Bzwanyubz Tribe
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Bzwanyubz Tribe

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The best kept secret in music


There is a tribe, complete with king and queen, which is dedicated to uplifting our spirits and affirming our African identity.
This is the Bzwanyubz Tribe. The driving force behind Bzwanyubz is the king, Sebone “Dzorobzarabza” Rangata, while at his side is his queen, Ayanda Nhlangothi. Their royal weapon is indigenous music, and they even have their own language, called “Sbzorobza”.
“Our aim is to promote indigenous instruments and music. The youth today don’t know about such instruments, so we are trying to make them visible and make them heard,” explained Sebone.
<!--[endif]-->Most of the members of the Bzwanyubz Tribe, which means “humble tribe”, are teachers at Amajika. This organization was formed to help the youth after the events of June 16, 1976, and is part of Tu Nokwe’s Creative Development Foundation.
The teachers are also a research team, learning the history of traditional instruments like the marimba and the Umakhwenyana, a musical bow with a calabash for resonance.
“These instruments came from our great-great-grandfathers. They must be played with love and respect. You must speak to your ancestors before you play them, to ask for their love and protection,” said Ayanda.
Amajika (Zulu for “change”) gives youths direction, provides them with a solid spirituality, and creates balanced, organized artists who know how to manage their own careers.
Sebone grew up in Botlokwa, near Polokwane in Limpopo, where he learned to play the Pedi bass drum or Koma along with the Dinaka, a wind instrument.
“My roots were formed in a rural village, where we swam in muddy rivers and climbed mountains,” he said. Instead of taking soccer at school, he chose drama. The country boy studied music at the Mothers of the Rainbow institute in Paris, but his career really took off when the Drum Café called him to work on their Drumstruck musical production.
“With Drumstruck, I toured New York, Beijing, Viet Nam, Australia and Shanghai. I also spent a year working at the Dodgers Stages, off Broadway,” said Sebone.
He met Ayanda at the African Cultural Centre in Newtown, Joburg, where they took part in workshops, carnivals and music lessons. They formed the Bzwanyubz Tribe, which has been going for about four years. The tribe, which is more of a concept or collaboration than a band, is based in Belgravia, at one of the 28 Amajika branches countrywide. Classes are on Saturdays.
Bzwanyubz plays at parties and shows like Green Africa. So far only three of their tracks have been recorded, on a Drum Café CD called Mama.
Sebone’s message to young artists is: “I want to encourage you, the youth, to stand up and believe in your own creativity. You can take the lead yourselves – you don’t need a boss from America or overseas to lead you.” Phone Sebone at 083 457 4200, Amajika at 011-614-8802 or
- Derek Davey





brand that promotes African indigenous instrument, arts and heritage through music, poetry & storytelling. Originally, it started of as a band that performs and records African music. It was founded by Sebone Rangata from the Limpopo Province. He is popularly known as ‘Dzorobzarabza’- the King of the BZWANYUBZ TRIBE. The Bzwanyubz Tribe name is unique, tribal, and catchy. A few years ago, there was a need for a street lingo that signified freedom, assertiveness and pride. The township youngsters believed that if you spoke with the American accent, you were superior to the rest therefore, Sebone ‘Dzorobzarabza’, created the SBZOROBZA lingo which immediately became popular. More and more people where opening up to this idea of free expression in the new lingo. As a result, many people in the Gheddo (Townships) can now bzabza (speak) the lingo. ‘As different as we all are, music is our meeting place where we can enjoy what each individual has to offer’, that is why the BZWANYUBZ TRIBE collaborates with various bands and musicians.. The very spiritual but catchy songs of the tribe are compositions by the king himself, ‘Dzorobzarabza’ and have a deep pedi influence. Some of his compositions, ‘Africa Haye’ & ‘Babuyile Bomma’ were released internationally in the Drumcafe compilation album that also featured Wendy Oldfield. The king has been touring with Drumcafe for over 10 years and his involvement with them moved him to look deeper into his culture and musical abilities.
In 2006, the BZWANYUBZ TRIBE joined the Nokwe Creative Development Foundation (NCDF) that houses a number of grassroots community arts projects which have been developed in stages; from amateur to semi-professional up to professional levels. The first level of development, Amajika Youth and Children Arts, was founded in 1976 during the Soweto uprisings. Dzorobzarabza entered NCDF at the second level of mentorship and skills transfer as a volunteer for Amajika. He also joined a research team for indigenous instruments (Umakhweyana, Storotoro and others) - a program that was supported by the U.S. Ambassador’s fund for cultural preservation in 2005-2007.

The music of the BZWANYUBZ TRIBE is light hearted, fresh and rhythmic with melodious intricate harmonies. This tribe has a bright future and is the first indigenous band to be influential to the young generation. It is passionate about the restoration of our ancient wisdom through song, poetry and storytelling. The BZWANYUBZ TRIBE is here to spread the message of humility and the spirit of togetherness, as the Zulu saying goes: ‘Injobo enhle ithungelwa ebandla‘- meaning ‘in working together and sharing ideas joyously, we can make beautiful things’.