Kwaito

There is something quite self-contradictory about a group of settlers founding a “divide and conquer” tactic that homogenises a people who were never exactly the same. A people who may have more of a common ancestry than they think but at the same time, a people who’ve constructed different identities for themselves. Different nationalities which are today reduced to tribes. As the colonial settlers in South Africa realised the need for black labour; they had to allow for increased urban migration. This meant that people left their rural homes where they had been grouped according to what was their nationality at the time (and is now called a tribe) and because of laws which segregated by race and not by nationality-tribe, these different people ended up in the same areas. I’m talking about Johannesburg.

This urban migration into Johannesburg and all around South Africa marks the construction of blackness by black people. These people did not have much choice in their identification as black before-it was imposed upon them. However, urbanisation marks the point where black people chose their own blackness; where a collective identity was created.  This identity was a combo of all kinds of influences from the different nations that were pushed together, their interaction with globalisation and as well as the European culture imposed upon them. This is how kwaito  music was born. Welcome to my blog.

 

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