Peta Teanet's reign as the King of Tsonga Disco came after that of Paul Ndlovu, who we featured a couple of weeks ago, and before that of Penny Penny (a treat yet to come). Between 1988 and 1996 he bestrode the world of Tsonga Disco like a mighty colossus.
For further information I am indebted once again to Max Thamagana Mojapelo’s book “Beyond Memory: Recording the History, Moments and Memories of South African Music”. I don't know whether Max's image of himself as the Zelig of the music scene in the Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces is entirely accurate, but his book is certainly an invaluable source of information about South African music over the last thirty years or so.
Peta Teanet's story is classic soul singer territory. Born in a small village near the one-horse town of Tzaneen, his performing career started in church. The he formed a band called Relela who got a bit of airplay on Radio Tsonga, but were too far from the action to get much further locally. So he went off to Johannesburg where the streets are paved with gold in search of fame and fortune. After knocking on a lot of doors he eventually got a record deal. His first album, 1988's "Maxaka", represented what Max calls "the birth of an unchallengable hit machine". And so it was until he was tragically shot dead in 1996 at the age of only 30, leaving behind him eight wives (one of them apparently rejoicing in the name of Do It) and thirteen children. OK, that last bit is maybe a little less typical.
Today's selections come from a greatest hits compilation I picked up in Cape Town. According to Max, "Matswele" was "inspired by a young lady who was warning an unruly guy not to touch her breasts without permission", a cause we can all rally round I am sure. I have no idea what the other one is about.
"Matswele" - Peta Teanet
"Nwayingwane" - Peta Teanet
And to think that around the time Peta was getting started in 1988, back in the UK we were being subjected to this: