The Warrior from Ipi Ntombi
Margaret Singana

This is one selection from the South African musical play "Ipi Ntombi" (Where Are the Girls?) which featured Margaret Singana, celebrated icon of South African music tradition. 

If you ever get an opportunity to see this play, take advantage of it.  It's full of life and (imho) fantastic vocal performances.


World Performances
(1974 - 1980)

All songs written by Bertha Egnos and her daughter Gail Lakier; produced by Produced by Billy Forrest and Lofty Schultz. (source)

Source of the video clip.




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Aria's Pick! 
Up Close and Personal:

Ipi Ntombi    (South African Musical)

A Musical Celebration!  Top notch dancing and singing!

"Ipi Tombi (also produced as Ipi N'tombi, both corrupted transliterations of the Zulu iphi intombi, or "where is the girl?") is a 1974 musical by South African writers Bertha Egnos Godfrey and her daughter Gail Lakier, telling the story of a young black man leaving his village and young wife to work in the mines of Johannesburg. The show, originally called The Warrior, uses pastiches of a variety of South African indigenous musical styles. The show, which starred Margaret Singana, enjoyed success in South Africa, and toured Europe and the United States."1

One viewer described the show as follows:2

"Ipi Ntombi explodes with vitality. The rhythmic music and enthusiastic dance never diminish throughout the entire presentation."

"Much like the Celtic River Dance, Ipi Ntombi combines traditional and modern dance and music. However, Ipi Ntombi (translated as "Where are the girls?") has a longer history."

"This hit musical opened in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1974 and played all over the world until 1980. Some of the dancers featured in this updated version are descendants of the original cast members."

"Ipi Ntombi tells the story of a miner who returns to his village to marry, but is temporarily thwarted by the cultural and religious clashes between city and village life. The story is nearly buried within the production. The performance is exhilarating, but because of its length and intensity will appeal most to viewers in high school and above. The video could be useful in high school dance, music, and world culture classes, and would complement Alan Paton's novel, Cry, the Beloved Country"

Ipi Ntombi/Tombi: (mouse over/click)
Music samples & other items are at

Another view exclaims...3

"At first blush this stage production comes across as a powerful and dynamic performance that provides non-stop, mesmerizing performances from the lead singers. There is a continued blend of modern and ancient rhythms that keep your attention focused on the entire cast in constant interaction with the auditorium audience that is rarely captured anywhere else. At times you even feel a part of the audience and enjoy the thrilling drama as it unfolds in front of you."

Genre: Pop, Rock, drums, African tribal music

Sources: (1) (2) (3)

Up Close and Personal:

Margaret Singana's Music: (mouse over/click)
Music samples & other items are at

Margaret Singana
( 1938 - 22 Apr 2000)
ne Margaret Mcingana

Lady Africa! If you enjoy strong female vocals with a touch of rock, a bit of Africa and a lot of soul, then listen to Margaret Singana!

Margaret Singana was a world-renowned South African singing star.

In the 1950s Singana moved to Johannesburg and started performing with The Symbols; the band released "Good Feelings" in 1972.  "She first appeared in the musicals 'Sponono' by Alan Paton, and 'Sikalo' by Gibson Kente. "In 1974, 'The Warrior', a musical by Bertha Egnos and Gail Lakier, appeared for the first time. The band performing the music was billed as "Ipi 'N Tombia featuring Margaret Singana".1

"She became the first black artist to feature on the Radio 5 hit parade. Singana's song "I never loved a man the way I loved you" became a hit. In 1973, Singana was cast as the lead singer in the musical Ipi Tombi and soon made herself famous with the song "Mama Tembu's Wedding". She suffered from bad health for many years but in 1986 she returned to sing "We Are Growing", the theme song from the television series Shaka Zulu."2

"Singana has received many awards, including the 1976/1977 critics award from the British magazine Music Week."

"She was known as "Lady Africa" in Southern Africa."

Genre: Pop, Rock, drums, African tribal music

Sources:  (1) (2

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