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South Africa

Series exploring African influences in modern music. DJ and broadcaster Rita Ray visits South Africa, home to distinctive vocal harmonies which are known worldwide.

DJ and broadcaster Rita Ray travels to South Africa, home to distinctive vocal harmonies that have travelled all over the world. Visiting Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, she discovers the extraordinary songs and harmonies that have given this country a voice abroad. They have often carried messages about inequality and injustice at home, resulting in beautiful music with a real sense of purpose.

South Africa is a diverse nation, and each tribal group has its own musical traditions. Cutting-edge artists sing in ancient languages such as Xhosa, migrant workers stave off homesickness with traditional singing and dancing in the street, whilst four-part harmonies imported from the west are heard in every church, but given an unmistakable South African twist.

1 hour

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:03



  • 00:05

    Ladysmith Black Mambazo


  • 00:05

    Paul Simon

    Homeless (feat. Ladysmith Black Mambazo)

  • 00:06

    Masole A Tumelo

    Emisang Go Loana Ditekiseng

  • 00:10

    Solomon Linda's Original Evening Birds


  • 00:12

    Vusa Mkhaya

    Uthando Lukababa

  • 00:15

    Ihashi Elimhlophe


  • 00:18

    Miriam Makeba

    Ndodemnyama (Beware, Verwoerd!)

  • 00:26

    Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela


  • 00:27

    Miriam Makeba


  • 00:43



  • 00:45

    Mahlanthini and The Mahotella Queens

    Amaqhawe Omgqashiyo

  • 00:46

    Mahlathini and The Mahotella Queens

    Mme Ngwana Walla

  • 00:49

    Udokotela Shange Namajaha


  • 00:55

    Vusi Mahlasela

    Nakupenda Africa


Role Contributor
Presenter Rita Ray
Camera Operator Ruhi Hamid
Producer Ruhi Hamid
Director Ruhi Hamid
Executive Producer Sam Anthony
Producer Alex Emanuel
Editor Simon Battersby
Production Manager Rosie Holledge
Production Company Sundog Pictures Ltd


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