Saturday, May 7, 2016

South African Singer Thandiswa Mazwai - "Ibokwe" (information, video, & comments)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases a video of award winning South African singer Thandiswa Mazwai performing her song "Ibokwe" ("Goat" in the Xhosa language). Information about Thandiswa and reviews of this song and album are also included in this post.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Thandiswa Mazwai for her musical legacy. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this video on YouTube.

"Thandiswa Mazwai (born 31 March 1976) is a multi-award winning South African musician, and is also the lead vocalist and songwriter of Bongo Maffin.

Early life
Thandiswa was born in 1976 (the year of the Soweto Uprising). She grew up almost entirely in Soweto, Johannesburg, amidst the heavy apartheid township violence of the 1980s. ….

Early days and Bongo Maffin
Thandiswa…began her career in 1998 with Bongo Maffin, one of the pioneering bands of Kwaito. She became widely recognised as the voice of South Africa's conscious youth, their compositions consistently combining dance floor favourites with thought-provoking lyrics. They were invited to perform all over the world, and shared the stage with musical icons Stevie Wonder, the Marley clan, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Chaka Khan, Sean Paul, Steel Pulse and Skunk Anansie, among others. Their contribution to the South African musical cannon earned Bongo Maffin numerous awards, among them South African Music Awards, the Kora All Africa Music Awards, and the Metro FM Music Awards.

Going solo: Thandiswa
After five albums with Bongo Maffin she ventured onto a solo career. Her first project, Zabalaza (2004), reached double platinum status and won numerous awards, including a Kora award for Best African Female and four South African Music Awards, including Best Album. It was also nominated for the BBC Radio 3 Planet awards. Her second album, Ibokwe (2009), reached gold status in the first few weeks of its release and her live DVD, Dance of the Forgotten Free (2010), won Best Female Artist and Best Live DVD in 2011. The Guardian has called her "South Africa's finest female contemporary singer."[1]
Her music is often deeply political and her compositions include traditional Xhosa rhythms, Mbaqanga, reggae, kwaito and funk and jazz sounds...


These excerpted reviews are presented in no particular order. I've numbered them for referencing purposes only.
Excerpt #1:
BBC Review: [Thandiswa] Cements her position at the forefront of a new generation.
Michael Quinn 2009
"Going gold within six weeks of its release in her native South Africa, Thandiswa Mazwai’s Ibokwe forcefully cements her position at the forefront of a new generation extolling the Urban Zulu sound.

Noticeably stepping away from the ‘slowed-down garage’ kwaito stylings of 2004’s Zabalaza, this new offering takes the Johannesburg singer-songwriter deeper into traditional Zulu and Xhosa melodies and rhythms – inked in here by flexing percussion and anthemic chants – to map out a route from past to present signposted with borrowings from jazz, funk and contemporary African influences.

Marrying the personal and the political, Ibokwe (‘Goat’) seethes with an elegantly voiced amalgam of compassion and complaint...

Thandiswa has come far since she caught attention fronting Kwaito pioneers Bongo Maffin. On the evidence of Ibokwe, a long and illustrious road stretches out ahead of her. "

Thandiswa Mazwai - Ibokwe
2009-02-16 13:11
Jean Barker
"The muscular femininity of this passionate Freedom Charter chick, whose voice is as soft as it is penetrating, links a story about the dizzying power of a spiritual calling ("Thongo Lam") to her struggle to deal with trouble without the last resort, ("Ibokwe"), to a prayer for a return to the first principles of our revolution ("Ngimkhonzile").

The album is deeply personal, but Thandiswa celebrates and interrogates not just her own Xhosa tradition, but also her pan-African roots, going beyond the obvious with recurring Maskandi themes on "Izolo", and reaches further north with the tropical rhythms of "Vana Vehu" to bring all South Africa together over our outrage at what so often divides us - crime and cruelty...

Listening to Thandiswa's Ibokwe is hearing your heritage being reborn in pop, witnessing tradition interrogated and reinvented, and rediscovering a critical pride in Africa and South Africa, that bridges the gap between disappointment and blind faith. It's also an intoxicating, heart-melting, bewitching musical experience that's as uncontrived as it's complex."

SHOWCASE VIDEO: Thandiswa Mazwai performs "Ibokwe" at Mandela Day 2009 from Radio City Music Hall

Mandela Day, Uploaded on Jul 30, 2009

Go to: to see more clips and extra features
Here's a comment from this video's discussion thread:
Ogomoditse Meyers, 201r
"It is common in most African cultures(the ones I know of) to slaughter an animal(goat in this case) to appease the ancestors when one encounters problems in life, she is singing about that but she is saying that she will fix things/some people up without slaughtering Ibokwe(goat). So watch out, she is not to be messed with!

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