The Township Idols: Music

By admin
13 October 2013

Explain the sound of your music.

Our sound has always been and is uniquely South African. It is the sound umbhaqanga, which is a mixture of traditional music. We sing in most of the South African languages like Zulu, Tsonga, Sotho and Xhosa. The group was formed at a time when we had the best guitarist, composer and, of course, singers. So the tune and rhythm was like nothing else.

Are you musically trained?

When we started out we had no formal music training, but we could always sing properly. All the ladies in the group were involved in music early on in their lives and at school. We knew how to hit the right notes and we sang naturally. I think over the years we have gained experience and in a sense are trained.

How did the passing of Mahlathini affect the group?

Mahlathini was an important part of our group. He was a good musician and we had good times together. There was a lot of worry that the group wouldn’t survive his death. There are also other band members we have lost to death, but after 2000 we decided to come back into the music scene.

What has been the highlight of your music career?

There have been so many. We have travelled the world, and God has blessed us immensely. We now have citizenship in many countries abroad and have won many awards.

What is the award you are most proud of?

There have been many awards, but we all remember the Womex 2000 Award for World Music Artists of the Year.

What is your favourite place to perform?

Definitely South African townships, especially back in the day. We travel the world, but it’s lovely to perform at home. People sing along and really appreciate our songs and performance on stage.