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Associate Professors

Dizu Plaatjies

African Music Performance

Traditional music artist and cultural historian Dizu Zungula Mzikantu Plaatjies was born in Lusikisiki in Mpondoland and, as a child, showed an aptitude for depicting traditional ways. His father, Dr Shadrack Plaatjies, was instrumental in developing his son’s artistic needs. As a traditional doctor he made it a point that his children were present to witness every occasion and, when the time came, to participate physically in traditional ceremonies.

Since the formation of his group Amampondo he has travelled world-wide, sharing his cultural exchange ideas with great success. In 1997, after Amampondo’s international tour Dizu returned to South Africa and began lecturing African dance and music at UCT. He and his group visited Sweden and Norway in 1998 by invitation of the governments to conduct traditional music sessions in educational institutions in their countries. He has been encouraged by great artists and internationally acclaimed people from all walks of life, among others: Evangelisto Muyanda the great composer of the Bugandan tribe in Uganda, the Austrian Dr Gehard Kubik, transcriber of Ugandan music who specialises in Amadinda xylophone, and the great Cuban drummer Changuito.

Dizu regards his work in communities, educational institutions and with many visiting scholars, as a challenge to the present and future government to respect and conserve the traditional heritage of the people; to see the world through the eyes of the people.