost of supporting Hedzolleh in the USA during loss-making tours had drained Masekela's resources, and in 1976, he and Levine were obliged to wind up Chisa. Short of money, Masekela signed to A&M Records, where he recorded two lightweight albums with label boss Herb Alpert—THE MAIN EVENT and HERB ALPERT/HUGH MASEKELA. 

In 1980, with Makeba, Masekela headlined a massive Goin' Home outdoor concert in Lesotho.


In 1982, in a similar venture, they appeared in neighbouring Botswana. Both concerts were attended by large numbers of black and white South Africans, who gave the duo heroes’ welcomes. Masekela decided to settle in Botswana, 20 miles from the South African border, and signed to the UK label Jive, who flew over to him in a state-of-the-art mobile studio.

The sessions resulted in the albums TECHNOBUSH and WAITING FOR THE RAIN.


In 1983, he made his first live appearance in London for over 20 years, at the African Sounds for Mandela concert at Alexandra Palace.


In 1986, Masekela severed his links with Jive and returned to the USA, where he signed with Warner Brothers, releasing the album TOMORROW, and joining label-mate Paul Simon's GRACELAND world tour.


In 1989, he co-wrote the music for the Broadway show Sarafin a, set in a Soweto school during a state of emergency, and released the album UP TOWNSHIP.


Soloman Linda



SAfrican singer-songwriter - The man who recorded & composed Mbube (aka - The Lion Sleeps Tonight / Whimaway / In the Jungle, etc.).


In The Jungle ---  is one of the great musical mysteries of all time: How American music legends made millions off the work of a Zulu tribesman who died a pauper. After six decades, the truth is finally told.

Once upon a time, a long time ago, a small miracle took place in the brain of a man named Solomon Linda.

It was 1939, and he was standing in front of a microphone in the only recording studio in black Africa when it happened. He hadn't composed the melody or written it down or anything. He just opened his mouth and out it came, a haunting skein of fifteen notes that flowed down the wires and into a trembling stylus that cut tiny grooves into a spinning block of bees wax, which was taken to England and turned into a record that became a very big hit in that part of Africa.

Later, the song took flight and landed in America, where it mutated into a truly immortal pop epiphany that soared to the top of the charts here and then everywhere, again and again, returning every decade or so under different names and guises


Pete Seeger and Alan Lomax started transcribing the song, but he couldn't catch the words through all the hissing on the disk. The Zulus were chanting, "Uyimbube, uyimbube", but it to Pete it sounded like, awimboowee or maybe awimoweh, so that's how he wrote it down. Later he taught "Wimoweh" to the rest of his band, the Weavers, and it became, he says, "just about my favourite song to sing for the next forty years".


George Weiss took "Wimoweh" home with him and gave it a careful listen. A civilized chap with a Juilliard degree, he didn't much like the primitive wailing, but the underlying chant was OK, and parts of the melody were very catchy. So he dismantled the song, excised all the hollering and screaming, and put the rest back together in a new way. The chant remained unchanged, but the melody - Solomon Linda's miracle melody - moved to center stage, becoming the tune itself, to which the new words were sung: "In the jungle, the mighty jungle" and so on.

The song was recorded live in RCA's Manhattan studios on July 21st, 1961, with an orchestra in attendance and some session players on guitar, drums and bass. The percussionist muted his timpani, seeking that authentic "jungle drum" sound. A moonlighting opera singer named Anita Darien practiced her scales. By April 1962 the song was topping charts almost everywhere and heading for immortality.

Miriam Makeba sang her version at JFK's last birthday party, moments before Marilyn Monroe famously lisped, "Happy Birthday, Mister President!". Apollo astronauts listened to it on the takeoff pads at Cape Canaveral. It was covered by the Springfields, the Spinners, the Tremeloes and Glen Campbell.

In 1972 it returned to the charts, at Number Three, in a version by Robert John. Brian Eno recorded it in 1975.

In 1982 it was back at Number One in the U.K., this time performed by Tight Fit. R.E.M. did it, as did the Nylons and They Might Be Giants. Manu Dibango did a twist version. Some Germans turned it into heavy metal.


It's more than sixty years old, and still it's everywhere.

"What's the difference between 'Wimoweh' and 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight'?

Well, Solomon Linda and the Evening Birds released the original 'Mbube' (in 1939), which is in Zulu. The history of the song when it was brought to these shores is scattered, although it is known that the phonetic pronounciation of 'mbube' is very close to 'wimoweh', and that's where the lyric came from. The song 'wimoweh' is based quite strongly on 'Mbube'.


Hennie Bekker

African Roots

For New Age style music with an African flavour, one of the best is Hennie Bekker and his albums Temba and The Smoke that Thunders.


The music can be described mainly as semi-classical with an overlay of African and wild animal voices.


Multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Hennie Bekker pursued a long and varied musical career before eventually realizing his potential in his mid-60s.


Born in 1932 at Nkana, Zambia Bekker was raised in Mufulira, a Zambian copper mining tow 10 miles south of the Congo border.


In those early years, he was captivated by the symphonic sounds of the African wilderness, the haunting harmonies of tribal chanting and the rhythmic dialogue of drummers communicating between camps at sundown.


He is a self-taught pianist who had his professional debut at age 15, spending the next decade performing with various bands, including the Zimbabwe-based Youth Marvels, playing throughout Zambia, Zaire, Zimbabwe and Kenya. His own jazz band, the Hennie Dekker Band was formed in 1959.


His apprenticeship as a session musician and arranger began in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was forced to flee after his group's engagement at a Zairean nightclub was curtailed by the Katanga revolution.


His success as a fusion-jazz musician and band leader elevated him to become the musical director for one of South Africa's largest record companies, Gallo Records and he also worked periodically in England. Here, he added scores of film, television, radio and commercial music to his list of career accomplishments.


He returned to South Africa to work as a highly successful composer of television and radio commercials, subsequently becoming a respected film composer.


He then settled in Canada in 1987, forced there by racial tensions in Johannesburg, and worked for a time composing stock music for the John Parry library, before collaborating with Dan Gibson on combined wildlife/new age recordings. Harmony was the first in a series of 13 such albums recorded by the pair up to 1996.


In the 90s Bekker began to release his own, new age-themed records in two thematic series –



"Kaleidoscope" cycle

(Summer Breeze, Spring Rain, Winter Reflections, Lullabies, Autumn Magic)


"Tapestry" cycle

(Silk & Satin, Vivaldi, Temba, The Smoke that Thunders).


In addition there has been a Christmas album, plus a television-marketed ambient music series of albums for Quality Music.


Bekker is also part of a trio including Greg Kavanagh and DJ Chris Sheppard who record contemporary techno as BKS. Their albums, For Those About To Rave ... We Salute You (1992), Dreamcatcher (1993) and Astroplane (1996), have sold a combined 100,000 copies in Canada.


Bekker continues to take great pleasure in shocking adolescent fans when they discover one of Canada's most successful techno groups is spearheaded by a man in his mid-60s.


However, it is as one of the most successful and prolific new age composers on the North American continent that Bekker is best known.

with Dan Gibson Harmony (Holborne 1989)***, Summer Breeze (Holborne 1993)**, Spring Rain (Holborne 1993)***, Winter Reflections (Holborne 1994)***, Tranquillity Volume 1 (Quality Music 1994)***, Awakenings (Quality Music 1994)***, Silk & Satin (Holborne 1995)****, Vivaldi (Holborne 1995)**, Temba (Holborne 1995)***, Classic Moods And Nature (Quality Music 1995)***, Christmas Spirit (Holborne 1996)**, Christmas Noel (Quality Music 1996)**, Transitions (Quality Music 1996)***, Classics By The Sea (Holborne 1996)**, Lullabies (Holborne 1997)**, Autumn Magic (Holborne 1997)***, Mirage (Avalon 1997)***.

Sample Midi : Temba



Ladysmith Black Mambazo



International recognition came to the South African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo in the mid 1980s with the success of Paul Simon's album GRACELAND who were guest singers.


Founded by Joseph Shabalala in 1960, the group's name referred to Shabalala's home town of Ladysmith while also paying tribute to the seminal '50s’ choral group Black Mambazo ( black axe) led by Aaron Lerole (composer of the 1958 UK hit Tom Hark by his brother Elias And His Zig Zag Flutes).


The group began working professionally in 1971, with a version of ingoma ebusukuk (‘night music’), which Shabalala dubbed ‘cothoza mfana’ meaning ‘walking on tiptoe’.


Until 1975, most of Mambazo's music concentrated on traditional folk songs, some of them with new lyrics which offered necessarily coded, metaphorical criticisms of the apartheid regime.


After 1975, and Shabalala's conversion to Christianity, religious songs were added to the repertoire—although, to non-Zulu speakers, the dividing line will not be apparent.


In 1987, following the success of GRACELAND, the group's Warner Brothers debut album SHAKA ZULU, produced by Paul Simon, reached the UK Top 40, and also sold substantially in the USA and Europe.


In 1990, TWO WORLDS ONE HEART, marked a radical stylistic departure for the group through its inclusion of tracks recorded in collaboration with George Clinton and the Winans.


Sadly, on 10 December 1991, as the result of what was described as a ‘roadside incident’ in Durban, South Africa, founder member Shabalala was shot dead.






African Ska



( Music of the Shebeens)


A lot of the “old-style” African music that drifted away from the traditional instruments and introduced elements like the electric guitar, was played in the African townships and shebeens. It was named “Ska” especially by Europeans who thought the music lacked refinement.


