Formed in London in the early 1980s by South African musicians in exile, and an American, and British musicians. The 1984 line-up was: Ruthie Smith (soprano saxophone), Dill Katz (bass), Brian Abrahams (drums, vocals, percussion), Russell Herman (guitar, vocals), Mervyn Africa (Piano, vocals), Harrison Smith (tenor saxophone) and Jim Dvorak (trumpet). (Abrahams, Herman and Africa were originally from South Africa, Dvorak from the USA and the others were British). This line-up released the home-produced demo cassette District Six in February 1984, followed by the album Akuzwakale (Let It Be Heard) in 1985 .
By the time they recorded the live album Leave My Name At The Door in October 1985 the membership had slimmed down to: Dill Katz (bass), Brian Abrahams (drums, vocals, percussion), Mervyn Africa (piano, synths), Harrison Smith (saxophone, clarinet) and Jim Dvorak (trumpet).
For the 1987 To Be Free album, British-based South African Chris McGregor had replaced Mervyn Africa on piano and vocals.
Their final album was Ingoma Yabantwana (Song For The Children) released in 1989, for which British musician Steve Lodder (piano, synths) replaced Chris McGregor.