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African Journal for Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance

(AJPHERD) Volume 20(2:1), June 2014, pp. 426-438.

Dinaka/kiba: A descriptive analysis of a Northern Sotho


song-dance performative compound
M.G. MAPAYA
University of Venda, Private Bag X5050, Thohoyandou 0950, South
Africa. E-mail: geoff.mapaya@univen.ac.za
(Received: 25 February 2014; Revision Accepted: 24 May 2014)

Abstract
A disjuncture in the description of dinaka/kiba persists between practitioners of the genre,
deemed custodians of Northern Sotho culture, and some scholars. Drawing from extensive
fieldwork and consultation of literature from established scholars, this article presents a
descriptive analysis of the dinaka/kiba song-dance performative compound. It does so by
looking into the constituent elements of the genre, particularly its attendant nomenclature,
instrument playing techniques and the technology used in instrument making. It was found that
by investing in unraveling the deep lying philosophical underpinnings, as well as gaining insight
into the functions of genre, chiefly embedded within the attendant indigenous languages
systems, a contextually sound and accurate description of the genre is possible. This article,
therefore, apart from challenging a few misrepresentations surrounding scholarly definitions,
seeks to provide a practitioner-informed, analytical and comprehensive definition of dinaka/kiba
as a song-dance performative compound.
Keywords: Indigenous music, African drumming, African performance, African
folklore, African dance.
How to cite this article:
Mapaya, M.G. (2014). Dinaka/kiba: A descriptive analysis of a Northern Sotho song -dance
performative compound. African Journal for Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance,
20(2:1), 426-438.

Introduction
The concept dinaka or kiba refers to a particular Northern Sotho musical genre.
The genre takes its name from either of its two main features; dinaka (reed pipes)
and kiba (the big pulse-keeping drum). Kiba is also known as sekgokolo (a round
object). The two nomenclatures are used interchangeably. Like most mmino wa
seto (indigenous African music) genres, dinaka is a song-dance performative
compound. It draws its character from live reed -pipe ensemble playing on the
one hand and meletse (dance choreography) on the other. The dinaka ensemble is
made up of mothaba (regiment of reed pipes) typically involving more than
twenty baleti (instrumentalists) who employ the hocket techniques (Nketia,
1962; Arom, 1976) to produce layers of harmony-like sounds. The performative
philosophy of dinaka could be likened to that of tshikona, a similar cultural
expression of Vhavenda (Mugovhani et al., 2013), or indlamu of amaZulu
(Ngema, 2006) or muchongolo of Vatsonga (Hlungwani, 2013). Rationalised

