I am a Dinaka/Kiba practitioner. Can i get paid for my service?

In spite being one of the oldest genres in Southern Africa, Dinaka/Kiba music and dance is one of the most neglected and underrated art forms in modern day South Africa.

A situational analysis of the Arts and Culture Industry in South Africa reveals contemporary art forms such as jazz, house, afro-pop, hip hop and kwaito just to mention a few, are the most appreciated.

The dominance of these contemporary art forms over their traditional counterparts on the arts and culture landscape is so deeply entrenched. Those who raise this issue might be dismissed as hopeless and bitter. What makes matters worse is that the lack of remuneration among Dinaka/Kiba practitioners has long been internalized by rural communities as ‘okay’.

Contemporary art forms are perceived as the ‘hippiest’ and ‘happening’. Hence mani-a-followers do not mind spending money for products, performance at concerts and sponsored gigs.

Of course yes, contemporary artists need to be paid for their craft. They have bills to pay, families to feed, right?

We now know through an article published in the Sunday World dated 21 February 2016 that for instance, house musician Donald charges R35 000, Hugh Masekela (may his soul rest in peace) R280 000(say what), Chomee R40 000, Nathi R50 000 and legendary Ray Phiri (may his soul rest in peace) R240 000 for so called appearance fees, with terms and conditions nogal. The underlying justification for these figures is that these individual artists perform alongside a crew which also needs to be paid.

Meanwhile in Ga Molepo, a 22 member Dinaka/Kiba music and dance ensemble charges a meagre R300 for a performance. Such performance fees are unconditional and have remained so for decades. Throughout the years, paying Dinaka/Kiba ensembles close to nothing has become a norm within black communities. This questionable norm is standard practice in most regions of Limpopo where Dinaka/Kiba can be found. At times, some groups are not even paid for their performances. Instead, they are given food and drinks (majwala) as compensation for their performance.

The idea that Dinaka/Kiba artists can perform about 10 songs for 6 to 8 hours and not be equally remunerated is mind boggling. Many residents seem to have accepted the blatant economic marginalization of Dinaka/Kiba artists as normal. For instance, there is opposition to the raising of performance fees from R300 to R1500 at Mankgaile, Ga Molepo. The truth is that even the R1500 performance fee falls short of what a 22 member Dinaka/Kiba ensemble ought to get paid.

That said, one could argue that contemporary artists are commercially viable than traditional artists.  The argument could be extended by stating that Dinaka/Kiba practitioners are more charitable than their contemporary counterparts.

However, a closer look at the living conditions of Dinaka/Kiba artists tells a different story. In spite of their unique inborn talents, most of them struggle to put bread on the table. In a capitalist society that is South Africa, is it a sin for a Dinaka/Kiba practitioner to get paid for their service?


Lerato la Mmino wa Setšo – An Autobiography of Mashegoane Molepo


Traditional Communities who still very much rely on oral culture to transmit Information and Knowledge are at the risk of being left behind by a rapidly changing society. In these communities, word of mouth is everything while residents seldom capture important events in their daily lives. Documentation is a problem and it is often difficult to verify sources of information. One can say for instance; that “the world is coming to an end tomorrow” and people would believe them to a point where the story can circulate or “trend” for months in community social discourse.

As a traditional community,  Mankgaile village, Ga Molepo shares the attributes and characteristics above. We live in such closely related families we frequently have to contend with issues of love, betrayal, scandals, jealousy, character assassination, competition and sometimes even death among residents. Ba re gona le “go welwa ke phoko”. This happens when there is a topical issue that has drawn the attention of the majority of residents on either one individual or a particular family. When this happens, residents often have nothing else to talk about except that which is seen as the top story in the community’s news circuit.

Often times, the top story will circulate at community gatherings like weddings, mephaso, manyalo, at taverns and everywhere else imaginable; including in the homes of residents – where love, laughter, lies, treachery, suspense and gossip fills the private spaces. The dialogue is often vertical(i.e. Community<——–>Royal Family) or horizontal(i.e. Community Member<———>Community Member).

The year 2015 has been both interesting and challenging for me and my family. At the center of it all, the issue of Mmino wa Setšo or Dinaka/Kiba in the village has been trending throughout the twelve months. More so because on arrival from Gauteng, my father; who is now a pensioner, decided to put into effect the decision he has always warned some of the practitioners of Dinaka/Kiba Music and Dance he would do on his return home: to deal with the rotten apples among members of Boramaga Traditional Group. This decision became unpopular among those who felt they had lost the war of distraction they have been waging on the group for years. After everything that has happened, i decided, together with my father, to write an auto-biography that will capture the incredible musical journey he has walked since childhood up until old age. What came out of the interviews and research i conducted was a short text of 20 pages titled Lerato la Mmino wa Setšo written in Northern Sotho of course, not English.

