Hippie Dance Takeover: Superpitcher On Safari


In the year Twenty Fifteen, Superpitcher was invited to go on a safari in South Africa. He bought a custom made safari hat at his favourite milliner in Cologne (Jürgen Eifler) and set off with big eyes and a pair of binoculars. It was wild and wonderful and he saw many exotic (and big!) animals, even a leopard in a tree that told him the secret of the universe.  He forgot what the leopard said because in his mind he was still playing and replaying the sound of what he had heard on the first night of his arrival – the sound of the voices of Africa. There he met the wonderful Tanda Tula staff choir who, during the day, worked at the camp and at night entertained the guests with their captivating voices and energetic dancing. So impressed was he with their songs and beautiful Shangaan language that he decided to record a CD for them to sell in the shop at their camp. This recording of the Tanda Tula Choir will also be released as an LP (with a great poster included) on Hippie Dance in the year Twenty Seventeen.  

“The Tanda Tula Choir was founded in 2013 when a couple from the USA inquired about hosting a traditional Shangaan wedding ceremony at Tanda Tula Safari Camp. Myself and Clenny (Tanda Tula’s Duty Manager) decided to ask our very talented staff members to perform the wedding ceremony and celebrate the nuptials with our traditional Shangaan songs. It was a great success and since then we continue to bring joy to our guests with our music and dancing. The songs are all about Shangaan traditional culture and we hope you will enjoy them.” – Dolphin Mathebula: Tanda Tula Front Office Manager.

The Tsonga Shangaan language

The Tsonga are a diverse people, generally including the Shangaan, Thonga, Tonga, and several smaller ethnic groups. Together they numbered about 1.5 million people in South Africa in the mid-1990s, with some 4.5 million individuals in Southern Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The first Tsonga-speakers to enter the former Transvaal probably did so during the 18th Century. They were essentially traders who followed rivers inland, where they bartered cloth and beads for ivory, copper and salt. The Shangaan tribe came into being when King Shaka of the Zulu Nation, sent Soshangane (Manukosi) to conquer the Tsonga people in the area of present-day southern Mozambique, during the Mfecane upheaval of the 19th Century. Soshangane found a fertile place inhabited by scattered communities of peace-loving people, and he decided to make it his home rather than return to King Shaka. The Shangaan were a mixture of Nguni (a language group which includes Swazi, Zulu and Xhosa), and Tsonga speakers (Ronga, Ndzawu, Shona, Chopi tribes), which Soshangane conquered and subjugated.

A word from Superpitcher: “For The Golden Ravedays 'Howl' (on number 4), the choir gave me their Shangaan best, ululating and expressing the very thing about Africa where words fail us all.”

One of the Tanda Tula Choir members’ talented singers, Chris, is featured on The Golden Ravedays 'Bluesin' (number 5).  He speaks about his life in South Africa, about the sadness of his and his family’s past under apartheid, about the question of identity and of belonging.

Buy the release HERE. 

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