Some years ago, unbeknown to us, a visit by S J Khosa to Londolozi and the connection he felt to nature inspired him to compose a song called ‘Mahlori Ya Londolozi’. Little did we know that this humble gentleman was a prodigious composer who, during his lifetime, wrote and composed over 850 songs. Born in 1936, this “Mozart of Africa” passed away in 2012 causing Dr Reuel Khoza to suggest a collaboration between himself and Londolozi to pay tribute to this great composer, honour his passing and revive his musical artistry.

The award winning Shalati Joseph Khosa (SJ) lived primarily for music. A broad array of themes inspired his compositions. Culture and tradition provided him with an abundant range of songs to arrange and sparked new culture-based folk songs.

By collaborating with the Mkhuhlu chorale, we found an opportunity to preserve and promote South Africa’s precious musical heritage. These musical arrangements revere nature, extoll ancient folklore and mystery and are inspired by Africa’s people, scenery, wild animals and ecosystems, all of which can be found within Londolozi, the Limpopo Trans-Frontier Park and neighbouring community villages. The over-arching message of the music is the importance of harmony, humility, humanity, nature and the environment hence the theme song, called Mahlori ya Londolozi, derives its origins from the Nguni word meaning “to conserve”.

The lyrics of this song when translated mean:

I have seen the wonders at a game park, Londolozi
A game park which is also a nature conservation showpiece
Go and see for yourself the great deeds!
The accomplishments of nature conservation
Go and see for yourself: pristine exquisite camps
And nature conservation in abundant diversity

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SJ was also a keen lover of nature and a nature conservation enthusiast. As an artist he tended to see more in the fauna and flora they observed. Each excursion into a national park or game lodge inspired several songs with an animal motif or themed around the marvels of nature.

This collaboration has brought together the raw musical talent of the Mkhuhlu Chorale, the knowledge and deep understanding of culture and history of Dr Reuel Khoza, and the composing, arranging and musical production expertise of Mark Cheyne, powerfully backed by the Electric Pops Orchestra.  

mkhuhlu-chorale-web

The Mkhuhlu Chorale is a choir which was founded in 1984 in the Bushbuckridge, Mkhuhlu, Hazyview area of the Mpumalanga province of South Africa and represents also a socially inspired endeavour which has nurtured young talent directing them towards a full time career in music or media.  The choir regularly competes in music festivals across South Africa and has, on a number of occasions, won awards for their performances.

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In S J Khosa’s words “a true artist, worthy of the name is not necessarily like a demagogue – a political leader who wins support by making emotional speeches. It is the one who sees, hears, discerns and interprets things in a special way. He forms a mental image of things, he has the capacity to picture, visualise, envisage and translate images, events, incidents and situations into works of art.”

It has always been a belief that Londolozi should celebrate and promote the arts, culture and heritage of the Shangaan people who originate from this region and it is therefore, with great joy that we now proudly present to you, as our Christmas gift, Mahlori ya Londolozi …….fifteen of SJ Khosa’s finest songs, resonating and inspired from the open plains of Africa – a perfect Christmas gift to keep you connected to us until your next visit.

S J Khosa Mahlori Ya Londolozi Mkhuhlu Chorale and the Electric Pops Orchestra

Click on the album cover to view, purchase or gift the album in iTunes.

About the Author

Dave Varty

Co-Founder/Owner

Dave's story is too full and rich to tell in a brief blog bio. Suffice it to say that it is due to his passion, hard work and lifelong dedication to conservation that Londolozi is what it is today. One of the co-founders ...

More stories by Dave

3 Comments

on Mahlori Ya Londolozi – The Wonders of Conservation
    Rich Laburn says:

    Thanks for posting Dave, it is quite extraordinary to hear the orchestral compositions of his music with the Mkhuhlu Choir. Truly extraordinary how it manages to capture the feeling and essence of the wilderness.

    Amanda says:

    The idea of celebrating nature in all it’s many ways and iterations is a beautiful one. What a great idea, Dave. Thank you for sharing!

    Bonga says:

    This is a good thing Dave,because we as the community need to learn more about nature.You play a big role for the community by supporting the choir,because youth is motivated to participate on different activities that move youth from substance abuse and crime.SHAYA MKHUHLU CHORAL SHAYA.

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