Dizu Plaatjies

Dizu Plaatjies (born 5 February 1959, Lusikisiki, Pondoland, South Africa) is a Xhosa musician best known for being the founder and former leader of the South African group, Amampondo.[1] He is a graduate of the South African College of Music, University of Cape Town where he lectures in African Music.[2]

Dizu Plaatjies performing in Helsinki, November 2018.

Plaatjies started the percussion group Amampondo during the late 1970s. The group began with making music on the streets, but achieved international fame in the 1980s. The climax for the group was performing at the Wembley Stadium during the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute. The stage was set for Amamondo to conquer the world, and they had already been booked for a world tour, but the anti-apartheid campaign in exile from South Africa banned their performances for the next four years. During these difficult years, he received support from the Scandinavian countries.[3]

Since leaving Amampondo Plaatjies has started a new ensemble called Ibuyambo.[4] Dizu and the new group have presented numerous shows in a number of European countries, and perform regularly in South Africa.

Plaatjies is the son of an African traditional healer and late lady teacher Ntombiza, has himself been initiated in the Xhosa/Pondo tribal tradition. His interest in African percussion music has taken him to numerous countries on the continent with the result that he now owns a substantial collection of handmade musical instruments from sub-Saharan Africa. His latest recordings, made for the label Mountain Records, are titled Ibuyambo (2005), African Kings (2008) and Ubuntu — The Common String (2015), and illustrate this knowledge and interest. The last two releases won him SAMA Awards.

He was married to his partner Vuyo Mbewu on 27 September 2008. The couple have two children Ukwanda and Azile. Plaatjies has 4 children.

Selected discographyEdit

  • Ibuyambo (2003)
  • African Kings (2008)
  • Ubuntu — The Common String (2015)


  1. ^ AllMusic.com Artist Bio
  2. ^ Cape Town Don't Tell: The Mother City's (hush-hush) Must-do List by Jurie Senekal
  3. ^ Koppinen, Mari (8 November 2018). "Jimi Hendrix -temppuja, möhkömarimboja, naudan sarvia ja tanssin iloa – Etelä-Afrikan musiikin legenda toi Korjaamolle tunteikkaan ja riehaannuttavan rytmijuhlan. Dizu Plaatjies esitteli yhtyeineen eteläisen Afrikan runsasta soittimistoa ja oli parhaimmillaan, kun mahdollisimman moni rytmisoittimista oli tositoimissa" [‘Jimi Hendrix gimmick, giant marimbas, cattle horns and the joy of dancing — the South African music legend brought to Korjaamo a sentimental ja riotous feast of rhythm. Dizu Plaatjies and his group presented the rich array of Southern African instruments, and they were at their best when as many of the rhythm instruments as possible were in use at the same time’]. Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). Helsinki: Sanoma. p. B 4. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  4. ^ Ibuyambo Website

External linksEdit