Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

I’m not the king, fumes Spoek

Spoek Mathambo’s thousands of followers on Twitter, the micro- blogging site, were naturally excited that the musician had been featured in London’s Guardian newspaper. Mathambo wasn’t — he was clearly affronted at being identified as the king of kwaito.

View the Guardian article here.

“I did the interview without knowing that the piece would have a kwaito focus. I was doing an interview about my work, which is very much not,” Mathambo fumed, adding: “I have supreme respect for everyone who has worked in the last 20 years to build kwaito and am embarrassed to be put forward as something I’m not.”

He finished by saying: “final word on the @Guardian article is that it was supremely irresponsible, misleading and stupid to claim me to be the ‘king of kwaito’.” Describing the coronation as “laughable”, Spoek saw it as part of a trend in British papers of “twisting a South African story and so disrespecting THE REAL KINGS OF KWAITO”.

Some might see how the Guardian‘s writer got it all wrong. The medical-school drop-out is difficult to place and as kwaito is a ready- made definition, it’s easy to see how he was described as such. His music melds funk, house and kwaito with acid commentary on the here and now.

When I wrote up his profile for the 200 Young South Africans, I said: “The reaction to his music has either been the unqualified admiration of devoted aficionados or the confused head shake of the naysayers who are wondering, ‘What the hell is going on?'”

Explaining his sound, Mathambo said: “I am putting a spin on what was going on in the Pretoria house music scene, the Durban scene.”
So there.

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Percy Zvomuya
Percy Zvomuya is a writer and critic who has written for numerous publications, including Chimurenga, the Mail & Guardian, Moto in Zimbabwe, the Sunday Times and the London Review of Books blog. He is a co-founder of Johannesburg-based writing collective The Con and, in 2014, was one of the judges for the Caine Prize for African Writing.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

GDP, recession, JSE, rallying rand … these terms mean very...

The economy is not producing work, with many young adults working outside their fields of study or considering leaving the country as a result

More top stories

Europe, Asia rob West Africa of fish

Greenpeace Africa reports that the fishmeal and fish oil industry is ‘robbing the Gambia, Mauritania and Senegal of livelihoods and food’

Covid jab tech helps fight malaria

An estimated two-thirds of malaria deaths are among children under the age of five, most of them in Africa.

Learners moving to other provinces puts education departments under pressure

Gauteng and the Western Cape struggle to put children in class, but Limpopo and the Eastern Cape are closing schools as enrolment plummets

New membership system encounters problems in ANC branches

The Lower South Coast region has complained of a plot by some branch secretaries to manipulate the system
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×