“Kea patlotsa hela lona,” a Turn around on Basotho Hip-Hop Hits: A Case of Tshepe Music





accordion music, Basotho indigenous knowledge systems, interpretivist paradigm, socio-semantics, tshepe music, oral tradition


This study reports on the transformation of famo (accordion) music into modern Sesotho hip-hop known as tshepe. Research in Basotho music seems to have focused mainly on famo music. Little has been done to explore the evolution of tshepe music and how it emerged as suitable to be named Basotho popular music. The current study aims to explore the nature of tshepe music and how it relies heavily on both American hip-hop and famo music. For the purpose of this study, one tshepe song by Ntate Stunna, aka Megahertz, featuring Phephela, known as “Kea patlotsa” is analysed. This is a case study of one song as it is not possible to discuss all tshepe songs in a paper of this nature. The study is framed within a socio-semantic framework. It is a qualitative research study guided by an interpretivist paradigm. The study reveals that as an emerging and growing genre, tshepe music has taken over as one of the most popular forms of music for Basotho and it is rooted within traditional genres such as famo and mangae (initiates’ songs) in its composition. In this article, I propose that the promotion of tshepe music brings both the promotion of Sesotho as a language and the genre itself. For this reason, more research should be conducted to tackle different topics that will help in understanding and appreciating this music genre and its contribution towards preserving and promoting Sesotho as a language.



How to Cite

Mokala, Ntsoaki. 2021. “‘Kea Patlotsa Hela lona,’ a Turn Around on Basotho Hip-Hop Hits: A Case of Tshepe Music”. Southern African Journal for Folklore Studies 30 (2):14 pages. https://doi.org/10.25159/2663-6697/8713.



Received 2020-11-19
Accepted 2021-06-28
Published 2021-09-01