With his massive 1984 hit, “Jive Soweto,” Sipho Mabuse helped to make the Township pop music of South Africa an international phenomenon. Mabuse has continued to combine South African musical traditions with exciting dance rhythms.
Mabuse launched his musical career as a drummer for the R&B group, The Beaters, in the mid-1970s. Heavily influenced by American and British pop music, the group changed its name to Harari following a tour of Zimbabwe in 1981. Mabuse remained with the band until leaving to embark on a solo career in 1984. Success came quickly as “Jive Soweto,” recorded with saxophonist West Nkosi, became an unofficial anthem of the anti-apartheid movement. Mabuse continued his involvement with the struggle against apartheid. A leading force in the political group, South African Musicians Against Apartheid, in 1986, Mabuse currently works with the South African Musician’s Alliance. – Craig Harris