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Meintjes, Louise. 2003. Sound of Africa!: Making Music Zulu in a South African Studio.

Pyper, Brett

In the early 1990s, when Louise Meintjes conducted the bulk of the research on which Sound of Africa!: Making Music Zulu in a South African Studio is based, Zulu ethnicity was being celebrated on the world's stages at the same time that it was being bitterly contested at home. In the wake of Paul Simon's Graceland collaborations, accomplished studio musicians and ethnically identified groups like Ladysmith Black Mambazo gained access to the burgeoning world music market. At the same time, however, a violent upsurge of Zulu ethnic nationalism threatened the negotiated transition from white minority rule to nonracial democratic elections. This violence, which jeopardized the transition process from Nelson Mandela's release in 1990 until the eve of South Africa's historic 1994 elections, was a manifestation of the apartheid state's reification and manipulation of African ethnicity as a divide-and-rule strategy.

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Columbia University
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October 16, 2015