Today's Tsonga selection features an artist new to me, but not new to the business. George Maluleke has been making albums for nearly 25 years now. In fact his latest album, "Siku Ramakumu", was nominated for the Best Tsonga Music album award at last weekend's South African Music Awards, only to be pipped to the post by Thomas Chauke - something I suspect has been happening to poor George with monotonous regularity throughout his career.
I managed to pick up a couple of George's albums while in Cape Town a month ago. Like Thomas Chauke he is very much from the traditional wing of the Tsonga scene in comparison with the disco sounds of yer Peta Teanets and Penny Pennys. But that is not to say he isn't capable of a groovy tune. He is, as I hope today's tracks demonstrate.
What little I have been able to find out about George comes from a July 2006 online edition of Mopani News ("By the People, For the People") - click on this link and scroll down to page 4. He is 52, born and bred in Bangwani Village near Malamule, and has (or had in 2006) four wives and 14 children. It presumably must be a struggle to support so many by music alone, as "he also has two mini-buses which he bought with the proceeds of his albums". Or maybe they are just for transporting the family down to the shops.
Here is one track from each of the two albums in my collection:
"Nizondha Swiendlo" - George Maluleke (on "Ri Orheli", 2003)
"Tinhlolo" - George Maluleke (on "Misava Yi Hava Kurhula", 2005)
I couldn't find any George on YouTube, but I did find this video by Jeff Maluleke (probably no relation). It's a bit bland for my tastes but its pleasant enough.