Stimela

Bio

Considered by many to be the greatest South African band of all time, Stimela was formed by guitarist Ray ‘Chikapa’ Phiri, Isaac Mtshali, Lloyd Lelosa and Jabu Sibumbe. All had initially been in the Cannibals, the backing band for popular '70s soul star Jacob ´Mpharanyana´ Radebe, who passed away in 1978. They changed their name to Stimela (steam train) after finding themselves stranded in Maputo, Mozambique, eventually returning by train.

Numerous line-up changes followed, with musicians such as Charlie Ndlovu, Nana 'Coyote' Motijoane, Thapelo Khomo and Ntokozo Zungu also playing a major part in the band over the years, as well as many others.

During the 1980s, 'the People’s Band' released big-selling albums still regarded as classics. These include 'Fire, Passion and Ecstasy' (1982), 'Shadows, Fear and Pain' (1985) and 'Trouble In the Land of Plenty' (1989). Phiri and others also featured on Paul Simon's Grammy-winning Graceland album. The band’s sound drew on influences range from traditional African music to Afrobeat, funk and jazz, complemented by Phiri's sophisticated lyrics that often confronted apartheid repression. The band split in the early '90s, reemerging occasionally to record.

Phiri died on 12 July 2017, after losing his battle with lung cancer.

Music

Track artwork
Stimela
Stimela - Life's a Circus
06:16
SoundCloud
Like
175
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Stimela
Stimela - Chef!
05:36
SoundCloud
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188
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Stimela
Stimela - What do you want?
05:42
SoundCloud
Like
197
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Stimela
Stimela - 22nd Flamingo Street
04:25
SoundCloud
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228
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Stimela
Stimela - its all over
05:18
SoundCloud
Like
197
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Stimela
Stimela - Mangaung Energy
05:46
SoundCloud
Like
179
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Stimela
Stimela - Journey
06:15
SoundCloud
Like
172
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Stimela
Stimela- Holy soul
04:31
SoundCloud
Like
193
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Stimela
Stimela - African Affair
05:36
SoundCloud
Like
198
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Stimela
Stimela - Mountains
04:58
SoundCloud
Like
197
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Stimela
Stimela - Prisoners of Strange
04:07
SoundCloud
Like
189
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Stimela
Stimela - Turn on the Sun
05:22
SoundCloud
Like
260
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Stimela
Stimela-Dance for me
06:31
SoundCloud
Like
183
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Stimela
Stimela - Its cold outside
04:00
SoundCloud
Like
1014

Photos

ZANelspruit, South Africa
In operation since: 
1970

Contact

Tumi Mokwena
Profile added by DJ Okapi on 27 May 2014
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28 June - 01 July 2021