Dinaka/kiba: A descriptive analysis of a Northern Sotho song-dance 427

from the warrior tradition, dinaka, like tshikona, indlamu or muchongolo, is


also an expression of national virility.
Contrary to assertions by scholars who encountered the genre outside its original
space, which is urban setting, kiba is squarely a male song-dance performative
genre. At least two reasons could be cited to discount kiba as a female musical
genre. First, dinaka is based on Hanna (1977) and Mazrui (1977) who opine it as
being the warrior tradition. Northern Sotho women never took part in wars and
traditionally do not blow pipes. It is, however, common to find women playing
drums in a predominantly male dinaka ensemble. Secondly, scholars who ascribe
kiba to being a female genre clearly did not cross- reference with the male
practitioners who would have expressed the point that kiba is in fact a male
genre. Speaking from the perspective of mokangkanyane (a female song-dance
genre), Mamoleka (2011) a female practitioner of mmino wa seto for many
years asserts, basadi ba opela dinaka (women singing dinaka), implying that
the singing style of women is, in fact, an emulation of dinaka. This does not
mean that dinaka is a female genre, but that whatever women do musically,
emulates dinaka.
Dinaka is the blueprint of Northern Sotho indigenous music. It is sonic frame or
what Sekiba (2012), one of the elders in the tradition, refers to as motheo
(foundation), especially its tuning system (Mapaya, 2010). Molele (2003), also
an elder within the same tradition, asserts that dinaka is one of the oldest forms
of Northern Sotho musical practices. According to himand indeed, this opinion
is held by many other baleti (instrumentalists)almost all Northern Sotho
indigenous music genres are derivatives of dinaka. Furthermore, the influence
of dinaka, or at least its performative psychology, forms the basis of
acculturated church music, particularly the music of the African Independent
Churches (Rafapa, 2013).
Like most mmino wa seto (indigenous or traditional African music) genres,
dinaka has come to the purview of scholarship through non-musicological
encounters (Mapaya, 2013). The main (ethno) musicological literature on mmino
wa seto, therefore, has been authored by non-musicologists, with a few
exceptions. Even today, a substantial number of contributors to the literature on
mmino wa seto are not necessarily musicologists. Specifically to mmino wa
seto sa Basotho ba Leboa (indigenous music of the Northern Sotho ethnic
groups), literature includes contributions from scholars such as Debora James,
Annekie Joubert, Mogomme Masoga, Sello Galane, Edwin Lebaka and
Madimabe Mapaya. In their works, Mmino wa Seto: Songs of Town and
Country and the Experiences of Migrancy by Men and Women from the
Northern Transvaal (1993) and Memory Embroidered: Craft Art as Intermedial
Space of Expression (2009) James and Joubert respectively refer to mmino wa
seto in broader terms. In these instances, the concept is utilised as a vehicle to

428 Mapaya
facilitate the understanding of other primary subject matters located within
different disciplines. Whereas James anthropological approach focused on
how the migrant labour system affects the women of the Northern Transvaal,
Jouberts study focused on the mural arts. These particular authors encountered
mmino wa seto from an anthropological and visual arts perspectives.
Interestingly, scholars such as Galane (2003) and Masoga (2006), having
grown up in township environments and having totally ignored the opinions of
men in their studies, have formulated their opinions inconsistent with those of
the practitioners. Sadly, ignorance to these facts has led to misrepresentation of
the musicological and cultural facts. Other scholars, with little cultural
background, are bound to be sold to the notion that kiba is a genre for migrant
females. Far from it; kiba is a male song-dance genre. Its female version is
either called mokankanyane, koa ya dikhuru, leboa, sakgapa or mmapadi.
It is, however, in the latter category of scholars that the study of mmino wa seto
seems to have begun to take a new form. Lebakas 2001 article, The Ritual Use
of Music in Indigenous African Religion: A Pedi Perspective; Galanes (2003) A
Critical Analysis of the Kiba (song-dance-drama) Discourse; Masogas (2006)
Maila-go-fenywa, Rangwato Magoro and Mmino wa Koa: Some Perspectives
on Theory and Practice, and Mapayas (2013) Investigating Mmino wa seto
(Indigenous African Music) as Practised by Basotho ba Leboa in Limpopo
Province, South Africa: Towards Ordinary African Musicology all represent the
dawn of what, following Mkandawires (1995) analysis, could be viewed as the
fourth generation of African scholars. Accordingly, these scholars bring to the
discourse what Nzewi (1997: 17) refers to as the perspectives of the culture
exponents. Whereas Galanes 2003 work was primarily a discourse analysis of
the kiba phenomenon or genre, Masogas was purely a presentation of his
interview with one culture bearer. Mapayas 2013 PhD thesis, on the other hand,
is purely an interrogation of the efficacy of disciplines and/or methodologies
associated with the study of mmino wa seto.
Significantly though, none of these authors has studied mmino wa seto for what
it is, or as an entity, and along the canonical musicological prescripts. To the
question as to whether this proposition is necessary in the first place, the answer
is an emphatic yes. This should be done with the clearest of intentions to take
into account the cultural practitioners perspective and ideations. By so doing, a
new paradigm or mode of inquiry, which could be coined African Oral
Musicology (Masoga, 2006) or African Ordinary Musicology (Mapaya, 2013),
would be engendered.
Since mmino wa seto is an overarching system, this article, in the main, focuses on
one constituent genre; that is, dinaka. An attempt is hereby made to proffer a
comprehensive descriptive analysis. Suffice to say that a typical dinaka ensemble is
made up of what could be designated as the drum section, and a reed (pipe)

