Definition of mbaqanga in English:


Pronunciation /(ə)mbəˈkäNGɡə/ /(ə)mbəˈkɑŋɡə/


  • 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.’


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’.