On our Lists this week: Nice for What, Percy Zvomuya, and Kwesta

An archive on the history of black South Africans' naming practice (Modjaji Books)

An archive on the history of black South Africans' naming practice (Modjaji Books)

THE READING LIST

Jabulani Means Rejoice: A Dictionary of South African names by Phumzile Simelane Kalumba: I’ve just got my hands on this book. It’s a better alternative to Google searches, because the author doesn’t just list and translate names. Instead, she provides the cultural context and history of black South Africans, because our names are seldom just names.
I have no plans of naming a baby anytime soon but I see this dictionary maintaining its relevance way past my 20s as a reference for African cultural history. (ZH)

None But Ourselves by Percy Zvomuya (Chimurenga Chronic): Zim dancehall is a thing, and I had been under a rock before reading this circuitous, mind-boggling story. It forms part of the Zimbabwe edition of Chimurenga, which in itself is a mapping of the regime change and other stories. As only Percy Zvomuya can, he draws a line through Robert Mugabe’s prudish music tastes (more Jimmy Cliff and Jim Reeves than Bob Marley) as well as Marley’s performance in Zimbabwe in 1980, Thomas Mapfumo, Tobias Areketa and Zim dancehall as we know it now. Except the line is a loop. (KS)

THE PLAYLIST

Nice for What by Drake: I will be wearing my Noname Gypsy/Yara Shahidi-inspired wig all week long while jamming to this song on repeat — not because I’m a die-hard fan of the Canadian rapper but because it gets the blood flowing, the heading bobbing and the derriere shaking. (ZH)

Hyena by Kwesta: When I saw the title of Kwesta’s new video, I quickly figured out that the reference had something to do with him being on the legendary Sway’s morning radio show during a trip to the States. Among the dismal displays of cognitive dissonance and the unwitting results of rainbowism that were on display following the appearances of Cassper, AKA and Nasty C (who apparently hasn’t experienced racism), Kwesta’s appearance was more or less one we could vouch for. In any case, it’s the beat more than the bars that win for me in this song. It has a deep, stretched out bassline and a host of creepy, string-like effects. It’s pretty menacing, but Kwesta sprinkles some retrospective, boastful yet positive energy on it. (KS)

The Lists were compiled by Milisuthando Bongela, Kwanele Sosibo and Zaza Hlalethwa

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