Mahotella Queens

Mahotella Queens  

As opening concert of this year’s festival, City of Women is proud to present the grand comeback of the Mahotella Queens. Last year winning the Womex Award for outstanding contribution to world music “the Mahotella Queens represent so much of what is the best in the music of South Africa: the finely honed art of passionate singing, the latticework of funky rhythms, and the breathtaking art of spectacular live performance.” The Mahotella Queens are South Africa’s foremost afro-pop singing group. The Queens —Hilda Tloubatla, Mildred Mangxola, and Nobesuthu Mbadu— first sealed their place in the legend of urban South African music in the early 1960’s when, with Simon Nkabindé Mahlathini (the “Lion of Soweto”) and the musicians of the Makgona Tsothle Band (“The Band Who Knows Everything”), they invented Mbaquanga. Mbaquanga (the Zulu word for a kind of dumpling, implying the homemade quality of the music’s origin) is a strong and explosive potion of various types of traditional music (Zulu, Sotho, Shangaan, Xhosa) mixed with Marabi (South African jazz), American r&b, soul and gospel. Throughout the 1960s and beginning of the 1970s Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens played beer halls and township dances in South Africa. Their original sound came to be dubbed the “indestructible beat of Soweto”, and their solid four-to-the-floor dance rhythm and soaring vocal harmonies came to embody the spirit of the oppressed peoples of the townships. They soon hit the international stage as heroes of the cultural resistance to apartheid and as idols to South Africa’s black community during the dark years. They took a break in the mid-’70s to raise families, but reunited in the beginning of the eighties. In 1987, producer West Nkosi — saxophonist, penny-whistle player, and conductor of the Makgona Tsothle Band — took advantage of a stay in Paris to cut the record Paris -Soweto for the French label Celluloid, resulting in the Mahlathini & the Mahotella Queens’ international hit “Kazet”. The successive tragic deaths of West Nkosi, Marks Mankwane, and Simon Nkabindé Mahlathini marked last year with so many black stones. After a period of mourning and great sadness, the Mahotella Queens decided to take up once again, along with a band made up of young musicians from their homeland. Resolutely facing the future, the three queens have returned to battle. It’s nothing short of the birth of a new group, a new story, and a new adventure for those who have never given up the struggle. In three words: Don’t miss it!

Lead vocals: Hilda Tloubatla, Mildred Mangxola, Nobesuthu Mbadu; drums: Theko Masitenyane; keyboards: Patrick Mtimkulu; bass: Joseph Hlengetwa; electric guitar: Michael Molefe Nyambe.

Organised and financed by: Cankarjev dom
In cooperation with: Mesto žensk / City of Women

Date and time of event: 
Oct 08th 21:00
Place of event: 
Cankarjev dom