Zulu's Indian music obsession
By BBC's Ethirajan Anbarasan
Guru-shishya: Jesudas with pupil
Few would have thought that the Zulus of South Africa would have much
interest in southern Indian classical music, also known as Carnatic music.
But South African Patrick Ngcobo has proved that ethnicity and language are
no barriers when it comes to learning about music far from home. To his
African friends in Durban, it was abnormal for a person from the warrior
Zulu tribe in Natal province to take up Carnatic music.
Today, the 34-year-old sings in seven Indian languages. He can slide from
one Indian raga, particular melodic scales, to another with ease - his
diction is remarkable.
It all started when Patrick happened to listen to a song of the famous
South Indian classical singer, Dr KJ Jesudas. Impressed by Patrick's musical
talent, Jesudas offered to teach him Carnatic music if he could go to the
city of Madras, in southern India. Jesudas offered him a place to stay at
Patrick, who has even composed songs in Zulu based on Indian ragas, is
the first black person to learn Indian Carnatic music.
BBC NEWS Tuesday, 8 June, 2004