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Articles on South African music

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Mandoza at the South African music Awards in 2012. South African Music Awards/flickr

Game-changer Mandoza defied South Africa’s elitist cultural norms

Kwaito music star Mandoza was an important symbolic figure in the post-apartheid cultural scene. His success and his refusal to relinquish his tsotsi identity redefined what kind of man could be respected in a free South African.
Why should African graduates be honoured with a Latin song when the continent has plenty of its own music and ways of celebrating? Direct Relief/Flickr

Why Gaudeamus igitur has no place at graduations in African universities

A Latin song takes centre stage at graduation ceremonies around the world, including in South Africa. Isn’t it time the continent used its own methods to celebrate major events?
The age-old question of whether musicians should be writing for themselves or for their audiences has no easy answer. Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

New music composers face the age-old question: do they write for themselves or for mass appeal?

While the debate seems not to be solvable, three academics look at the question of whether artists should provide entertainment or write for their own pleasure.
In a track called Bring it Back Home, Hugh Masekela bemoans the tendency by politicians, who after ascending to power, discard the people who helped them get there. Andrea De Silva/Reuters

South African musicians in the eye of party political storm

Concert organisers began to compete for government contracts. Often these contracts came with conditions as to who, among musicians, was desirable at government events.
South Africa’s Oppikoppi music festival in the town of Northam, Limpopo has come to represent the aspirations of a generation which embraces the diversity of the country’s peoples and their respective music. Nikita Ramkissoon/The Conversation

Over 21 years the Oppikoppi music festival has come to embrace South Africa’s diversity

The Oppikoppi Music Festival, one of the biggest and most popular in South Africa, holds on to the musical memories of the past and provides a musical map to the future.

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