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In this podcast series, musician and musicologist Cara Stacey interviews leading indigenous music specialists from across southern Africa about their beginnings, their praxis, and the highs and lows of working in indigenous musics.

Lungiswa Plaatjies

Lungiswa Plaatjies or Lulu as her friends call her, was born in 1973 in Cape Town, Langa, where her grandfather was the traditional healer. It was he who encouraged her to develop her talents, teaching her to sing and dance. Music was an integral part of her childhood and family life. At the tender age of seven, she joined her uncle Dizu Plaatjies’ famous group Amampondo, giving her invaluable musical inspiration and experience. With that ensemble, she recorded their first album at the age of ten called ‘Uyandibza’ which soon became a big seller all over the world. Whilst she was attending school, she became a member of both the school and the church choir, which she attended with her grandfather while the group was on tour.


Since this early start, Lungiswa has gone on to tour the world and collaborate with many southern African and other musicians. She performs regularly as a solo artist and with her new ensemble ‘Ancient Voices’.