The drum-beat goes on for Dizu Plaatjies

2018-06-21 06:01
Dizu’s son Sandiso Gwebani, Innocent Namuko and Dizu Plaatjies in their stall at King Langalibalele Street in Langa.      PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

Dizu’s son Sandiso Gwebani, Innocent Namuko and Dizu Plaatjies in their stall at King Langalibalele Street in Langa. PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

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Renowned marimba musician and founder of the group called AmaMpondo from Langa is on a mission to revive the African music in the townships.

Dizu Plaatjies, now a lecturer in African Music at the University of Cape Town is making and selling traditional music instruments­.

Some of the instruments include umrhubhe, ndingindingi, kayomba, hapi, jembe, hadi, and African drums.

Plaatjies established Buyambo 18 years ago in an effort to revive and preserve African culture.

He said some of the skins that made these instruments are imported from Mali.

“Many people are not well informed about these instruments. They take them for granted, thinking its skin and anyone can do it. Only people who know about it can understand,” he said.

Plaatjies said sticking to his roots helped him.

“I am this person today because of this business. I was born in Lusikisiki in the deep rural areas of the Eastern Cape. My parents were traditional healers. Their influence made me who I am today,” said Plaatjies.

He said his education didn’t change his character and how his parents groomed him.

“I’ve decided to stay through ubuqaba and that helped me. But my wish is to plant a seed that the next generation can benefit from,” he said.

Plaatjies said some of his instruments are sold to students at varsity.

“Sometimes tourists buy. And also local people support us, especially sangomas and members of zion churches,” he said adding that the prices range from R850 to R1200.

However, he lambasted local radios for not promoting African music in their stations­.

Plaatjies said he has produced renowned African artists including Lungiswa Plaatjies, Selaelo Selota, Judith Siphuma, maskandi artist Dibanisile ‘Ntombethongo’ Tutsu­.


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