South Africa

10 Must-Hear Xhosa Trap Songs and Artists

Xhosa rap is having a moment. Young rappers from the Western Cape and Eastern Cape such as Dee Koala, Bravo Le Roux, Flash Ikumkani and many others are getting nationwide recognition for their distinct Xhosa raps. While other widely spoken South African languages such as isiZulu, Sesotho, Setswana and Afrikaans have been widely represented, in comparison, isiXhosa hasn’t had a hold on the game. Until recently.
Here’s a brief history:
Between the years 2011 and 2015, iFani was the lone Xhosa rapper within the mainstream of South African hip-hop. Since that period, the presence of Xhosa rappers has gradually increased, with…

Jacob Zuma is South Africa’s First Former President to be Jailed

In what has been an unprecedented past two weeks for South Africa, former President Jacob Zuma finally handed himself over to the police last night. Just as the clock struck midnight, Zuma’s convoy arrived hastily at the Estcourt Correctional Centre in KwaZulu-Natal, so that he could begin serving his 15-month sentence after the Constitutional Court found him in contempt at the end of last month. READ: Explained: Keeping Up With Jacob ZumaPrison authorities at Estcourt have confirmed that Zuma has indeed been admitted to the correctional facility and is currently being in kept in isolation as per the facility’s COVID-19 regulations….

The 20 Best South African Hip-Hop Songs of 2021 So Far

Since experiencing somewhat of a renaissance circa 2014, South African hip-hop has once more found itself at a crossroads. With the advent of trap, drill and even amapiano, the genre has had to reimagine itself to capture the imagination of its primary audience.While fusion still plays a huge role in SA hip-hop, like its iterations including skhanda rap, mzonkonko and new age kwaito prove, there remains a golden thread that runs through the genre. Rather than a sonic quality, that thread seems to be an attitude, lifestyle or aspirational outlook and that perhaps explains why there’s such a broad church of…

The 20 Best Amapiano Songs of 2021 So Far

Ending off 2020 on a high, amapiano has continued its dominance over the past six months. Whether it be streaming services, social media, radio, television and other platforms, there’s simply no escaping the genre. Amapiano producers and artists are always at work, dropping hits, and are currently the most booked in the country, despite the pandemic and its regulations on public events. Streaming data and charts also show that amapiano is the most streamed genre at the moment. A majority of the 10 most streamed South African songs of 2021 by the country’s youth on Spotify were amapiano. There’s been growth…

BLK JKS’ Latest Album  ‘Abantu/Before Humans’ is a Sonic Ode to Pan-Africanism

The South African alternative band, BLK JKS, has returned with its latest album Abantu/Before Humans. The nine-track album is a sonic ode to the continent of Africa that offers a soul-lifting and punk-electronic experience. Abantu/Before Humans comes after the wildly successful 2019 single “Harare” which saw its music video released in April of this year. Read: Listen to BLK JKS’ New Single Featuring Morena LerabaAbantu/Before Humans is a long and unapologetic poem that calls for the awakening of Africans to the atrocious ways of living under the capitalist labour force. “Harare” is a track which laments the unemployment plight of Lesotho…

The 15 Best South African Songs of the Month (May)

Here are the South African songs and music videos that caught our attention this month.Focalistic x Mr JazziQ “GUPTA” (featuring Lady Du & Mellow and Sleazy)Amapiano heavy hitters Focalistic and Mr JazziQ finally released their long-awaited single “GUPTA”. This aspirational song comes after the recent release of Mr JazziQ’s album Party With The English and the success of Focalistic’s “Ke Star Remix”. Pitori Maradonna has been teasing the song on social media and performing it at shows around the country. “GUPTA” features buzzing amapiano vocalist Lady Du and production duo Mellow and Sleazy.K.O “K:HOVA”For his first single for the year, veteran…

Africa Day Celebrations: Concerts Where You Can Turn Up

It’s the 58th anniversary of Africa Day! While the world has changed vastly over the past year, as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the celebrations continue. An annual honouring and spotlighting of African history, heritage and talent, this year’s theme is “Arts, Culture And Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want.” If you’re looking for a few events to tune into today where you can just turn up, here are three major concerts which feature a plethora of African talent including Davido, Yemi Alade, Azawi, Blxckie, Cleo Ice Queen and more. READ: Angélique Kidjo on Africa Day: ‘We…

Opinion: In Polyandry Lies the Power of Choice

Earlier this month, the South African government released a Green Paper, a policy discussion paper open for public comment, that seeks to amend the current Marriage Act. The Green Paper proposes the legal recognition of polyandry, defined as the act of women having more than one husband. Presently, only polygyny is recognised under the law, as is the case in numerous other African countries across the continent.And while polyandry is practised in certain parts of Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Kenya, the mere mention of it has sparked controversy and debate among many South Africans. Admittedly, some of it has been rather amusing…

2021 SAFTAs Winners, Snubs and Surprises of the Night

This year’s 15th South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs), which took place this past weekend, were absolutely riveting. The annual award show has grown since the inclusion of shows from streaming platforms such as Showmax and Netflix, which are pitted against traditional silver screen shows. However, the fierce competition has proven that local productions still have a loyal audience, and that South Africa’s international audience is lapping up all the juicy plots. Netflix’s How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding was the biggest winner of the night after bagging six awards. Previous all-round winner The River followed closely with its lead…