What is it about?

Zimbabwe urban grooves music is a contemporary hybrid musical genre popular with Zimbabwean urban youth. The musicians popularly utilizes syncretic language forms by fusing the predominantly vernacular lyrics with English and slang. The paper shows how there is a remarkable relationship between the syncretic language forms and Zimbabwean youth experiences and identities which are significantly shaped by the linkages between local and global encounters.

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Why is it important?

The article reveals that there are a lot of innovations involved in the language syncretism and this is done through use of code switching and figurative expressions that resonate with youth experiences, practices and identities. We also show how artists do not limit themselves to use of conventional figures of speech but transcend national borders as they tap into global cultural practices that influence Zimbabwean youth lived experiences and practices for the creation of their figures of speech.


This is an interesting and thought provoking article that will help people to consider the importance of language in music. Contemporary youth genres of music are often dismissed as lacking in content and as addressing trivial issues but this article shows how this youthful genre of music (urban grooves) is an important cultural form that expresses youth daily experiences even through language utilization.

Doreen Rumbidzai Tivenga
University of the Free State

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Language Syncretism and the Expression of Youth Identities in Zimbabwe Urban Grooves Music, Journal of Black Studies, June 2019, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/0021934719848979.
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