Princess Magogo_ (1)uMntwana Princess Constance Magogo was born in 1900 and she was a prominent senior member of the Zulu Royal house. She was the daughter of the Zulu King, Dinizulu ka Cetshwayo and the sister of the late King Solomon KaDinizulu. In 1923 she married Chief Mathole Shenge Buthelezi and her eldest son is Chief Gatsha Buthelezi. Princess Magogo is well known throughout Zululand for her singing to the accompaniment of the traditional Zulu instrument, the Ugubhu bow. Umntwana Princess Magogo attributes her earliest music education to her grandmothers, the widowed queens of King Cetshwayo in whose huts she frequently slept as a child, as well as from her mother and her mother’s co-wives. Princess Magogo’s grandmothers, in addition to her ‘mothers’ (her uterine mother and her mother’s co-wives, who numbered about sixty) were all, of necessity, from clans other than the Zulu royal lineage, since members of the same clan may never intermarry. Consequently, she was subjected, from her earliest childhood, to music from a wide and often obscure variety of sources, although in all cases it was only from different clan within the Zulu nation (Rycroft: 1976).

At the time of recording her music, Mntwana Magogo was known to be the only remaining player of Ugubhu bow as many people had started playing Umakhweyane, the braced bow.


Rycroft, D., 1976. The Zulu Bow songs of Princess Magogo. International Library of African Music, Vol 5 no. 4, 41 – 97.