Busi Mhlongo - Urban Zulu
Vocal Male / Female


alt iTunes

Busi Mhlongo 

1947 - 2010

Urban Zulu (BW2118)





When we first started working on these awesome songs penned by Themba, Spectre and Busi, the style was recognisably traditional maskanda. Over the months of work, the maskanda in this album metamorphosed, deepened, widened and finally has come to represent the contemporary Zulu Nation's truest form of expression, with all the agony, the ecstacy, the pain and sorrow, the trials and ironies of life in the modern South Afrika.
This is the first time maskanda has been expressed by a Zulu woman, and who better than Busi, one of the great voices of Afrika. A truly astonishing performer on the stage and in the studio, her original creativity as expressed here represents a quantum leap in South Afrikan music. This is maskanda for the millennium. Listen and be humbled.

Will Mowat (Producer)


Almost alone among contemporary South African musicians, her songs tell us of the struggle for existence, the destruction of traditional culture and the need to 're-invent' tradition in the context of the new situation. In "Urban Zulu", Busi has succeeded in melding traditional Zulu music into a new one that informs us both of its roots and of the concerns of contemporary South African women. Based on a traditional Zulu musical form, Maskando, "Urban Zulu" is revolutionary on two levels, firstly it's being sung by a woman and secondly, it extends the traditional into the contemporary without losing anything of its roots.

"Urban Zulu", Busi's second album is an perfect example of the contradictions inherent in our situation as the irony of Busi Mahlongo's music is that she is more 'popular' in Europe than she is in South Africa. The economics of music dictate that she spends a lot of time abroad as there simply isn't the market for her work here. Busi recently performed here in Joberg at the Arts Alive Festival in a rare performance that had the crowd ecstatic, this writer included. More's the pity that we don't get to see her more often.

If you want to hear the cutting edge of contemporary South African music then this a must buy album.

(William Bowles)


Adidas have since used We Baba Omncane as the song for their football campaign showing some of the great players from the TV ad on the cover of the CD released in Europe.



Track Listing (60 Second Samples from the MELT Downlaod store only)

1. YEHLISAN'UMOYA MA-AFRIKA (Afrikan Nation, Calm!)
2. YAPHELI'MALI YAMI (My Money Is Gone)
3. WE BABA OMNCANE (If You Don't Obey Your Parents)
4. UKUTHULA (Live In Peace)
5. YISE WABANT'A BAMI (Father Of My Children)
6. UGANGA NGE NGANE (You're Playing Around With This Child)
7. NGADLALWA YINDODA (He's Toying With Me)
8. NGUYE LO (He's The One)
9. ZITHIN'IZIZWE (What Are People Saying About Us?)
10. AWUKHO UMUZI ONGENA KUKHULUMA KWAWO (There Are Problems In Every Home)
11. OXAMU (Crocodile)


published by M.E.L.T. 2000 publishing Ltd. Except 'Yise Wabant'a Bami', composed by Busi and Lokua Kanza and published by M.E.L.T. 2000 publishing Ltd and Chrysalis Music:'Oxamu' a traditional song, arranged by Busi Mhlongo.