On Air Feature

Rhythms of Africa

Date: Feb 21, 2018

Rhythms of Africa is a Music Program on Channel Africa, Voice of the African Renaissance, focusing on various music idioms throughout the African Continent.

In the program today: Interview with Stimela

Stimela is a South African Afro-fusion band, founded during the 1970s by Ray Phiri, a self-taught guitarist. The band was formed when Phiri got together with drummer Isaac “Mnca” Mtshali, Thabo Lloyd Lelosa and Jabu Sibumbe, they initially call themselves the Cannibals. The band started out as instrumentalists, but it later evolved to Afro-fusion when they joined forces with vocalist Jacob "Mparanyana" Radebe in 1975, continuing to work together for four years. The band kept going after Radebe died in 1978.

They changed their name to Stimela after a life-changing experience in Mozambique when they were stranded in Maputo for three months. They had to sell all their belongings to take a train home. This trip was a watershed moment as it was where they conceived the new name for the band: train is translated as Stimela in Nguni languages. Besides the change in name, the band also expanded  with new members Charlie "Sam" Ndlovu, Nana Coyote, Thapelo Kgomo and Ntokozo Zungu.

In the program repertoire included top artists from the African Continent like Angelique Kidjo from West Africa in Benin;  “The Golden Voice of Africa”, Salif Keita from Mali, Romeo M from DRC Congo; Organized Family from Zambia; Oliver Mtukudzi from Zimbabwe & the Grammy Award Recipients, Ladysmith Black Mambazo from South Africa.

 If you would like to comment on this program, send your comments to:

Music Executive Producer,

Rhythms of Africa, “No Music, No Supper”.

Music Executive Producer,

Rhythms of Africa,

P.O Box 91313,

Auckland Park,


South Africa

Email: nkabindetn@sabc.co.za


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