Since the late 50’s there has always been a group of cool gents who in actual fact a new identity formed by the black people of Sophiatown and Alexander township rebels if one can say, rebels against the apartheid system when they were moved from their place of residence. For some us that would be our great grandfathers and their fathers. This was the era of iPantsula/Ama Pantsula. These are gents that stem from the township usually perceived as criminals or thugs but there is a lot behind the word Pantsula it simply began as a dance which has now been one of the most looked after or preserved sub cultures South Africa has to offer. We often saw them in old bioscope films in their silk shirts, Converse All Stars , bucket hats, Dickies, Brentwood, Dakotas and plenty of gold jewelry. These are men that had and still have their own lingo, own fashion and own dance moves, so much so that it has in past years awaken the new tradition of Iskhothane/Show boater.
If I must tell you personally I know to this day 5 females who regard to themselves as Pantsulas, this in turn showed me that this is a lifestyle or way or life that has been and will always be a part of our lives, even in America the dance moves have been adapted and sometimes even the outfits for music videos.
The dance moves are referred to as Iskhanda which consist a lot of individual movement of the body ligaments and use of crates and chairs in the dance items, where as the lingo is called tsotsi taal which consists of a lot of Afrikaans words mixed with IsiZulu, Setswana and other south african languages. Today we have morden day Pantsulas, but I can assure you the original will forever remain, I think much like rappers in America, we have Pantsula’s in South Africa. When a Pantsula grows up perhaps in their late 20’s they begin to look a lot and sound a lot like Mafias, because if you aren’t fast enough or familiar with the lingo, they could literally be talking about you while you stand amongst them. Amongst several things they have already to their era they also have music known as Kwaito, which could be seen by many as a slow and soulful version of rap with mainly vernac used to describe how life is in the townships. We Have groups in South Africa such as Alaska, Trompies and Via Volcano who have respectively toured the world through the pantsula lifestyle/craft. Twins Nico and Nicolas of Via Volcano Dance group say “Pantsula has and will always be the voice of the black child I know this for a fact because let me tell you, when a Pantsula speaks we all listen, they just have that presence about them. The dance is a way to tell a story of the hardships faced during apartheid the moves are derived from The sotho people known as Marabai and Mqanquanga. To this very day The dance still lives and