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Sunday 17 January 2010

Tsonga Disco One Year On

27 Leggies is one year old today, so please forgive a little self-indulgence.

I started this blog for two reasons: a general one, shared with all music bloggers, of inflicting my dubious taste on anyone who was willing to listen; and a specific one, set out at the top of the page, of bringing Tsonga Disco to the masses.

Tsonga Disco is a modernised version of the traditional music of the Tsonga people, who live mainly in the north eastern part of South Africa and southern Mozambique. I first discovered it at the end of 2008 while on a visit to family in South Africa and was instantly captivated.

At the time I started 27 Leggies I only had two CDs of Tsonga Disco and even now I only have ten - it is not all that easy to find even in South Africa, or at least not in Cape Town - so I have had to dole it out fairly sparingly. We are going to have a bit of a splurge today but there won't be much more until I go out to Cape Town again at Easter, when I will try to stock up.

To see how things were going I conducted a primitive survey by going back through the files to identify the songs that have been most frequently downloaded. I am going to list the top ten - this is where the self-indulgence comes in - but was very pleased to see three Tsonga Disco numbers in there. There are plenty more "bubbling under" as they used to say on chart shows. There clearly is an audience for Tsonga Disco out there so in my own limited way I will keep on doing my bit to meet the demand (for as long as the supply holds up). If you like it, there are a few CDs available at the One World Cyber Music Store, along with many other South African delights.

Here are the top ten downloads. Apart from the Tsonga Disco and the inexplicable appearance of Merle Travis at number two it is all vintage soul. If you sit through this self-indulgence there is a reward at the other end.

1. Count The Days - Inez and Charlie Foxx
2. Fat Gal - Merle Travis
3. Matswele -Peta Teanet
4. Xitulu Xale Mahlwani - General Muzka
5. Do What You Gotta Do - The Four Tops
6. Nwayingane - Peta Teanet
7. Into The Mystic - Ben E King
8. Complication #4 - Arthur Conley
9. Please Don't Bring Him Back To Me - Sandra Phillips
10. It Hurts So Good - Katie Love

Your reward is eight previously unposted Tsonga Disco tracks, one from each of the artists in my collection. I hope you enjoy them.

"Mamana Wanga" - General Muzka

"Soft Drink" - Loaf Boy

"Taleta" - Madlaks

"Tsakane" - Paul Ndlovu

"Milandu Bhe" - Penny Penny

"King And General" - Penny Penny & General Muzka

"Biya" - Joe Shirimani

"Mi Rong" - Peta Teanet

The pickings on YouTube are slim for Tsonga Disco fans, but pickings there are. Here is a Penny Penny video, from a fair way back judging by how youthful he looks.


  1. I was happy like a baby in a toy shop when i came across your blog and all the files you shared. I'm a big fan of Tsonga Disco!!!

  2. Thanks for your kind words, Anonymous. That is why I do the blog, so good to know the word is spreading. I am running low on supplies so can't promise there will be regular supplies of Tsonga Disco in the future but I will do my best to get hold of new stuff to share

  3. more fyah .... more peta teanet pliz ...
    keep up the excellent work.....
    forward wiv tsonga disco
    fyah fyah

  4. indeed. thank you for this excellent work.

  5. Hi Guys . . . I'd like to sample this stuff is there anyway that some1 can transpose to midi . . . ???

    thanx . . .

  6. waw ernie, this is great and thanks for the uploads, enjoy it a lot!
    i was last december in SA and dug mainly for kwaito house and shangaan. check some mixtapes here:
    bram - dj leblanc