Edited by Azizi Powell
This is Part II of a two part post on songs entitled "Kwela".
This post showcases the song "Kwela" by the South African group Mafikizolo. This post also included information about Makifizolo and their style of music as well as selected comments from this song's YouTube video viewer comment thread.
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/01/harry-belafonte-kwela-listen-to-man.html for a post on Harry Belafonte-"Kwela" ("Listen To The Man"), lyrics & comments.
The content of this post is presented for historical, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.
All copyrights remain with their owners.
INFORMATION ABOUT MAFIKIZOLO
"Mafikizolo is a popular in South African group that started small in the 90s. The members of this group are Theo Kgosinkwe, Nhlanhla Nciza, and Tebogo Madingoane. The genre of music this group makes is called kwaito, which is an African type of house music. Their music has fans dancing and singing along to the beat. The group has been in the industry for many years and where signed by Kalawa, a South African record company. The trio consisting of a female, Nhlanhla and two males Theo, and Tebogo have been a sensation; their unique music style attracts both young and old fans"...
INFORMATION ABOUT KWAITO MUSIC
"Kwaito is a music genre that emerged in Johannesburg, South Africa, during the 1990s. It is a variant of house music featuring the use of African sounds and samples. Typically at a slower tempo range than other styles of house music, Kwaito often contains catchy melodic and percussive loop samples, deep bass lines, and vocals. Although bearing similarities to hip hop music, a distinctive feature of Kwaito is the manner in which the lyrics are sung, rapped and shouted. American producer Diplo has described Kwaito as "slowed-down garage music," most popular among the black youth of South Africa."
INFORMATION ABOUT THE WORD "KWELA"
"Kwela is a pennywhistle-based, street music from southern Africa with jazzy underpinnings and a distinctive, skiffle-like beat. It evolved from the marabi sound and brought South African music to international prominence in the 1950s...
South Africa has many meanings of words, but for this, it mainly and the most common is [sic]The word "kwela" is taken from the Zulu for "get up", though in township slang it also referred to the police vans, the "kwela-kwela". Thus, it could be an invitation to join the dance, as well as serving as a warning. It is said that the young men who played the pennywhistle on street corners also acted as lookouts to warn those enjoying themselves in the shebeens of the arrival of the police."
"The first major style of South African popular music to emerge was pennywhistle jive (later known as kwela). Black cattle-herders had long played a three-holed reed flute, adopting a six-holed flute when they moved to the cities. Willard Cele is usually credited with creating pennywhistle by placing the six-holed flute between his teeth at an angle. Cele spawned a legion of imitators and fans, especially after appearing in the 1951 film The Magic Garden.
Groups of flautists played on the streets of South African cities in the 1950s, many of them in white areas, where police would arrest them for creating a public disturbance. Some young whites were attracted to the music, and came to be known as ducktails"...
FEATURED VIDEO: Kwela
skweeza Uploaded on Jan 2, 2007
This is the name of that South African vocal group that recorded this song.
SELECTED COMMENTS FROM THIS VIDEO'S YOUTUBE VIEWER COMMENT THREAD
(These comments are from a video that was deleted (as of December 15, 2013 if not earlier). These comments are presented in chronological order by the year of their posting, with the oldest comments given first.)
"It's about being arrested for breaking curfew in South Africa, during apartheid. Kwela is the name of the rhythm, but also refers to the kwela-kwela, the police vans."
"Mafikizolo is the name of the band. Kwela is both the style of music and the name of the album (released in 2003). The name of the song is "Kwela Kwela", which is a pun (as babybunnyberry pointed) because of the double meaning of the word 'kwela'. :) Mafikizolo are in iTunes, but I don't think iTunes has this song.")
"Mafikizolo beautifully recreate the sound of fifties South African music with the legendary Hugh Masekela making a star appearance. And, damn!, they're good at it!"
Grasswa Basson, 2012
"Their music is also influenced by kwaito and they have been credited with a genre called Kwela after their style of music. It has been described as kwaito-cum-marabi house music. Their music deals with pertinent social issues such as women and children abuse, poverty, the importance of education and the dangers of casual sex. They have performed all over Southern Africa and have a fan base all over the world."
"Well, I'm not South African or anything, but I THINK kwela is both a style of music (such as this song) with a rollicking rhythm, and ALSO it was people yell in the streets at the approach of the cops (like FIVE OH, or, in NY they yell "bajando") which kinda fits right into the video."
Kwela means 'get up'. The police were called the 'kwela kwela' meaning you had to get up as they were coming!
Sizwe Mahokoto, 2012
kwela means "get on" not get up... since it was usual that the police van was taking blacks for no reason they decide that whenever they see a police van, it was give that they will get on... the real original Xhosa word is "khwela"
"Definitely one of the best songs out there, but with a very heavy message
Nanka amapoyisa efika ebengena mama ngekwela kwelaa - here come the policemen, bhold kwelakwela
the other part is in Afrikaans, the police asking about the dompass
Hugh talks of disrespect shown by the guards, abusing the parents (our mothers) throwing them in jail for selling traditional beer (to support their kids)
Ask Nelson Mandela, ask Sizulu (Walter), and Tambo (Oliver) they all know about Kwela kwela..."
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND THANKS
Thanks to Mafikizolo and their special guest artist, Hugh Masekela. Thanks to the composer of this song, the producer of this video, the uploader of this video. Thanks also to those whose wrote information or comments that are quoted in this post.
Also, thank you for visiting pancocojams.
Viewer comments are welcome