Dinaka/kiba: A descriptive analysis of a Northern Sotho song-dance 429

section. Although singing occasionally occurs, the reed and drum playing
form the most prominent features.
Descriptive analysis of dinaka
Drum section
The drum section is made up of four drums: a big and low sounding drum namely
kiba, kaedio (also known as phoesene or poison in English), which is a mediumsized drum accentuating or correlating with meletse (dance patterns or
choreography), and a pair of dithopana (also known as matidikwane or ditudutudu),
which is a pair of two tiny drums, one pitched higher than the other.

Technical description of the kiba drum


Kiba is unique in terms of how it is played, its technological design and its
function within the ensemble. Firstly, kiba is played using a hand-held beater in
one hand. Other kiba players, especially novices, use the other hand to tacitly tap
the counterbalancing beat, which, together with the sounded one makes for a
balanced musical unit. This technique enables a kiba player to maintain a steady
pulsea feat which could be challenging for a novice once all the parts start
playing simultaneously. The beater is usually a thick pipe made of rubber . The
person playing kiba has to be consistent and focused, lest the interlocking effect
desired for performative incentive(s) will not be achieved. With kibas role of
maintaining a steady pulse throughout the performance, the uninitiated is likely
to get bored and then lose concentration. Maintaining a steady pulse and high
levels of concentration, therefore, constitute a precondition for successful
ensemble performances. As Molatelo Mapaya (2012) a member of the
Tembisa-based dinaka ensemble, Butterfly, points out that if the beat is not
steady, dinaka di ka se lele! (with a faulty kiba, dinaka performance would be
a nonstarter!).
Kiba provides constant beat commonly in four (r) or three (Q) pulse measures. In
complex renditions, a regular rhythmic pattern resulting from this constant beat
yields an ostinato effect. Yet, perceived in isolation, playing kiba could be
mistaken to be relatively easy. Molatelo Mapaya (2012) musicologises:
Kiba ga e a swanelwa go wela godimo ga dithopana! (Kiba must never fall on
top of dithopana!), meaning, the strokes of kiba should never coincide with
those of dithopana. Goseng bjale dinaka di ka se lele. (Otherwise, dinaka
performance will be a nonstarter).
Conclusively, kiba is indispensable within genres of mmino wa seto, especially
dinaka and mokankanyane. So important is its function that the genre takes its

430 Mapaya
name (kiba) as one of the established nomenclatures. Yet, to the uninitiated,
the function of kiba could be seen as merely that of providing the beat. The
role of kiba establishes musical reference points. Poor performance in this
aspect renders the entire performance insufferable.
Traditionally, the cylinder of kiba was carved out of a big tree trunk. But today,
with the scarcity of the suitable kinds of wood and skillful carvers, the oil barrel
serves as a reasonable substitute (Mapaya, 2013). A hide, especially from the
back of the cow (the term is used in reference to both male and female beasts) is
mended and softened using fat usually from the same cow. Later, it is stretched
over the barrel, and fastened to place using straps made from the same hide,
secured on the barrel by wooden spoke-like pegs. From then on, as Mmatjee
(2012) relates, the hide is treated with fat to prevent cracking. Prior to
performances, kiba and all other drums are warmed up either by putting them
heads facing the blistering sun or fire in order to, once again, soften the drum
skins before performance. Failure to warm the drums adequately would result in
bad sound, and the skin may tear easily. Although not specific to kiba or dinaka
drums, the quotation below could serve to accentuate the scientific knowledge
involved in the making of the drum:
Skin that has blood in the veins is known to be the best for building drums
because it is stronger and alive, and thereby produces healthier sonic
vibrations that soothe brain and body tissues. When blood has drained away from
the veins in the skin, as in the case of an animal caught in a trap overnight, some
decay may have set in, and the skin will be weak in material as well as sonic
health. Such skin breaks more easily in performance. A drum made with inferior
skin is easily recognized because the skin surface is usually flat and white, while
the veins or patches of blood would be visible when a live skin is used to build
a quality drum (Nzewi & Nzewi, 2007:2).
In any given village in gaMaleboho, there are men who are known as baogi ba
mekgopa (tanners of hides). In some instances, ba bapodi ba meropa (makers
of the drums) may also be baogi ba mekgopa.
Technical description of the kaedio drum
Kaedio (also known as phoesene), is the medium sized drum (the biggest being
kiba and the smallest dithopana). Kaedio is the epicentre of the performance of
the drum section in the sense that, other than accentuating dance patterns it also
creates the greatest sense of tension and release an aesthetics feature desired in
any musical performance. By deviating from dance patterns, and pausing or
providing double-timed-pianissimo-rhythmic interjections, for instance, the
mother drummer playing kaedio becomes a marvel to watch. Oftentimes these
mother drummers would be wearing white gloves or would have tied white

