Harnessing the Power of Indigenous Zulu Music to Promote Language, Culture, and Diversity


  • Sakhiseni Joseph Yende

    Department of African Language Studies, Forensic Linguistics and Multilingualism, University of Western Cape, Cape Town, Western Cape, Bellville, 7535, South Africa


Received: 26 February 2024 | Revised: 15 March 2024 | Accepted: 25 March 2024 | Published Online: 21 June 2024


Indigenous Zulu music is a reflection of the Zulu people’s cultural and environmental surroundings, incorporating natural sounds and rhythms that highlight their close relationship with nature. This article explores how this music promotes language, culture, and diversity within the Zulu community. Drawing on Cultural Ecology Theory, which underscores the link between culture and the environment, the study examines how Zulu music adapts to these contexts. Methodologically, this qualitative study relied on secondary data from accredited scholarly sources, including journals, books, online government bulletins, and academic databases. The systematic review process ensured data reliability and validity, emphasising the role of indigenous Zulu music in preserving language and cultural identity. The findings reveal that Zulu music, through its songs and performances, celebrates the Zulu language and conveys significant stories and myths. This cultural expression serves as a means of preservation, ensuring the continuity of Zulu heritage. Moreover, the article discusses how integrating Zulu music into modern contexts sustains cultural diversity in South Africa. By blending traditional and contemporary music, Zulu musicians broaden their audience and share their cultural richness. This integration fosters cultural sustainability and dialogue, enriching the cultural landscape. In conclusion, indigenous Zulu music plays a vital role in preserving language, culture, and diversity among the Zulu community. Through its celebration of language and cultural heritage, Zulu music fosters intercultural understanding and represents the cultural richness of the Zulu people.


Cultural preservation; transfer learning; Indigenous music; Language promotion; Traditional Zulu music


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