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The term kwela first originated as the name for the kwela music style and for a TV programme using the name.

As a musical and dance form

A musical form (also called "street music"), developed out of marabi in the townships of the Witwatersrand, utilized by the township jazz bands of the 1950’s and brought to international prominence by Todd Matshikiza's score for the musical King Kong (1959) and the young Lemmy Mambaso’s international chart-topping version of the “Penny Whistle Kwela”. It has since remained a fundamental part of the township jazz style.

A TV programme

A popular Afrikaans arts programme on KykNet, the commercial TV station.


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