Bhekumuzi Luthuli

The maskandi musician Bhekumuzi Luthuli passed away Wednesday after a long illness. He was only 48.

Maskandi music is associated with the rural parts of South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal. It is also the music of Zulu migrants to Johannesburg. Luthuli, along with another musician Ihashi Elimhlophe (Bheki Ngcobo) did a lot to gain the genre mainstream success in South Africa. (Internationally Paul Simon has borrowed from maskandi for his “Graceland” in the 1980s. You can also here traces of it in the music of Vampire Weekend)

Anyway, today’s time to celebrate his music and life. The song above, “Impatha” is one of his hits. His greatest hit is “Imilanjwana.”

And here’s another, “Banamanga”:

Sean Jacobs

Sean Jacobs is on the international affairs faculty of The New School. He is the Founder and Editor of Africa is a Country.


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