To get an idea of how Ska sounds, listen to some of the music samples in the links.


In Zimbabwe, one of the last African nations to gain political autonomy, music became a weapon during Zimbabwe's intense liberation struggle of the 1970's.


During this period, dreadlocked singer Thomas Mapfumo deftly translated traditional parables and subtle messages into "chimurenga" (liberation war) lyrics which both defied the white-minority ruled government and became popular hits.


In songs such as "Tumira Vana Kuhondo" ("Send Your Children to War"), which he cleverly insinuated could be claimed by either side, Mapfumo confused and infuriated the Southern Rhodesia government with his subtly subversive songs.


Following Mugabe's overthrow of Ian Smith in 1980, Mapfumo's appeal did not diminish as he continued to champion the music and culture of Zimbabwe at home and abroad.


Mapfumo means "spear" in Shona, and TM, along with his Blacks Unlimited guitaristhelped to forge a contemporary Zimbabwean sound by transposing the lines of the Shona mbira into guitar riffs. -Probably the best example of African Ska. RA


In the mid-1980's it appeared as if Zimbabwean music might become "the next big thing" on the international stage.



After tearing up their hometown capital of Harare, the Bhundu Boys became all the rage in the U.K. as they presented their fast-paced "jit-jive" to enthusiastic audiences.


Jit's jaunty, high energy appeal embraced elements of Zairean rumba and South African mbaqanga, but it also maintained a distinct identity which helped to create an international interest in Zimbabwean music.


Unfortunately, the Bhundu Boys followed the stereotypical tragic saga of bands who get signed by major record labels, enjoy temporary euphoria and then collapse after attempting to achieve crossover status.


However, the Bhundu Boys did signal that Zimbabwe was filled with musical talent and energy, and bands such as fellow jit stars Four Brothers and rumba guitarist John Chibadura received much international attention.





Back in 1980's Zimbabwe, Oliver Mtukudzi was giving Mapfumo rose in popularity with soulful vocals, and unique brand of JiJaS (Jit-Afro-Jazz).


Like Mapfumo, Mutukudzi has been diligently developing his craft for years, and tours throughout southern Africa helped to perfect his musicianship and develop his own voice. His lyrics tend to concentrate on serious subjects and social issues, and in addition to Shona he sings in Ndebele.


And yet another singer, Lovemore Majaivana, sings in Zulu lyrics which are understood by Ndebele-speakers.


Meanwhile, the Ndebele song and dance tradition is perhaps best exemplified by the a cappela group Black Umfolosi who are renowned for both their choral work and dance performances. Black Umfolosi's work also crosses into the gospel arena where fellow Bulawayo musician Machanic Manyureke has achieved fame for both preaching and music.


Zimbabwe's proximity to South Africa served as a conduit for some of the kwela, smanje manje (Zulu jive) and mbaqanga styles that developed from its neighbour.



However, culture passed both ways as demonstrated by singers like Dorothy Masuka who has been revered as Zimbabwe's "First Lady of Song" since the early 1950's. She is the originator of "Pata Pata" and many hits which were covered by her friend Miriam Makeba and others throughout southern Africa.


Another African import, arriving from Zaire and Congo via Zambia was African rumba as several Zairean bands of the 1960's and 1970's settled briefly in Zimbabwe, rearranging some of their Lingala lyrics into the local Shona.


One band who became permanent residents were Real Sounds who since 1978 have helped create Zimbabwe's own brand of rumba.


Zimrumba or rumbira as it is sometimes called, reflects the incorporation of mbira patterns into rumba rhythms as well as the inflections of the Shona language.


In addition to veterans like Real Sounds, Jonah Moyo, and John Chibadura, new rumba stars include Penga Udzoke, the Maugwe Brothers and Ketai & the Simba Brothers.



Other '90's names of note are:


Robson Banda and The New Black Eagles

Harare Mambos

Nyami Nyami Sounds

The Marxist Brothers


Zexie Manatsa & the Green Arrows

Leonard Dembo

Barura Express 


When Jamaican superstar Bob Marley played at Zimbabwe's 1980 independence celebrations, he helped launch an appreciation for reggae music and fashion that continues strong today.


Reggae bands now hold an important place in Zimbabwean music with bands like Doreen Mcube and the Pied Pipers leading the way and incorporating some of Zimbabwe’s Shona soul.


Solomon Skuza


A number of recordings demonstrating the power and range of mbira music are available from such masters as Ephat Mujuru, Dumisani Mariare and the great Stella Chiwese (who remains one of the few female mbira players).



SA Music Newsweek Website




Featuring the art of Mike Elliot




Arts & Culture Tour     Back to Africa



Free homepage created with website builder
The responsible person for the content of this web site is solely
the webmaster of this website, approachable via this form!