I felt it was time to write down the details so as to inform my fellow community members about the story of Dinaka/Kiba in my village. I am hopeful the few that will be able to locate and read the facts in the text will be able to see the issue from a different perspective altogether. That still, i am aware the text will be critiqued since i am his son. What i want to make clear is that my writing the text has less to do with my relationship to him and more to do with the professional commitment i have as a qualified Information Scientist. That’s what i do on a daily basis: to research, evaluate, create, organize, store and disseminate information. Therefore, my appeal to anyone who comes across the text is: read with an open mind, criticize constructively, give facts and lets all contribute positively to a balanced social discourse which can help our community of Mankgaile and Ga Molepo in general to move forward and not to degenerate and stagnate into oblivion and reckless conversations which have a potential to cause serious conflict.


For any queries and comments relating to this text send an email to mahlaga@molepotraditionaldance.com. I am also on Facebook, and Twitter.


DOWNLOAD A PDF version of the text here>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>http://wp.me/a2ne71-ea




1st Annual Molepo Dinaka/Kiba Festival

1st Annual Molepo DinakaKiba Festival

This is an An annual space for performance, dialoguecooperative economicspedagogy and development of Dinaka/Kiba music and practice for the people of Polokwane and beyond.

Dinaka/Kiba is an important heritage from pre-colonial Southern Africa. In spite the fact that the music is one of the oldest indigenous genres in Southern Africa, the art form continues to struggle to make an impact in the lives of communities due to structural challenges. The festival is strategically designed to re-engineer the art form by dealing with structural challenges in a quest to ensure that Dinaka/Kiba artists benefit economically from their talents.

The organizers wish to make this an annual ‘school’, humbly asking what defines a festival and what can it do for public space. With kind support from the National Arts Council of South Africa this year, the festival aims to set the tone for proposed future developmental initiatives alongside the festival. This includes amongst many; research projects aimed at using scientific inquiry to identify problems towards innovative solutions.

The 1st festival took place on the 29th November 2014 and was supported by the National Arts Council of South Africa.

Click link below to see the programme for the day>>>>>>


Find the official festival page on http://molepodinakakibafestival.org

The organizers have since compiled a report for all stakeholders, in particular the National Arts Council of South Africa. In an effort to protect Intellectual Property, we wont be publishing the whole report here. However, readers can get a glimpse of the report by reading the abstract below:


Ist Annual Molepo Dinaka/Kiba Festival Report


This report consolidates all the ideas behind the concept of a festival, helps with the formulation of research questions and analyses the potential of future festivals that will build on the successes and weaknesses of the 1st inaugural festival herein referred to as the 1st Annual Molepo Dinaka/Kiba Festival.

It aims at using the concept of a festival strategically to identify and explore further, challenges facing Dinaka/Kiba Music and Dance groups and how these impact on the motivation, image, preservation of the genre and its practitioners. A closer look at the afore-mentioned elements can help us understand what causes the disintegration of groups, the drop in public performance standard, the fragmentation of a typical Dinaka/Kiba group as organization so that we come up with proper and realistic interventions.

The findings of this report will help the National Arts Council to attend to visible gaps in the distribution of funds to our cultural landscape, especially Indigenous African Music and Dance(Mmino wa Setšo) such as Dinaka/Kiba and related genres.


Defining Dinaka/Kiba Traditional Music

In a world where indigenous knowledge systems are in danger of being phased out by modern ways of living, Dinaka/Kiba music must find ways to survive. Its origins are indicative of the historical value and cultural significance that deserves to be restored and respected. There is also less literature written about this ancient musical art form. Therefore, more research is needed to ensure there is accurate and relevant information published on Dinaka/Kiba music for future generations.  DOWNLOAD a FREE e-book of this ancient music genre here>>>>>>>https://molepotraditionaldance.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/kiba-music-origins-structure-challenges-and-way-forward.pdf

For more information visit http://www.dinakakiba.wozaonline.co.za

What do we call it? – Poetry Anthology Vol. 1 by Limpopo’s finest






Poetry Anthology vol.1


Mahlaga Molepo

Serene Noyz

Mapula Matlou

Katlane Seema

Koketso Marishane

TJ Solo

Mahlogonolo Moloto

Ndhivhuwo Gondwana

Lesiba Manaka


Polokwane  Johannesburg  Roodepoort  Ga-Molepo

Verso of book



ISBN: 978-0-620-40095-4

Executive Producers: Bwarf

Distributed and Marketed by: http://www.consciousness.co.za

Copyright © 2007, 2008, 2009

First printed in 2007

Second impression in 2008

Third impression in 2009


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Photo by

Cover design

Other photos courtesy of

Selema Moila

Value Scientific Media

M&M Graphics


DOWNLOAD an e-Book of this Poetry Anthology below >>>>>: