25 Up-And-Coming South African Rappers Under 25 You Need To Stop Sleeping On

Here are 25 South African rappers under 25 that you need to know.

South Africa’s hip-hop scene is arguably the biggest on the continent. What makes it even more exciting is that most hip-hop artists in the country are young.

In light of Youth Month, we pick 25 rappers who are under the age of 25, who we believe have the potential to be up there with Cassper Nyovest, AKA, Nasty C, A-Reece and them.

Also be sure to check out our 2016 list, which featured the likes of Nasty C, Saudi, A-Reece, YoungstaCPT, Patty Monroe, a majority of whom have gone on to become icons in their own different ways.

Read our 25 South African Rappers Under 25 You Need To Stop Sleeping On list, presented in no particular order, ahead.

Sho Madjozi (24)

A post shared by Maya (@shomadjozi) on

Sho Madjozi is running her own lane. And that has attracted the stars to her. OkMalumKoolKat featured her on two songs on his debut album Mlazi Milano. Khuli Chana recently featured her on his latest single “Tlekeke.” Veteran producer and rapper PH featured her on his latest album Break. She also appeared on Ghanaian rapper Wanlov’s latest album Orange Card: Fruitopian Raps. It’s her distinct rapping style, and her combination of rap and gqom that sets her apart. She’s teeming with personality, and has a quirky fashion sense. Save for PH and Mchangani, Sho Madjozi is the only visible rapper to rap in the Tsonga language, and she does it with a personality and flair that hasn’t been heard before. Her hit single “Dumi HiPhone,” a collaboration with gqom collective PS DJz , is as ratchet as they come, and has kids all over South Africa gyrating to it.  

Flex Rabanyan (21)

Flex Rabanyan, from the small town of Eskhawini in KwaZulu Natal, is making sure that his province remains one of the most represented. Flex is the champion of the second season of Vuzu TV's The Hustle—the popular TV rap competition which just wrapped up a few days ago. He impressed the show’s judges—AKA, Stogie T, Khuli Chana and Scoop Makhathini—with all the necessary rapper dynamics. He’s a complete emcee: he can battle, freestyle and make great songs. Flex is built to be a star. He has confidence and charisma that places him in the same level as the best of them. On his latest single, “RabaYeezy,” he shows off his skills with lyrical flair, personality, solid delivery and impressive breath control. The second half of 2017 will be exciting.  


Frank Casino (24)

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Frank Casino made an appearance on one of the biggest songs of 2016, “Mayo” by DJ Speedsta. He also caught the attention of Riky Rick, who jumped on the remix of his single “The Whole Thang.” Riky recently featured the rapper on a song called “Family” from his three-track EP Scooby Snacks. He also appears on PH’s latest album. Frank Casino has the ability to captivate his listener with his authoritative vocal projection and delivery, so much that it doesn’t matter what he’s rapping about. His EP Something From Me, released last year, was a good offering showcasing what the rapper from the East Rand in Joburg is about—sauce, charisma, catchy hooks, and a great ear for beats.

Una Rams (21)

Photo by Emma Verster.

Una Rams sings more than he raps. He’s also a great producer, and his self-produced single, the somber “Nobody” from his EP Pink Moon, has great potential, specially considering it’s a fitting soundtrack for the winter. The artist, who’s currently based in Pretoria, is an anomaly–his music combines hip-hop, trap, soul and dancehall vocals. Earlier this year, he got a huge co-sign from house music maestro Black Coffee. With South African hip-hop incorporating more and more singing, Una Rams should be here to stay.

Nazlee Arbee (21)

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Nazlee Arbee’s mother breastfed them to hip-hop, they say. It’s hard to not believe them, as they have serious skills on the mic. An active member of the Rhodes Must Fall movement, they use their music as a form of mobilization to decolonize people of color in the world. Earlier this year, the multidimensional artist, who is also a photographer, released “The Wake Up Call,” a 7-minute long visual to pieces of music the artist created. Nazlee’s music is highly influenced by the golden era, with mostly soulful boom bap production, a backpack delivery and conscious rhymes. Their mixture of different art forms is a refreshing take on music. If for some reason, you aren’t moved by their raps, their images and writing will definitely catch your attention.

SimmySimmyNya (23)

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

SimmySimmyNya, originally from Kwazulu Natal, is based in Cape Town. He is part of the newly-formed supergroup ContraGang, alongside veterans such as Uno July, Stan1 and Camo, and newbies like J-One, M-Tunez-I, Psyc’ AK and Don Loyiso. SimmySimmyNya’s high-pitched voice and unorthodox delivery put him in a league of his own. He has performed at festivals such as Rocking The Daisies and Ipotsoyi. He appeared on Uno July’s Uno ‘n Only album last year. The rapper’s also featured on Ginger Trill’s lastest singleForrest Guap,” in which he delivers a catch. Last year, he released his debut EP called Trapnya, which gives you a taste of who SimmySimmyNya is.

