Splendidly blessing traditional music lovers with some soul-soothing, emotional and ancient Xhosa sounds, is a traditional music ensemble called AmaXhosa Group; which is set to release an Extended Playlist (EP) titled Ibuhlung’ Intliziyo.
Formed in the early 2000s in Muleni township, Cape Town, the group was founded by the legendary Tata Ngayithini Kose who realised the importance of preserving indigenous music and culture. As he witnessed the dawn of democracy, he was very concerned that the youth was becoming more Westernized, thus forgetting their own identity.
“I was worried that our children would follow the Western ways and that is why I had to do something. I had to let them know that culture is important and without it, we are not complete. We need to always keep our traditions alive for future generations,” Kose said in an exclusive interview with us.
Their forthcoming EP mostly consists of songs that the black majority of South Africans easily relate to on a daily basis. Although it is not classified as a political album, the group was not shy to include songs that question the South African government, especially about issues of service delivery and why the African community is still stuck in poverty. The project also entails songs that evoke a number of social ills which continue to hold the African community back.
A particular song that listeners can look forward to hearing is one that is named after the EP, Ibuhlung’ Intliziyo. The song emotionally tells of how women are often marginalized and oppressed in African culture. It details the story of a woman who is accused of being unfaithful because the children that she gives birth to do not look like their father.
The uniqueness of the AmaXhosa Group stems from how the band (which consists of nine members) fluidly blends original Xhosa sounds within modern society whilst ensuring that the essence and dignity of the Xhosa culture is not lost.
Over the years, the group has been received very well amongst the Nguni people. Its highlights include performing at various venues like Moyo Restaurant, Marco’s African Restaurant and District 6 Museum.
We also spoke to the group’s manager, Mncekeleli Lucas Gugushe, who is just as excited about the project. He shared with us the immediate plans for the band, which include collaborating with other South African Indigenous musicians in their respective languages. In five years’ time, Gugushe sees AmaXhosa Group counted amongst other musicians that advocate for preservation of indigenous languages in the country.
To see more of what this remarkable group is up to, visit their Facebook page: AmaXhosa Group. They also have a YouTube channel called AmaXhosa Group. For bookings, send an email to: email@example.com
~ Thabile Shange