Dinaka/kiba: A descriptive analysis of a Northern Sotho song-dance 431

handkerchiefs around their wrists. Apart from providing some relief from pain
resulting from hitting hard on the drumhead, these items also add to the visual
aesthetics by accentuating motion in the mother drummers performance.

The drummer responsible for kaedio is usually the most talented and the most
versatile. Such a drummer, besides possessing a highly cultivated rhythmic
sensibility, must have knowledge of a great body of meletse (dance patterns),
along with individual ensemble members dance styles. Most of baleti,
especially when they are expected go tshedia (to lead the dance routine) or
perform a solo improvisation, have their personal preferences when it comes to
the drummer who plays kaedio. When asked who the best kaedio drummers are
in gaMamoleka, Mmanakedi Mamoleka (2011), without doubt, mentions
MmaMoropo who in the performance lexicon is nicknamed Shabara
(acculturation of the term for Shower), and MmaTanka Molele.
Kaedio is the only drum in mmino wa seto that is beaten or played by hand. As
such, it has a greater dynamic range. The performer sits astride the kaedio
drum, elevated enough to achieve a slight over 90 degrees angle on both arms.
This position enables the drummer to have access to the centre of the drum as
well as the rim. The strokes adjacent to the centre of the drum are louder than the
strokes towards the rim, and are of a varied tonal timbre. Often a rhythmic
passage is closed by double-hands ghost strokes or mutes played in such a way
that it creates the flam effect. Sonically, kaedio is the loudest and probably the
one drum that defines the sound of the group. Essentially, the function of
kaedio is to marry meletse and koa (song) in a multidimensional manner;
kaedio establishes a song defining rhythmic groove, its intervention in
performance creates a sense of breathing, and its sound accentuates dance
movements thereby amplifying, so to speak, the act of dancing.
Traditionally, kaedio, like all drums, was carved out of a log of a tree. Today,
with the scarcity of trees, and responsiveness to environmental factors, the
technology of musical instruments has metamorphosed such that modern
materials substitute organic ones. A brief anecdote goes that kaedio has taken
the name phoesene from a dynamite container obtainable from a chemical
factory in Modderfontein near Isando, Kempton Park, Gauteng province, South
Africa. The toughness of the dynamite container, and how it is sealed, makes for
an ideal kaedio resonator. Motlato Mapaya (2010) points out that whenever
they got hold of an empty dynamite container, they would be reminded of the
poisonous element it used to contain. As they handled the container to attach the
skin to its cylinder head, they would always remind one another that they were
dealing with poison; hence the name phoesene (poison). Phrases like; o
tlhokomele re oma ka phoesene felo fa! (be careful we are dealing with poison
here!), went on to mean that they were dealing with the making of kaedio in a
poisonous environment. Eventually the term kaedio became associated with the

