John Knox Bokwe

BOKWE, John Knox. b. 15 March 1855; d. 21 July 1922. Bokwe studied with William Kolbe Ntsikana, grandson of Ntsikana Gaga*, and was ordained a Presbyterian minister in Scotland (1906). He was a member of the Ngqika Mbamba clan (Xhosa), born at Ntselamanzi near Lovedale, the Presbyterian mission. Bokwe was the first to adapt John Curwen’s Tonic Sol-fa* system to Xhosa music. Bokwe’s transcriptions of Ntsikana’s songs, published in 1878, conveyed in notation aspects of the oral tradition using Sol-fa transcription. Selborne T. Bokwe, his son, known as a choir leader, recorded versions of Ntskana’s four hymns for Hugh Tracey (see African hymnody*). The texts of Ntsikana’s hymns had been...

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