At a time of great stress, trauma and uncertainty among the country’s youth, Samkelo Dzanibe may be one of the few emotionally balanced lads in Alex, courtesy to his love for maskandi, his cultural music sung by his favourite band Amageza Amahle.
“I get solace daily from listening to this genre of Zulu music which combines instruments, foot stomping and gyrating dance moves to the group’s lyrics on love, culture, education and politics,” 23-year-old Dzanibe said to Alex News.
Currently a student at Regenesys Business School, Dzanibe said, “Maskandi makes my day, soothes my feelings and connects me with like-minded people. It gives me balance between my culture, school work and the daily social and economic challenges making many young people act antisocially and out of control, only to regret it and blame others afterwards.”
He has been a maskandi fan and member of the band’s fan club in Alex for many years. “I am known by the band’s two lead members, Khayelihle ‘Potso’ Ngobese and Cebo Hlabisa. They were chosen by fans countrywide to lead it and, are doing a good job in carrying on the late founder Mtshengiseni Gcwensa’s legacy. They have kept it tops in popularity ratings countrywide as ‘maskandi kings’.”
Dzanibe said, besides other clubs in Soweto and Thembisa, more have mushroomed in other provinces. He rates the clubs next only to his biological family, describing it as a support system and the band’s songs instill love, respect, education and gospel in society. “Club members meet weekly in Jeppe Park to chill and help each other with their problems. They attend each other’s graduations or other ceremonies, sometimes with the band members, and also transport those with no means to musical festivals and other related events.”
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The band’s ‘maskandi kings’ title has been well earned as they have amassed 21 awards at various events including, the South Africa Traditional Music, Amantsontso and Maz Ambassador Maskandi Awards.
“There is talk of the group performing in Alex later this year where, those in doubt about the group, will afterwards attest to its prowess and become new fan club members. Messages in their recent CD Iqhaw’ Elidakiwe attests to their goodness,” Dzanibe said.