Dizu Plaatjies is a Xhosa musician best known for being the founder and former leader of the South African group Amampondo in the 1970s. The group received multiple accolades, one of which was their performance at the Wembley Stadium during Nelson Mandela’s 70th Birthday tribute. The group toured the world and put traditional isiXhosa music in the global spotlight. After leaving the group, Plaatjies formed an ensemble called Ibuyambo and they toured many European countries.


Dizu Plaatjies’ love for traditional music stems from his childhood as the son to two traditional healers. He often engaged in the traditional practices and observations of his father, Dr Shadrack Plaatjies.  Plaatjies crafted an artistic identity that is rooted in spiritual and traditional knowledge. A passionate cultural activist, Plaatjies challenges South Africans to respect and conserve the nation’s traditional heritage and to see the world through the lens of the people.


His compositions and arrangements draw on collaborations and fusions of genres. In a project named Intsholo, He worked with William Haubricht to arrange African music for brass quintet, marimbas and percussion, as part of the Intsholo  project. He has also collaborated and performed with Japanese techno-dance artist Juno  in Japan in 2018. Ibuyambo’s  album African Kings  blends a variety of African influences, including Zimbabwean marimba melody lines and Mozambican folk songs performed by a Congolese choir curated into a unique neo-traditional blend of sounds. Dizu Plaatjies has travelled many African countries and has collected a wide range of personally hand crafted indigenous instruments of sub-Saharan Africa.  He presently lectures African Dance and Music at the University of Cape Town.



Wikipedia. 2019. Dizu Plaatjies. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dizu_Plaatjies.

Xhosa Culture. 2019. Dizu Plaatjies. Available at: http://xhosaculture.co.za/xhosa-music/dizu-plaatjies/.