Maskandi 101

Manqobizizwe Ncala, guitarist and Maskandi fundi, joined Azania Mosaka for a master class lesson on this proudly South African genre.

Ncala's passion for the genre led him to begin studying the indigenous instruments used in Maskandi.

He even taught himself how to build and repair them. Ncala also runs a school where he teaches and passes on the knowledge he has acquired over the years about Maskandi.

Ncala says Maskandi can be defined in numerous ways and can be both a musical genre and lifestyle. He says it is a similar concept to that of hip hop.

Maskandi is about being original, living your truth, knowing yourself as a person.

Manqobizizwe Ncala, guitarist and maskandi fundi

Historically, Ncala says Maskandi can be traced back to the 1920's before the introduction of modern musical instruments.

He says moving into the 1930's artists from Zimbabwe, such as Josaya Hadebe, George Sibanda, and Sabelo Mathe mimicked the musical styles of cowboy movies, ultimately influencing the genre as we know it today.

The word Maskandi is derived from the Afrikaans word musikand.

Manqobizizwe Ncala, guitarist and maskandi fundi

Ncala also speaks about the South African forefathers of Mmaskandi, how traditional Mmaskandi was fused with Mbaqanga elements to create the neo-traditional style we know today and how a Maskandi song is not sung, but rather proclaimed.

Here is a video of a popular maskandi duo:

Listen to the audio below for more on maskandi:


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