1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

Just another music list

Tonkana – Vusi Mahlasela

Tonkana – Vusi Mahlasela

When You Come Back - Vusi Mahlasela

When You Come Back - Vusi Mahlasela

The reason why Vusi Mahlasela is known as ‘The Voice’, listen to any of his music, but in particular to Tonkana and you’ll find out why. Its fragile beauty is mesmerising and, a bit like Cee-Lo Green, completely at adds with the big frame that is coming from. Perhaps we have got it wrong, angels are not handsome white men, but large black men, for surely this is the voice of an angel.

Tonkana was used for the VW Polo advert in 2002, I am sure, did wonders for the sale of the vehicle. The instrumentation is simple, an understated guitar and a flute, letting The Voice do most of the work and weave its magic into the fabric of the song. Goats bleating and cows mooing towards the end of the song lend it a sense of openness as you feel yourself walking across a great veldt with a herd boy.

Then the song slowly fades to a whisper and disappears, leaving you feeling like you have lost a good friend.

Where to find it:

When You Come Back – Vusi Mahlasela (1998) Shifty/BMG,CDSHIFT50

Lyrics:

Tonkana

Tsatsi lehlabile
Efeela le re apeetse potsa ka ge re tsebe gore
Le re swaretse dife lehono
Mokgaetse ke ola o rwele nkgwana
O setse a etswa nokeng
Bulelang kgomo
Tseo tsa ditswe sakeng
Lebadisi ba bjang nab a senang pelo hlomogi?
Dibuleleng difule bjang bjola bjo bo talana

(chorus)
Di tlo lethula ka dinaka mohlang ditswa sakeng
Di tlo lethula ka dinaka mohlang ditswa sakeng
Yonnanan yo nna
Ka gopola masetlapelo motsaneng weso bano beso
Ka gopola Tonkana modisi wa go botego
Modisi wa go tshepega
Lehono Tonkana o iketse badimong morwa mmane Mampuru
Sekwati
Mosimanyana e se ka bohlale keagobotsa
Lehono o ile, o ile tonkana o iketse badimong

(chorus)
Tonkana o ile badimong
Tonkana o ile badimong
Yonnana yo nna ka gopola masuana
Ka gopola masetlapelo motsangeng weso bana beso
Ka gopola ntwa ya marumo a hlabana diatla dimaroba
Re elwa le badisana tsoko khwiting ya noka lehlakaneng
Bare kgomo go nwa tsa bomang pele meetse
Aow mosimanyana a di reta
Tsa kwa melodi le direto tsa gahlampela
Ya ba tsa pele gonwa meetse nokeng le ge go ka ba bjang
Ka gopola mehla yela re sa iphsina ka hlago sekgweng
Anthuta melodi ya dinonyana
Le go bala mehlala ya diphoofolo e le Makanyaneng

(chorus)
di tlo lethula ka dinaka mohlang ditswa sakeng
do tlo lethula ka dinaka mohlang ditswa sakeng

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