Sounds From an amaZulu Compound


It has been awhile. There are many stories to tell, and my hope is to share them with my wifi access this week. Anticipate a You Tube music Fiesta for the next two days.

When I was doing a blogging boot camp, some bloggers shared sounds of their community for a few of the prompts. I am using their idea with a twist. My Amajuba family had a 14 year old boy who LOVED to blast his pirated music from his phone on the family speakers(there are somethings about adolescent behavior that transcend cultures ) At times it was annoying but it left me with an appreciation for house and Kwaito (house with African rhythms that originated in Johannesburg in the 1990’s) music. With my current internet access I finally am able to research the titles and artists. Here is a snippet of the rural Amajuba soundtrack (just imagine the random amaZulu shouts from a gogo and goat belts in-between and it is basically accurate.)

Full disclaimer: I do not know the translation of most of these songs, my objective is to just share the sound. I have tried to share translations if they area available, but my isiZulu translation skills are mediocre and my Xhosa knowledge is minute (yebo they have the same palatal clicks but trust me are very different languages.)  Also all credit goes to the artists, please feel free to purchase these catch tunes and spread them outside of South Africa!

Susan: The Soil with Khuli Chana


I love this retro-inspired Xhosa love song, and always want to swing dance when it comes on. A few of the lyrics involve singer implores Susan to remember him and explain themselves.

KOTW (Kings of the Weekend) Anthem: SPHEctacular and DJ Naves


I call this the “Amajuba Anthem” because Arny Mkhizeis phoning from Duke City. It is extremely catchy and the kids on my compound would break out dancing when they say BOOM BOOM BOOM! Side Interestingly on the singers started off as an accountant from Durban who got involved with DJ gigs while attending varsity/college in Gauteng. Quick note: This is the music video (because it is not the same with the Amajuba reference) with a lot of partying scenes. I just listen to the sound in the background while working on my laptop, so I am not aware of the full extent of the video.

Shumaya: DBN Nyts, TradeMark, and Zinhle Ngindi



I shared my spontaneous encounter with DBN Nyts and why it is a given on this list here.

Nguye lo: Arthur and Kelly Khumalo


Nguye lo translates to “this is” in Xhosa and Nguye lon’ owami is “the one for me.” The amaZulu love their love songs so I had to include one slow one on the list.

Sweetie: Heavy K with Nokwazi


Here is an example of how people use English in the middle of a song in an ingenious language. The gist of the song from isiZulu is I been looking for love for a while and now I’ve got it. I been looking for a honourable man and now I’ve found him. Hey sweetie sweetie, death will do us apart. when they ask me who are you, I  tell them that you are my hope and my true hope.” I direct all translation credit to YouTube users, thank you for making my task easier!

Akulalwa: Dr. Shimza and Dr. Malinga


Akulalwa means “rest now” in isiZulu. Beyond that I cannot find any other translation to English. All I can say is that is played often in the compound and on taxis.

Umoya: Heavy K, Professor, and Mpumi


Umoya is either a spirit or the wind in isiZulu. I often say Kunemoya (there is wind or it is windy in the battlefields.) Also a song with an elusive English but one of the main lines translates to , “ This song  makes me breathless.”

Zimbiri: Alaska featuring Maphorisa


This is one song where I can actually sing a lyric even though it is in Xhosa, “ Hey Wena, woza la” is “Hey you, come here”. Plus the beat is super catchy! And Yebo, the band’s real name was Alaska.