Yung Swiss (23)

A post shared by Yung Swiss (@yungswisspgp) on

Last year Yung Swiss sang the hook to DJ Speedsta’s “Mayo.” The Cameroonian-born artist may sing more than he raps, but he can still spit potent bars as proven on the remix to his single “David Genaro,” which featured hip-hop royalty on Reason, Ginger Trill and DJ Speedsta. His 2016 EP Bottom Baby is amazing, proving Swiss is more than just a rapper, but a versatile artist who can make great memorable songs. His latest single “Jungle” again proves his staying power, and features Cashtime Life boss K.O.  

Master Kiii (18)

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

At 17, Cape Town dungeon rapper Master Kiii is an anomaly. He’s inspired by an era that was popping when he wasn’t even born, and that’s the 90s. His music is strictly boom bap, and he laces those soulful beats with smooth flows and slick wordplay. His lyrics are replete with anime references, and weed is clearly a great part of his life. Hoodgeeks, his EP from last year, is a true gift for the boom bap he

ad, who feels starved of that type of hip-hop in the 21st century. Kiii’s part of a group of like-minded hip-hop heads called Down South Natives, which consists of insufferable golden era hip-hop enthusiasts, who are inspired by Wu Tang Clan and Pro Era. Tired of mumble rap and trap? Kiii is your guy. You are welcome.

crownedYung (22)

Photo courtesy of artist.

crownedYung, from Durban, was previously signed to the popular indie label Select Play. Superbalist listed the artist as one of the rappers to watch in 2017. crownedYung’s 2016 EP Dirtbin was a great effort. It featured notable names in the South African hip-hop scene like Shane Eagle, Beast, TellaMan and Tribal. It saw him showcase his rapping and songwriting skills like a true millennial artist. While he is confident, he also isn’t shy about being vulnerable, and the result is a complete artist who you should be hearing more about in the near future.

Moz Kidd (19)

A post shared by Moz Kidd ™ (@mozkidd) on


Moz Kidd is making sure that Nelspruit, the capital of the Mpumalanga province, is never left out of conversations about hip-hop. He is one of the most visible artists from the city. Last year, he collaborated with Riky Rick on the single “I Wanna Know.” Earlier this year, he was recruited by the controversial label Mabala Noise, joining a constellation of stars including Nasty C, Gigi Lamayne, Zakwe and more. Moz Kidd’s music is mostly trap. He sings and raps autobiographical and aspirational bars with a convincing conviction over bass lines and kicks that are as big as his confidence. For his full story, listen to his 2016 mixtape What Were You Doing At 19?.

Manu WorldStar (22)

Manu WorldStar is oozing with talent. The Joburg-based rapper has the technicalities of rapping–flow, cadence, wordplay–on lock. He also happens to make greats songs. It’s still a wonder why “Yewen,” his single from last year didn’t become one of the biggest songs in the country–it’s catchy and sees the man dropping serious bars. Manu was a contestant in The Hustle. He has proven himself a potent emcee over and over again through singles and his mixtape From Now On, Call Me Manu.


Vitu (21)

A post shared by Vitu (@thatstonernext2you) on


Vitu offers a needed balance in the South African hip-hop scene, which is dominated by trap music (nothing wrong with that). His latest EP, This Time Next Week, is monolithic—the rapper tells his story over jazz samples, that are spiced with synths and 808s, creating a beautiful and accessible soundscape that we need more of. He works with engineers and producers who understand him, as the music seems to be built around his voice–reverbs and echoes add to the haunting feel of the project. The rapper’s hight pitch vocal projection and unique enunciation are reminiscent of Q-Tip. Vitu is part of a trio called Arcade Music, which is equally as passionate. If you are going to sleep on a project this year, it shouldn’t be This Time Next Week.

Nyota (17)

A post shared by Nyota (@nyotaparker) on

Nyota, a rapper and singer from Cape Town, released her debut mixtape, Age Of Enlightenment, at the beginning of May, and it’s impressive. At 17, Nyota, has the charisma and skill of artists 10 years her senior. On Age of Enlightenment, she raps as well she sings–picture the chilled vocals of Rihanna and the flows of Nicki Minaj, but with a unique twist, as Nyota totally owns her style–she sounds comfortable while delivering complex rhyme patterns. She covers a wide range of subject matter like love, spirituality, conspiracy–topics you wouldn’t expect a 17-year-old to rap so eloquently about. Age of Enlightenment is a decent effort that should get the attention of the industry.

