Hambani Kakuhle Kwela (Score & Parts)-WW5
Composer: Steltzner, Becky
Publisher: International Opus
A South African Pennywhistle Tune
for woodwind quintet
by Becky Steltzner- American born clarinet player
Kwela is a popular music style of Southern Africa. The word itself is Zulu, so its origins could be said to be from the country of South Africa. Although originally used in reference to vocal music, it was used in the 1950s to refer to bands of young boys playing pennywhistles in the townships. They were familiar with American swing, and in Johannesburg, the style was also called, "jive".
Hambani kakuhle means go well in the Xhosa language. It is used instead of goodbye, because the African languages in this region literally don't have a word for goodbye, which says something about the culture. Hamba is the singular of the verb, and Hambani, the plural, which addresses a group of people, making this kwela an appropriate way to end a program.