Zulu music

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Zulu are a South African ethnic group. Many Zulu musicians have become a major part of South African music. A number of Zulu-folk derived styles have also become well-known across South Africa and abroad.

Mbube and Isicathamiya[edit]

Mbube is both a song, originally released in the 1940s by Solomon Linda, and a genre of South African popular music that was inspired by it. "Mbube" was recorded in 1939 and became a major hit in Swaziland. The song was in a traditional Zulu choral style, which soon came to the attention of American musicologist Alan Lomax, who brought to the song to folk singer Pete Seeger, then of The Weavers. They made the song a Top 15 American hit in 1952 (as "Wimoweh"), though creator Solomon Linda was not credited; later, the Kingston Trio released a cover of it. Later still, The Tokens turned the song into "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", and it became a #1 American hit. The Durban-based Ladysmith Black Mambazo, formed by Joseph Shabalala in 1960, sings, among other styles, music in the mbube tradition.

Modern Zulu[edit]

The 1970s duo Juluka, consisting of a white man, Johnny Clegg, and a Zulu, Sipho Mchunu produced a blend of rock and Zulu folk music called maskanda, which has since evolved into an urban style called mbaqanga.[1]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 14, 2005. Retrieved May 25, 2005. [unreliable source?]