Going gold within six weeks of its release in her native South Africa, Thandiswa Mazwai’s Ibokwe forcefully cements her position at the forefront of a new generation extolling the Urban Zulu sound.

Noticeably stepping away from the ‘slowed-down garage’ kwaito stylings of 2004’s Zabalaza, this new offering takes the Johannesburg singer-songwriter deeper into traditional Zulu and Xhosa melodies and rhythms – inked in here by flexing percussion and anthemic chants – to map out a route from past to present signposted with borrowings from jazz, funk and contemporary African influences.

Marrying the personal and the political, Ibokwe (‘Goat’) seethes with an elegantly voiced amalgam of compassion and complaint, Thandiswa tilting at targets that range from deep-rooted rituals (the unyielding title track) to political apathy – Ngimkhonzile’s agitation buffered by daughter Malaika’s affecting spoken call to arms – and the bittersweet unpredictability of love with Hugh Masekela providing characteristically fetching support in the ballad Ingoma...


# Title Length
1 Thongo Lam (Iyeza) 4:38
6 Abenguni 5:24
7 Ingoma 6:12