Sounds of Southern Africa


IFAS – Research invites you on a musical journey through a history marked by adversity and resilience — from South African and Namibian melodies in the apartheid era to Congolese rumba in the colonial period and rap and pop music in contemporary Mozambique and Angola.

IFAS–Research is excited to introduce Sounds of Southern Africa. Music, Empowerment, Freedom, a five-episode podcast that excavates the rich history of musical genres from the region. Music from the continent has always existed with an overlay of social and political issues; in each episode, experts and researchers explore the links between music, politics, freedom of expression and censorship in several southern and central African countries from the 20th century to the present day. Sounds of Southern Africa is necessary listening for music enthusiasts who will relish in the discovery of pan-African musical gems and the stories behind them. It is also an essential platform concerning the production of memory through narratives that seldom make it into the mainstream historical imagination.

EPISODE 1: Musical “stolen moments” in Namibia under South Africa’s rule with Aino Moongo & Thorsten Schütte

In this first episode exploring Namibia’s musical past, curator Aino Moongo and film-maker Thorsten Schütte present the project they are both currently conducting, called Stolen Moments. They aim to find, catalogue and preserve Namibia’s music archives, and also to raise awareness of the country’s rich heritage, which, for the most part, was censored by the apartheid regime after the de facto annexation of ‘South West Africa’ by South Africa.


  • Intro music by Adamu Da Silva
  • “Ben’s Whistling Song” by Ben Molatzi
  • “What Have I Done” by Ben Molatzi
  • “Creatures of the Earth” by The Ugly Creatures
  • An untitled song by Warmgat
  • “Exit to Artist Exist” by The Ugly Creatures


EPISODE 2: Rap and political dissent in contemporary Angola with Dr Chloé  Buire

In the second episode, the potential for political protest conveyed by rap music is highlighted by Dr Chloé Buire, a researcher at the CNRS (French National Centre for Research). She  Tracklist

  • Intro music by Adamu Da Silva
  • “A Téknika, As Kausas e As Konsekuências” by MCK
  • “Azar Da Belita” by Naice Zulu e BC
  • “Belina” by Artur Nunes
  • “Não É Essa Angola” by Polas Mente de Aço feat. Mbonzo Lima & Killah Bone

EPISODE 3: The Hidden Years Music Archive: (Re)discovering underground South African jazz, rock, and pop music from the 1950s-1980s with Dr Lizabé Lambrechts and David Marks

Dr Lizabé Lambrechts and David Marks are the guests of the third episode, devoted to the Hidden Years Music Archive. This collection, which David Marks established and built, contains various documents dating back to the apartheid era and includes records, recordings, concert posters and private archives. Dr Lizabé Lambrechts is the current head curator of the archive at Stellenbosch University.


  • Intro music by Adamu Da Silva
  • “Master Jack” by Piet Botha
  • Excerpt from “Music of the Spirits” (1971) by Malombo
  • “Gambling Africa” by Johnny Clegg & Sipho Mchunu
  • “No Easy Walk to Freedom” by Roger Lucy
  • “Sibon’isoka limemeza enhlanzeni: No father no cattle” by Johnny Clegg & Sipho Mchunu


EPISODE 4: From Congo belge to République démocratique du Congo: the journey of Congolese rumba with Dr Charlotte Grabli

In this episode, historian Charlotte Grabli takes us to the Democratic Republic of Congo. She analyses the relationship between Congolese and Afro-Cuban music, from the last years of Belgian colonisation to the first decades of independence of a country, which exported “Congolese rumba” throughout the African continent and particularly in southern Africa.


  • Intro music by Adamu Da Silva
  • “Bolingo Ya La Joie” by Eyenga Lucie Moseka
  • “Aya La Mode” by Franco & L’O.K. Jazz
  • “Ata Ndele” by Adou Elenga
  • “Yo Nací en África” by Arsenio Rodríguez

EPISODE 5: Popular music and social protest in Mozambique with Dr Euclides Gonçalves

In this episode, Dr Euclides Gonçalves — a social anthropologist and director of Kaleidoscopio (a centre for research in politics and culture) — explores how popular music, especially songs, became an important vehicle for political protest and a privileged channel for “social commentary” in Mozambique.


  • Intro music by Adamu Da Silva
  • “My Love” by Ta Basily
  • “Male Ya Pepha” by Eugénio Mucavele
  • “O Outro Lado da Lei” by Damo do Bling
  • “País da Marrabenta” by Gpro Fam
  • “As Mentiras da Verdade” by Azagaia
  • “Regalias” by Rosalia Mboa

Supported by the French Institute (Paris) and the French Institute of South Africa, the podcast forms part of a broader project that will culminate into a symposium of music archives which will be taking place at the University of Stellenbosch in November.

Listen to the podcast here:

For more details visit:

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