South African jazz pianist, composer and journalist. Todd Matshikiza was one of a family of ten, all of whom became singers or instrumentalists. He started to play the piano at the age of six, being taught by his father, a church organist. Matshikiza received his initial schooling at St. Peter’s Rosettenville in Johannesburg, and took his school-leaving exams at Adams College in Natal. He obtained a teaching diploma at Lovedale Training College and subsequently taught at Lovedale High School. Matshikiza was on the committee of the Syndicate of African Artists (1949-1954) who endeavoured to promote music amongst the disadvantaged communites of apartheid South Africa by inviting renowned visiting artists to include a concert in the townships in their schedule. In 1956, Matshikiza was commissioned to write a choral work for 200 voices and orchestra for the Johannesburg Festival, the result being Uxolo. In 1951, he joined the staff of the newly-established DRUM magazine. He later became its Feature Editor, and then News Editor of the POST, a newspaper printed by the same company. During 1960 and 1961, Matshikiza became involved in the writing of the music for KING KONG, a Union Artists’ production staged in Johannesburg and London that was to launch the international career of Miriam Makeba. Matshikiza also wrote the music for Alan Paton’s play Mkhumbane. Matshikiza remained overseas when the KING KONG cast returned to South Africa, working as a pianist, giving lectures on Black Music, and occasionally appearing in BBC programmes. He then accepted an offer to become an Announcer/Producer on Radio Zambia. Matshikiza was one of five South African Black artists who performed in the first Zambia Arts Festival, held at Luanshya in May 1965. Matshikiza died in Lusaka after sudden illness.


A! Soziswe

Back of the Moon

Basikelele Nkosi Bawe (Wedding Hymn)

Be smart, be wise

Damn him

Death song

Earth turns over


Hamba Kahle

Hambani Madoda (Bus queue song from: Mkhumbane – A. Paton)

It’s a wedding

Ityala Lalamadoda (Sad times, bad times)

King Kong

Kwela Kong

Marvelous Muscles

Party tonight

Quickly in Love



Gangster’s knife Dance

Township Sunday


MATSHIKIZA, Todd Thozamile

(b. Queenstown, 1921; d. Lusaka, 4 March, 1968)