432 Mapaya
concept of poison. Another account from Motlato Mapaya (2010) is that
kaedio, in the hands of sekgwari (a person of exceptional skills), normally sends
baleti into frenzy. In the mist of dancing, such baleti may somersault,
sometimes hitting the ground with their heads as if they were poisoned. Such is
the effect of kaedio.
Nonetheless, the dynamite container replaces a wood cylinder that would have
been carved out of a big tree trunk. And this securely sealed replacement
material produces the requisite resonance. A cowhide is stretched over the drum
cylinder, and is fastened in place using a string made out of the hide, fastened in
place by using wooden spokes that keep the hide securely stretched over the
drum cylinder. Kaedio is played by the most versatile of drummers within an
ensemble. Its importance is that it weaves together the singing/blowing and
dancing. Also, it accentuates body gestures and enhances the rhythmic
dexterities of bathedisi (solo dance improvisers).
Technical description of the dithopana drum
Dithopana are two small drums, one smaller than the other. Dithopana are tuned
one higher than the other, and produce the high-low tone configuration. The two
drums are perceived as one sub-unit, as they are played by a single person. This
sub-unit of dithopana is coupled with kiba to form a perceptible unit. The
placement of dithopana pattern is always complementary to kiba, and as such,
the two never coincide on any given beat. To achieve this level of interlocking
sensibility, the drummer responsible for dithopana and the one for kiba should
master the highest level of concentration and rhythmic acuity as nothing less is
expected.
Dithopanas function is to lock the performance to hypnotic levels. Two
standard patterns exist with the most prominent mnemonic representation being
ditaola ka piteng, ditapola ka piteng, ditaola ka piteng, ditapola ka piteng.
Normatively the basic rhythmic pattern remains constant, with occasional
deviance to break the monotony. Dithopana are perhaps the defining feature that
listeners discern as a characteristic of the drum section of mmino wa seto, while
kaedio, apart from its tone representing a particular ensemble, rhythmically
defines particular koa or song/dance.
Before the depletion of vegetation, dithopana were also carved out of tree trunks.
Today, they are commonly made out of steel milk cans, known as diromkane.
Diromkane are made out of hard steel, and therefore suitable as substitutes for
traditional wood carved sonorities. Over time they have come to produce a distinct
resonance associated with dithopana. The rest of the technology, that is, the
skinning and tuning process, is similar in all dinaka drums.

Dinaka/kiba: A descriptive analysis of a Northern Sotho song-dance 433

Reed (pen-pipe) section


The next section deals with the dinaka as in reed pipes. Motlato Mapaya (2010)
an elder in the tradition, founder and a leader of New Stand dinaka
ensemble based in Makgari village, speaks of motheo wa dinaka (tuning
system of dinaka) conforming to the physical arrangement in terms of size and
pitch. Resulting from his demonstration, it seems Basotho ba Leboa largely
make use of a minor pentatonic scale. Because one naka (singular form of
dinaka) produces only one note, it therefore requires several dinaka tuned and
arranged in such a way that when played one after the other, they produce a
scale. For a melodic effect, baleti employ the hocket technic. Because each
naka produces only one sound (one note), it takes several dinaka to produce a
number of notes (and therefore a melody). It takes a definite arrangement of
dinaka to construct a scale. In other words, placement of each naka should be
relationally correct for a melodic effect to be achieved.
Apart from attention to tone production, moleti wa naka (the performer or
player of naka) has no intervals to worry about. Of importance is the fact that
each note represents an individual living person who responds to musical
occurrences around him; dance routines, drumming cues, and note instances in
relation to the lingering melody. Accordingly, moleti wa nakas concentration
is expected to be high when it comes to note placement and rhythmic execution,
which may not necessarily be restricted to the note itself, but also have
implications to the dance routine as well. When several baleti perform their
differently pitched dinaka, thereby executing different rhythmic patterns, a kind
of polyphony is created through the hocket technique.
In Northern Sotho tradition the note phalola represents what could be understood
as the root note. Additionally, phalola functions both as the starting note for
many a song, and as a referential point in tonal arrangement. From its position
proceeding to the left the pitches get smaller and higher the further they are
situated (in relation to it). On its right the pitches progressively get bigger or
lower; much the way middle C could be seen as a transitory note from the bass to
treble clef and vice versa. Contrary to the middle C, however, to phalolas right
the pitch becomes lower, and on its left, becomes higher. A complete set of
dinaka is seven. The concept mothaba is slightly different from an octave.
Without fail, baleti opines that dinaka di upa (the number of dinaka is seven).
In essence, there are only five notes that repeat themselves at an octave. But the
question of seven notes accommodates the lower octave of phalola, often
sounded simultaneously with phalolana (higher octave of its derivative) and
kgomo (the cow, which is also the lower octave of the calf kgongwana). This
means therefore that in dinaka phalola and kgomo, in whatever range, may be
doubled and are often played simultaneously. Molatelo Mapaya (2012), in
explicating this point, asserts that in most instances, when dinaka performance

