Producing kwaito: Nkosi sikelel'iafrika after apartheid

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This article examines kwaito group Boom Shaka's reworking of Enoch Sontonga's classic hymn, Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika. Drawing on the work of Stephen Miles and Gary Tomlinson, I reject a hermeutic approach to music analysis and instead analyze the creative and material processes invovled in the production of Boom Shaka's song. The use of House tracks in the production of kwaito not only structures the harmonic and rhythmic framework of the latter, but implies a larger network of material and informational flows that make such use possible in the first place. I argue that Boom Shaka's version of Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika illustrates and assumes an opennness to the past, the future, and the world outside South Africa. As such, the song explemplifies the post-apartheid "condition" and requires rigorous analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-120
Number of pages18
JournalWorld of Music
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Music


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