African Music and Dance Wiki
  • Afrikaans is a language that is strongly associated with oppression as it was imposed as the medium of instruction in the apartheid era
  • The history of kwaito music is impossible to separate from the political history of South Africa
  • Kwaito actually began to emerge in the late 1980s through the experimentation of producer/DJs in clubs like Pretoria’s Gemini and Jozi’s Razzmatazz.
    • It was in these venues that, as South African producer Oscar Mdlongwa aka Oskido says of the early days, DJs started “remixing those international house tracks to give them a local feeling … putting in percussion and African melodies but maintaining the house groove
  • Kwaito is an urban music style that emerged from Johannesburg and surrounding areas in the mid 1990's. At the time American house music was popular in clubs but local artists like Arthur Mafokate tried to adapt it to appeal to South African ears although the beats were popular.
  • "Kwaito is our way of contributing to change in this country. It is also a way to remind public opinion what the ghetto expects from change: jobs, better schools and peace on the streets." –Kwaito Natizia Group
  • Kwaito, as a genre of music, started emerging in South Africa in the 1990's as a mixture of a number of different rhythms ranging from the marabi sounds of the 1920's, kwela of the 1950's, mbaqanga / maskhandi of the hostel dwellers to the bubblegum music of the 1980's, and traditional Imibongo (African praise poetry)
  • After strictures of the Apartheid were lifted Kwaito artists were the first artists to enjoy both financial equality and the liberating potential of affordable technology

Our Reasonings[]

The history of Kwaito is brief and sparsely documented. Therefore it was important to us to publish all of
 our outlines to this wiki, so that it would be accessible for public review, if not public editing. If 
this course is to be taught, we would like to involve experts on South African popular music to help flesh 
out this history and preserve it beyond its fragmented state on disconnected artist sites and limited 
scholarly work. The ultimate goal is to construct a cohesive narrative of Kwaito music starting with 
Bubblegum music from the late 1980s.