Du Boiz (24)

A post shared by Dubeezy 🇿🇦 (@duboizsa) on

Du Boiz, who’s originally from New Castle, in the KwaZulu Natal province, came from nowhere and scooped up a deal with Mabala Noise. This was after the success of his single “Celebration,” which received airplay on YFM, Cliff Central, and other stations. Du Boiz then scored a feature with Tyga, and his recent collaboration with AKA–a song called “Hallelujah” deserves a spot on your playlist. The rapper may not make your list of best lyricists but his combination of singing and rapping over mostly trap production, though nothing innovative, won’t stop you from jamming to his hits.

LuRah (21)

Photo: Sabelo Mkhabela.

On his debut EP New Drug, Cape Town-based rapper LuRah asserts he’s one of the best doing it. The EP was received well by Cape Town hip-hop heads. And deservedly so. The rapper sounds comfortable over the trap production he favors. He’s not wordy–he pauses between lines when he has to. His flow is intact and he raps on-beat. LuRah, who also calls himself Kapatown Boy, started rapping in 2008 and has been at it ever since, performing in sessions to get his name out. New Drug is just a start–a teaser of a longer project which he’s already working on. LuRah is no doubt one of the most exciting young rappers coming out of Cape Town. Given the right PR, he will be up there with your Nasty Cs and A-Reeces.

TSA (25)

TSA raps and croons over textured cloud trap production. He has released two EPs thus far, The Zxne and Finger Snacks, on which the artist tells stories of aspiration and relationships. TSA has made appearances on Hype (South Africa’s only hip-hop print publication) and the African Hip Hop Blog, among others. Listening to TSA’s music, you can pick up a Drake influence, from his production choice, his subject matter and delivery, but the artist is still authentically himself. It should only be a matter of time until fans catch on to TSA’s brilliance.

Dee XCLSV (19)

A post shared by RIDGE FORRESTER (@deexclsv) on

Dee XCLSV had a great run on The Hustle show, even though he got eliminated. Dee is a talented rapper who has a lot of potential. His combination of singing and rapping has space in the hip-hop industry. And he’s able to rap in both English and vernacular, which is also an advantage. The emcee who is currently part of Punchline Music, alongside Manu WorldStar, Luna Florentino and Tony X, proves himself on the clique’s compilation Pissed Off The Neighbours, which was released earlier this year.

Joshua The I AM

Joshua The I AM’s music is consistent–his videos are artsy, shot in slow motion, with a hazy feel. The artist, who both raps and sings, was the runner-up for the second season of The Hustle, losing to Flex Rabanyan. Joshua The I AM was one of the judges’ favorites, and AKA expressed that he had the potential to win the competition and even went as far as saying Joshua’s song for the final was better than Flex’s. Joshua The I AM has already amassed a legion of fans from the competition, and should do just fine.

Lil Trix (22)

A post shared by Lil Trix (@liltrixsa) on

Lil Trix is one of the most prolific up-and-coming rappers in the country, with countless mixtapes (he has eight of them) and singles under his belt. His music has been played on stations such as YFM and 5FM, and he has appeared on TV channels like SABC 1 and Earlier this year, he was on the cover of The Freshman Edition of Hype magazine–a spot he earned through public votes alongside five other up-and-coming emcees.  On his latest EP titled ZULO, the emcee shows a lot of growth – he sounds more comfortable in his own skin than he ever has. It’s only a matter of time until Lil Trix is a household name in South African hip-hop. Make sure to pay close attention–being the hard worker he is, you might blink and miss out on some great tunes and moves.  


Photo: Sabelo Mkhabela.

Rapper and vocalist Megamafia is a ferocious rapper. Her 2016 mixtape Storiez To Tell saw her spitting bars over varied production that ranges from boom bap to trap. The rapper was handpicked by 5FM DJ Ms Cosmo to appear on the female remix to DJ Switch’s popular rappity rap hit “Now Or Never.” Last year, the Joburg-based rapper was nominated for the Best Female award at the South African Hip Hop Awards. This year, she was on the lineup of Back To The City, and she was on the cover of Hype’s The Freshman Edition issue earlier this year. She is currently working on an album due for next year. In the meatime, her mixtape will ensure you become a fan.

Chad Da Don (24)

Photo: Sabelo Mkhabela.

Chad Da Don broke into the industry in 2013, with his hit single “Hola,” which featured Cassper Nyovest. He would go on to sign with Nyovest’s label Family Tree, before leaving and dropping a diss track, “Chad Is Better,” to his ex-boss in 2015. He went on to start his own label and release his debut album The Book Of Chad, which featured producers and artists such as Buks, Brian Soko, Kyle Deutsch, Nasty C, among others. Chad Da Don’s music used to have motswako influence, thanks to his affiliation with Cassper Nyovest. Say what you like about Chad Da Don, but respect his skills on the mic.

