Home Mzansi News Youth Day: Amapiano, the sound of today’s youth

Youth Day: Amapiano, the sound of today’s youth

Kabza De Small

Youth Day: Amapiano, the sound of today’s youth.

Perhaps it is because of the front row seat I have to the problems often outlined in these articles, coupled with a lack of tangible solutions for the youth by their authors. In the rare instance that young people are hailed for their achievements, it is often in fleeting and unimaginative listicles that don’t make much of an impact beyond the day they are published.

Amapiano serves as yet another reminder that given enough time and freedom to create and innovate, South African youth can create magic. As someone who still (barely) counts as a part of South Africa’s youth, it has become mind-numbingly boring to read opinion and analysis articles about how hard we have it ‘x’ years after Apartheid ended.

This does little to highlight the great things that young people are doing in almost every part of South African society. Chief among them, I would argue, the music and entertainment industry. To date, a career in the entertainment industry still suffers the stigma of not being a serious enough career for one to have, and somehow, young South Africans are doing big things on the global stage thanks to the magic they create in this industry.

The latest interaction of this magic is the beloved Amapiano music genre, the origins of which Phiona Okumu, Head of music (Sub-Saharan Africa) at Spotify traced back to 2012 in a recent op-ed titled “South Africa’s musical zeitgeist: Amapiano’s global takeover.”

According to Okumu, Amapiano (or “The Yanos” as it is affectionately known) can be considered the genre widely accepted as the voice of the youth of South Africa today.  “A musical movement entrenched in the experiences and culture of the South African youth, it is the product of the evolution of South African sound that, for many, originally began with Kwaito music in the 90s.

And, like Kwaito, Amapiano acts as a keen view into the ethos of its time, despite not being expressly sociopolitical. And, as a musical movement, it isn’t only speaking to the South African zeitgeist – it has seen massive popularity worldwide, with a transcendental impact within, and beyond, the African diaspora.”

I got to see this in real-time earlier this week during a night out at the popular Soweto hangout spot, Konka, where I was hosted by Spotify as I got to watch musician Kabza de Small play his latest offering KOA II Part 1 for the very people that everyone is talking about today – the youth. This event has been prefaced by the work done by other Amapiano artists such as DJ Maphorisa, Mellow & Sleazy, DBN Gogo, and Focalistic who not only top the Spotify charts in countries like the UK, the US, and Nigeria but they also tour those countries successfully.


They share the stage with women like Lady Du and Boohle as well as rising stars like Uncle Waffles, Kamo Mphela, and Pabi Cooper who are quickly coming onto the musical radars of more listeners. Thanks, in large part, to platforms like TikTok which not only introduces listeners to new music but also launches the careers of artists who perhaps may have not been able to get on the radar of record labels in the traditional way.

It also gives artists a direct line to the youth, who are often the tastemakers deciding what music is popular. Joining an incredible line of genres such as Kwaito, Deep House and, most recently, Gqom, The Yanos serves as yet another reminder that given enough time and freedom to create and innovate, South African youth can, and will, create something incredible.

Source – The Citizen

In other news – Mlungu attacks boy.

In the video, the man wearing a red jacket and shots, can be seen holding a gun on the right hand and dragging the boy with his left hand. A video of an unidentified white man who pulled out a gun on an unarmed 16-year-old black boy in Groblersdal, Limpopo, has gone viral.

Crazy Mlungu

As the young man tries to protect himself from the attack, the man starts kicking him while he’s on the ground…Learn More.


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