Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: kwe'la


English Wikipedia has an article on:


From Zulu -khwela (get up).


kwela (uncountable)

  1. (South Africa, music) A style of music, first played in the townships, whose principal instrument is the penny whistle.
    • The term "kwela" is derived from the Zulu for "get up", though in township slang it also referred to the police vans, the "kwela-kwela". Thus it could be an invitation to join the dance as well as a warning. It is said that the young men who played the pennywhistle on street corners also acted as lookouts to warn those enjoying themselves in the illegal drinking dens of the arrival of the cops. [1]