Mango Groove

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Mango Groove
Origin Johannesburg, South Africa
Genres pop music, marabi, kwela, world music
Years active 1984–present
Members Claire Johnston, Sipho Bhengu, Beulah Hashe, Banza Kgasoane, Alan Lazar, George Lewis, John Leyden, Marilyn Nokwe, Mduduzi Magwaza, Phumzile Ntuli, Gavin Stevens

Mango Groove is an 11-piece South African Afropop band whose music fuses marabi, kwela, and pop music. They have sold more than 700,000 albums in South Africa.[citation needed]

In 1984, John Leyden formed Mango Groove with Andy Craggs and Aaron "Big Voice Jack" Lerole in Johannesburg, South Africa. Lead vocalist Claire Johnston joined the band soon after, during her final year as an undergraduate student at the University of the Witwatersrand. Johnston completed her Bachelor of Arts degree while touring with the band.

During the 1980s and 1990s, Mango Groove was one of only two popular South African music groups with both black and white band-members (the other one Juluka, fronted by Johnny Clegg and Sipho Mchunu, debuted in 1976).

Mango Groove had at least 12 number-one hits in South Africa, and are the only band in South Africa's history with an album that remained in a sales chart for more than a year. They have received nearly every South African music award and video award, as well as a number of awards internationally.

In 1992, Mango Groove performed, via satellite uplink, for the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in London, to an audience estimated at one billion people.[1] They previously performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival,[2] and the Rock Against Racism concert in Paris.[3] They were the only African band invited to perform at the 1997 Celebrate Hong Kong Reunification concert.

Band members[edit]

  • Claire Johnston – lead vocals
  • Sipho Bhengu – tenor sax, vocals
  • Beulah Hashe – vocals
  • Banza Kgasoane – trumpet
  • Alan Lazar – keyboards, piano
  • George Lewis – guitar
  • John Leyden – bass guitar
  • Marilyn Nokwe – vocals
  • Mduduzi Magwaza – alto sax, pennywhistle
  • Phumzile Ntuli – vocals
  • Gavin Stevens – drums, percussion
  • Peter Cohen-drums, percussion


Studio albums[edit]

  1. Mango Groove (1989)
  2. Hometalk (1990)
  3. Another Country (1993)
  4. Eat a Mango (1995)
  5. Bang the Drum (2009)

Compilation albums[edit]

  1. The Best of Mango Groove (1994)
  2. Dance Sum More… All the Hits So Far (1996)
  3. The Best of Mango Groove (2000)
  4. The Ultimate Collection (2003)
  5. Moments Away: Love Songs and Lullabies 1990–2006 (2006)
  6. The Essential Mango Groove (2008)
  7. The Rough Guide to African Disco (2013)


  1. "Two Hearts" (1986)
  2. "Love is the Hardest Part" (1986)
  3. "We are the Party" (1986)
  4. "Do You Dream Of Me?" (1987)
  5. "Move Up" (1987)
  6. "Dance Sum More" (1989)
  7. "Hellfire" (1989)
  8. "Special Star" (1989)
  9. "Too Many Tears" (1989)
  10. "Pennywhistle" (1990)
  11. "Hometalk" (1991)
  12. "Island Boy" (1991)
  13. "Moments Away" (1991)
  14. "Nice To See You" (1993)
  15. "Keep On Dancing" (1993)
  16. "Another Country" (1993)
  17. "Tropical Rain" (1993)
  18. "Eat A Mango" (1995)
  19. "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" (1995)
  20. "New World (Beneath Our Feet)" (1995)
  21. "Tom Hark" (1996)
  22. "Let Your Heart Speak" (1996)
  23. "Southern Sky" (2007)
  24. "This is Not a Party" (2010)

External links[edit]