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Born to Kwaito: A trip down Kwaito lane.

From Alaska to Trompies. From Brown Dash to Boom Shaka. From the streets of eNdofaya to Zola, Kwaito arguably represents the most important music genre and sub-culture that post-apartheid South Africa has birthed. 

Born to Kwaito revisits history as told through the vibrant lens of Kwaito, which is more than just music. Kwaito presented a new unbridled expression of Black South African youths. It carried the political significance of Black South Africans deciding to take a moment to enjoy themselves and the promise of their freedom. Born to Kwaito takes us through the tsiki tsiki yho’s of our South African narrative, cementing a culture of living, dancing and human relation unique to Kwaito and unique to eKasi. 

Trail-blazed by likes of Oskido, Kwaito created a whole new and vibrant way of being for the Black person in South Africa’s newly found democracy. 

In this impressively researched debut, authors Esinako Ndabeni and Sihle Mthembu pay tribute to a time when Brenda Fassie; Lebo Mathosa; Thembi Seete; Nomasonto ‘Mshoza’ Maswanganyi; Zanele ‘Nestum’ Nyakale; Queen ‘Iyaya’ Sesoko; Sharon Dee and Thandiswa Mazwai made dance anthems. Created movements. Disrupted patriarchy and paved the way. 


Sihle Mthembu is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker born in Mooi River in the Natal Midlands. In 2009 Mthembu enrolled at the Durban University of Technology where he graduated with a B-tech in journalism. He has worked as an art critic, a business journalist and a churner of various types of online banter. His work has appeared in publications such as Rolling Stone SAVice magazine, Mail & Guardian, City Press and Sunday Independent. For his next trick he is directing a documentary called Calling Down Fire about the life, work and meaning of Busi Mhlongo. 

Esinako Ndabeni is a final year undergraduate student of International Relations and Anthropology at the University of Cape Town. Born in Mthatha, Eastern Cape and having grown UP to Kwaito music, she founded the blog ‘Don’t call me Kaffir’ - a politicized revisitation of Kwaito. She has since written for publications such as Between 10 and 5 and the Chicago-based NEXT Magazine.

ISBN 978-1-928337-67-6 | GENRE History | PRICE R240 | RIGHTS World Rights | RELEASE July 2018