434 Mapaya
has to start before enough baleti have taken their place within mothaba, the
higher version or octaves of either phalolana or kgongwana or both, may be
sacrificed without losing the tonal sense of the system; thus leaving us with
a five-tone scale.
Two levels account for the texture of dinaka as a wind section. First, the two
notes, which are supposedly having an octave relationship, may be out of phase
in terms of frequencies, resulting in the two notes being a microtone, semitone or
even a tone off the mark. This tolerance is a precursor to jazz harmony, which
enlists extensions such as the 9th, 11th and 13th tones, as well as their
alterations; $9, and $13, particularly on the dominant seventh chord. This
situation also explains the lush sonority that is associated with dinaka and
tshikona.
Although most African ethnic groups, for instance, the Yorb of Nigeria as
Welch (1985:157) observes, use the concept of 'high', 'medium' and 'low' when
describing pitch, Basotho ba Leboa perceive pitch in three ways. Pitch may be
perceived in terms of size, position and/or function and some other discrete
logic. Following are the three ways of perceiving pitch:
Pitch is related to size; the lower the pitch, the bigger the sound. Size comes
in three degrees big, bigger, and biggest, analogously viewed or named in
terms of kgongwana (small cow), kgomo (cow) and mmamogolo wa kgomo
(the biggest cow). kgongwana denoting pitch becomes kgomo at a lower
octave, and mmamolowa kgomo two octaves further down.
Names denoting function or succession of notes include phalola (the starter).
The octaves are also distinguished in terms of size. For example, a phalola
placed on a higher octave is regarded smaller and therefore referred to as
phalolana (small phalola). Logically phalola e kgolo (big phalola) would
refer to the same note or pitch, which is but an octave lower. Similarly
tateledi, which means the follower, could become tateledi e kgolo (big
tateledi), and so forth. Tateledi follows phalola in the scalar sequence.
There are notes that use logic other than size and function. In this category,
we have sereku and fefera. So far no one has been able to explain the
nomenclature of the two pitches, except expressing knowledge of their
placement within the scalar system.
The notes have specific names representing position, size or function.
However, we may not expect the tuning to conform to the 440 kHz tuning
principle since Northern Sotho tuning is not tempered. Different groups
within the same region may sound flat or sharp. The seven-pitch configuration
or group is known as mothaba and is considered standard.

