Boom Shaka was a pioneering kwaito music group from South Africa, consisting of Junior Sokhela, Lebo Mathosa, Theo Nhlengethwa and ThembiSeete. Their first album was produced in 1994. Boom Shaka’s first single “It’s About Time” was released in 1993.
Boom Shaka became one of the most successful bands of the mid-1990s in South Africa and their music became the soundtrack for many young people in the newly democratic South Africa. Boom Shaka was able to break into the international market and achieved success outside of South Africa in London among other places. Boom Shaka, being one of the leading kwaito groups in South Africa, has an extreme affect on youth audiences throughout the country.
To begin, Boom Shaka was purposefully put together in order to appeal to a youth audience by presenting a new sound and a new style. Today, they are continually sweeping the charts and propelling in the youth audiences due to their distinctive sound, visual style, and dance moves. Boom Shaka is known for creating popular and distinctive kwaito dance moves such as “Chop di Grass”.
These sexy kwaito dance moves add to their popularity. This uniqueness is propelling Boom Shaka’s music in the youth radio charts and on a global level as well.1 The major presence of female vocalists in the group, specifically, the artists Lebo Mathosa and ThembiSeete have been seen as both modes of female objectification and simultaneously voices for the feminist movement.
The style of dancing and dress has stirred controversy among South African listeners as it invokes a type of female sexuality that many find degrading. The artists, however, would prefer to see their music as a liberating force. This sentiment is especially reflected in their track It’s About Time produced on their debut album, Boom Shaka.