Mma Tseleng


Interested in the nostalgic meaning of music, rather than the trendy, Mma Tseleng (Rangoato Hlasane) sees music as a marker of time. His sets are always themed, from tributes to period-pieces, remixes to lost love. Mma Tseleng is interested in the dialogue that artists initiate between their audiences and peers.

Of particular interest to Mma Tseleng is Kwaito, a South African electronic dance genre that emerged circa 1994. The period between 1994 and 2004 is defined by innovative, prolific production by young, mostly black youth. Combining elements of Chicago house, hip-hop, South African disco and bubblegum, as well as R&B, soul, mbanqanga, drum & bass and ragga, the Kwaito genre expressed vibrant, critical and street smart youth perspectives post-liberation struggle. The same period was also marked by a desire to move away from the label of Kwaito. Earlier attempts includes Kalawa Jazmee’s Digong and Gong, a result of a collaboration between Lindelani Mkhize and Joe Nina. The last notable attempt was TKZee Family’s Guz, between 1998 and 2001.

Mma Tseleng considers this particular era in Kwaito an important cultural contribution that dwarves many other cultural outputs of South Africa. As an accessible medium that bangs from bedrooms to taxi ranks, street bashes to ANC rallies, Kwaito manifested all what freedom aspires to. From freedom of speech to economic emancipation, Kwaito was the bastard-child the community loved to hate. A spit at many injustices and contradictions of a new society, Kwaito irritated many (including two-faced music industry executives) but its creators and audiences. Today, gogos and the presidents shake to the sound they used to label vulgar and monotonous. Mma Tseleng’s projects go beyond the celebration of '94-'04 Kwaito and seek to historicise Kwaito’s significance.


Track artwork
Mma Tseleng
Before the feeling (for Mohu Lebo)
ZAJohannesburg, South Africa


Rangoato Hlasane
Profile added by Music In Africa Foundation on 10 Feb 2015