Dinaka/kiba: A descriptive analysis of a Northern Sotho song-dance 435

Elements of visual arts and drama in dinaka


The elements of visual art and drama feature significantly in dinaka. Whereas
most traditions in the western part of Africa traditionally use masks to dramatise
performance, Basotho ba Leboa, and most African ethnic groups in the southern
part of the African continent, may utilise face painting (Krige, 1968; Agak, 2005;
Matobo, Makatsa & Obioha, 2009; Thobejane, 2010), with the most conspicuous
of the art attributable to amaXhosa in South Africa. Basotho ba Leboas tshumu
a permanent decorative face mark or tattoo traditionally worn by women
has virtually gone extinct. For some considerable period excessive use of red
lipstick has been prevalent. But this practice is also fading out.
The adoption of the Scottish kilt as an element of drama has been a feature in
dinaka group performances, particularly those from gaSekhukhune in the eastern
part of the Limpopo province. Interestingly, there is no Scottish tinge in the
music and yet the affinity with the kilt is commonplace. Legend has it that during
the war with the British, Northern Sotho people, Bapedi to be precise, were
lulled by the British into relaxing. Seeing the British army in kilts, it is believed,
they became reluctant to fight them, thinking that they were women (James,
1999, 2010). For this error in judgement, they were massacred. Despite the
defeat, the utilisation of the kilt had become a mocking reminder of the
trickery of the British. Other than that, go penkologa (a hips-moving dance
that vigorously swings the kilt up to a point that the undergarment (usually a
petticoat for women), provides for an element of humour and drama.
In addition to the visual aspect of costume and painting, some performers wear
an assortment of headgear such as tennis caps, baseball caps, ostrich feathers and
other decorative items to add colour to dinaka performance. Drama may also be
achieved by wearing police-like outfit, items, and/or other soft- war
paraphernalia such as knobkerries during performances. The use of props has, in
the past, been used to celebrate successes of hunting expeditions and victories of
war (Sekiba, 2005). On their way back home, hunters would brandish the skin or
the head of the beast they had killed as a way of sharing their victories with the
community. As a sign of bravery, an African hunter would don the skin of the
beast he had killed; hence, all magoi (African Kings) are generally referred to as
maaparankwe (the brave ones who don the leopard skin). Wearing these items
signifies the symbolic, spiritual and/or physical triumphs over the powers they
represent. Dinaka, therefore, is a heroic discourse celebrating the glorious past
of independent chiefs with an ethos of modern soldierly behaviour deriving from
experiences of World War II (James, 1994:88-9). Philosophically, koa e botse
ka diala (a performance of mmino wa seto is much more splendid with the
addition of decorative items of attire and props. The decorative items of attire
and props inject a dose of drama and visual art into performances, thereby

436 Mapaya
providing talking points long after the performance shall have ended.
Generally performances of dinaka are celebrations of virility.
Conclusion
This article proffered a description of dinaka (also known as kiba). The fact that
this is traditionally a male genre needed to be emphasised in order to curb
scholarly misrepresentation of a cultural phenomenon. Furthermore, the genre
was broken into its two broad constituent elements; the pipe blowing section and
the drumming section. Then the two sections were dissected along three
functions; description of the elements, the playing techniques involved and a
commentary on the technology of instruments as they obtain today. Lastly the
article ended by locating visual arts and drama within the performative culture
of dinaka.
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NOTES:
a

Mmino wa seto denotes an elaborate musical phenomenon that forms or patterns itself in the
minds of a particular people (Mapaya, 2013:1). A particular people may refer to any
traditional society. But in the context of this paper, it refers to the Northern Sotho people.
a
Kaedio is known as phoesene. The name phoesene is taken from a dynamite container
obtainable from a chemical factory in Modderfontein near Isando, Kempton Park, Gauteng
province, South Africa. The toughness of the dynamite container, and how it is sealed, makes
for an ideal kaedio resonator. Motlato Mapaya (2010) points out that whenever they got hold
of the dynamite container, they would be reminded of the poisonous element they were dealing
with as they attach the skin to the cylinder head, hence the name phoesene (poison). Phrases
like o tlhokomele re oma ka phoesene mo! (be careful we are dealing with poison here!) went
on to mean that they were dealing with the making of kaedio in a poisonous environment or
situation. Eventually the term kaedio became associated with the poison.
a
Most drummers interviewed did not seem to know what technology was used prior to the
adaptation of the rubber beater.
a
The concept mother drummer in African musicological discourse replaces the concept master
drummer and has no reference to gender, but to performance prowess (Nzewi & Nzewi, 2007:
Anyahuru & Ohiaraumunna, 2009)
a
Go tshedia refers to a moment when an individual performer leads the dance routine from
the centre of the ensemble. Any dancer may volunteer to perform this task based one his
preferred tune or the audience may buy him, and thus command him to perform the role,
usually in appreciation of his prowess.