Definition of mbaqanga in English:



  • A rhythmical popular music style of southern Africa.

    ‘It has 14 tracks that showcase a variety of musical styles like dance, reggae, jazz, mbaqanga, kwela and gospel.’
    • ‘By the 1960s, whites too had become avid fans of township jazz, which had sprouted into kwela's instrumental music and mbaqanga, a vocal jazz style.’
    • ‘With her vocal range embracing mbaqanga, kwela, township jive and American jazz through ballads to gospel, she will add Afro-international zest to the tribute concerts.’
    • ‘Other influences on popular music include church music, gospel, Zairean rhumba, and South African mbaqanga and mbube.’
    • ‘This female mbaqanga group was formed in 1958, and has been through so many obstacles that one wonders what kept them going through all these years.’



/(ə)mbəˈkäNGɡə/ /(ə)mbəˈkɑŋɡə/


From Zulu umbaqanga, literally ‘steamed maize bread’, with reference to the combined notion of the homely cultural sustenance of the townships and the musicians' ‘daily bread’.