South Africa already features in the RILM annual report and first RILM volume of 1967, seeing Hugh Tracey (then institutionally affiliated to the African Music Society based at Roodepoort) as the first National Chairman in 1968, followed by Christopher Ballantine (University of Natal) in 1978. From the mid 1980s Beverley Lewis Parker joined Ballantine as committee member of the RILM South Africa committee with an initial total of two members until 1996. In 1996-97 Rika Engelbrecht joined the committee, being replaced by Heather Gale a year later. Ballantine, Parker and Gale remained active until 2003. In this year Chris Walton (University of Pretoria) became Chairman. During his tenure he established a pan-African committee with the aim to involve as many scholars in Africa as possible. Committee members included Chris Walton, chair; Stephanus Muller, secretary; Adeogun Adebowale (Nigeria), Roberta L. Dougherty (North Africa), Zabana Kongo (Ghana, Togo, Benin, Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire), Tiago Langa (Mozambique), Minette Mans (Angola, Botswana, Namibia), Grant Olwage (South Africa), Christian Onyeji (Nigeria), Brett S. Pyper (South Africa) and Martina Viljoen (South Africa). Here it is also worth noting the appearance of Ghana on the RILM horizon already in 2000, initiated by J.H.K. Nketia of the International Centre for African Music and Dance, with Nissio Fiagbedzi as coordinator of the work. RILM South Africa proposes to continue the work of Chris Walton of expanding a pan-African committee.

With Walton immigrating to Switzerland, Stephanus Muller, Head of DOMUS, took over as Chair in 2008. DOMUS, also host for RILM South Africa however, has already been involved in data capturing for RILM since 2007, the year that marks the International Council for Traditional Music’s involvement as sponsoring organization and the entry for the 500 000th record entered in the RILM database.

Currently, there are newer developments in re-introducing and expanding the African RILM network.

(Santie de Jongh)


Last Updated ( Thursday, 04 June 2015 )
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