PASSPORT: South African Soul

A trip to South Africa 20 years ago would have been a different experience, but today, cities like Capetown and Johannesburg are bursting with new energy, an amazing music scene and business opportunity sparked by the upcoming 2010 World Cup, scheduled to take place in six out of nine of the country’s provinces next year. 


I decended on South Africa not sure what to expect.  For years, I was intrigued with this country, so fresh with new energy and an emerging middle class virtually unknown less than 20 years ago.  How do people in a country recently out of aparthied work and live together despite a dark history?  Are the feelings still there or have they been brushed under the rug, leaving subliminal racism as we see in other countries around the globe?  I was pleased to see everyone living and working alongside each other–for the most part.  The result of the end of aparthied has sparked new positions for black South Africans that never existed before.  Radio stations, TV stations  and magazines showing the beautiful faces of South Africans of various races talking, laughing and sharing together.Â


 One of the things I was most intrigued with was the music scene.  Techno-based house ruled in Capetown, while a more soulful house infused with drums and smooth vocals reign in Johannesburg.   Of course, hip hop and kwaito (hip hop lyrics mixed with beats rooted in house) is a huge scene, with artists like Hip Hop Pantsula bringing a Jay-Z/ Puffy sunglasses  with platinum jewlery feel to the game. Â


The one thing that I noticed, though while in Capetown is that a lot of people preferred US music to that of local artists.  After meeting a few amazing singers, composers and musicians, I found that traditionally South Africans do not fully support local artists to the extent that they do those from the U.S.  As a result, many artists are forced to leave and go to Europe or to the States to receive the support that they need to survive.Â


In the spirit of the beautiful music that I enjoyed from various local artists, check out a few videos below.Â



Black Coffee featuring Bantu Soul: \”Even Though\”

Hip Hop Pantsula

Lira: \”Feel Good\”

Thandiswa: \”Zabalaza\”

Last 5 posts by Sherry J. Bitting