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Maskanda, also known as maskandi, is:
- "a traditional Zulu music sung by working-class Zulu men" — Nidel, Richard (2005). World Music: The Basics. Routledge.
- "a style of Zulu folk music, normally played solo" — English Wiktionary
According to writer and critic Kagiso Mnisi:
The 'neo-traditional' genre most closely associated with the amaZulu is maskandi, which emerged in the late 1960s played by migrant workers living in hostels and compounds (enkomponi) near mines. Their music reflected a nostalgic yearning for home and was typically played on guitar and by men. Bucking this trend was the late Busi Mhlongo, whose last album Amakholwa explored the connection between maskandi and faith, drawing on gospel, rock and funk influences. While maskandi and gospel address similar themes of yearning for a better life and overcoming hardship, they are stylistically not related.
— from "Traditional music in South Africa", which was (re)published on Music in Africa in 2014.
According to radio personality and music researcher Max Mojapelo:
Western music instruments like the guitar and the accordion found their way into South African black traditional music to produce what became known as commercial traditional music. This sound was dominated by isiZulu musicians with a brand dubbed maskanda. ... [Maskanda music is] dominated by the lead guitar.
— Beyond Memory: Recording the History, Moments and Memories of South African Music. African Minds. 2008.
Maskanda is also known as maskandi. Both spellings have been used in academic and popular writing. The annual South African Music Awards (SAMA) have an award category for Best Maskandi Album. (Here is the title track of the 2019 winner, Yekani Umona by Sgwebo Sentambo.)
Maskanda and maskandi are common nouns (hence, written in lowercase). An editor of this English Wikipedia article capitalises them, but this is unconventional. The Wikipedia article is poorly sourced, and much of it is unreliable.