South Africa: Tune Me What - the Philately Show

A set of postage stamps commemorating South African music legends. Each stamp features a portrait of the musician by well-known graphic artist Vumile Mavumengwana, who has also produced a range of matching envelopes for the series. The musicians featured, in no particular order, are:

15 July 2014
ThinkAfricaPress
opinion

The South African Post Office has just released a series of ten stamps "Singing the praises of South African popular-music legends" and commemorating the lives of musicians who have contributed a great deal to the South African musical canon and the wider society in which they lived. Sadly, none of them are with us any longer, but their music lives on for future generations to enjoy.

In its press release, the Post Office noted:

"The popular-music legends featured on these stamps were chosen for their innovative music, which brought fundamental change to the perceptions of South Africans and was instrumental in uniting societies. Criteria used in choosing them also included factors such as whether they introduced a completely new, original and distinctively South African style of music. The musicians are as representative as possible of our society, covering the most important or best-known musical genres, which achieved international success."

Each stamp features a portrait of the musician by well-known graphic artist Vumile Mavumengwana, who has also produced a range of matching envelopes for the series.

For collectors outside the country, the stamps can be purchased online:

The musicians featured, in no particular order, are:

Brenda Fassie: 1964-2004

James Phillips: 1959-1995

Johannes Kerkorrel: 1960-2002

Lucky Dube: 1963-2007

Miriam Makeba: 1932-2008

Solomon Linda: 1909-1962

Spokes Mashiyane: 1933-1972

Simon Nkabinde: 1935-1999

Kippie Moeketsi: 1925-1983

Taliep Petersen: 1950-2006

While many lived to an old age and enjoyed their well-deserved recognition, some of them died poor and unrecognised in their own lifetimes. Sadly, two of them were murdered, victims of the country's sometimes out-of-control crime rate.

But in this show we focus on the positive. So, if you've seen the stamps - perhaps you've even been lucky enough to get a letter with one on - and you'd like to know a little more about these musical giants and to hear some of their music, this is the episode for you!

Tune Me What? is a podcast and blog by Brett Lock and Leon Lazarus that highlights South African music and artists at home and around the world. For more information, visit tunemewhat.com or facebook.com/TuneMeWhat.

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