Ijohn (21)

Cape Town’s Ijohn doesn’t subscribe to the norms of mainstream music. He’s an indigo child who believes in the power of music. His music condemns what’s wrong with the world. It leans more towards boom bap, a production style which plays a great backdrop for his subject matter. He is part of the Down South Natives collective from Cape Town, and just like most of his peers, can freestyle better than your fave. His 2016 EP, which sees him drop some knowledge and razor sharp flows, is a good place to start if you want to get familiar.

J.S.K XXVI (23)

A post shared by 🤓J.S.K XXVI (@jskxxvi) on

J.S.K. XXVI was also on the cover of The Freshman Edition of Hype earlier this year. The rapper from Mpumalanga is part of the new wave of artists who are making the internet work for them–he has managed to connect and work with producers from as far as Germany. J.S.K XXVI, just like most of his peers, doesn’t just limit himself to rapping – he can also sing and produce. The rapper’s music also doesn’t disappoint. He has laid-back songs like “Frequencies Part 1” and catchy hustler anthems like “Green.”

Just King Blake (24)

Just King Blake is a rhyme machine–her rhymes are as bold as the trap production she chooses to rap over. Without any major features, the rapper’s EP Situation was picked up by reputable websites like Zkhiphani and the African Hip Hop Blog. What she has are rhymes and a convincing delivery. Just King Blake is confident and it shows in her music. She also chose to call herself King instead of Queen because, in her own words, she aims to be eccentric in the male dominated industry.

Wah-Li (22)

Wah-Li is a gifted wordsmith from Cape Town. He has the ability to play with words–his style is reminiscent of the rapper ProVerb. Wah-Li is all for technical correctness–his bars are well-structured, and his rhymes are intricate and uniform. In 2014, he made the Top 20 of the Back To The City 10K Challenge, selected from thousands of entries from all over the country. Unlike most emcees of the same school of through as he is, Wah-Li is willing to explore different types of production, and the beauty is that he is always able to excel. If you are into the likes of ProVerb and Reason, then Wah-Li’s music will definitely work for you.

Correction 7/4/17: A previous version of this article mistakenly referred to Nazlee Arbee as "she/her," whereas their pronouns are "they/them."

Photo courtesy of Sam Soko.

Interview: Sam Soko is the Kenyan Director Behind Sundance Hit, 'Softie'

We meet filmmaker Sam Soko who has made a stirring documentary about the Kenyan protest leader Boniface Mwangi

Filmmaker Sam Soko didn't intend on making a documentary about Kenyan photojournalist-turned-politician Boniface Mwangi.

The original idea he had was to make a manual of sorts, a short video guide, on how to protest, the do's and don't's. Soko, himself an activist artist who cut his teeth convincing friends to let him create political music videos for their apolitical songs, knew Mwangi's experience on the streets both photographing protests and staging them meant he had a lot to share with others.

But then came the blood. A thousand litres of it, to be precise. And the pigs. Dozens of them, with words like MPigs written on them. Like the graphic photos Mwangi had become known for taking—it was a sight you couldn't look away from. It was a protest Mwangi organized, in 2013, to decry corrupt members of the Kenyan parliament who had decided to increase their salaries, 2 months after taking office. And at his side, through the thick red liquid of it all, was Mwangi's wife, Njere, ready to be arrested with him.

"Once I was witness to his relationship, I started seeing him as a family man," Soko tells OkayAfrica. "Because he's planning a protest and all, but when you look at the footage, you start seeing the kids and you start seeing Njere. That's when it started hitting me, in the sense, that she was with him in such a crazy space."

Soko formed a creative and activist hub, called PAWA 254, with Mwangi, as they became part of the groundswell demanding democratic reforms in a country still left scarred from the division sewed between Kikuyu and Luo people by British colonizers. "We had a new Constitution at the time, and there was this hope that we finally could picket without being tear-gassed or being beaten, Like, our civil liberties could be held up." Instead, the government strengthened its police force into a notorious organization condemned by human rights activists. "That's very salient in the film," says Soko. "If you see how the police dress, for instance, at the beginning, it's very different; they become more militant towards the end."

Soko's debut feature-length documentary, Softie, which became the first Kenyan film to ever premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, earlier this year, is at once a love story between Mwangi and his wife and their three children, but also between Mwangi and his beloved Kenya, under president Uhuru Kenyatta. Central to the film is the tussle between how these different loves bump up against each other: what comes first — love of country or love of family?

We spoke to the Nairobi-based director about making the film, which opens in virtual cinemas, starting this Friday, September 18th.

Boniface Mwangi with his wife Photo courtesy of Sam Soko

OA: Early on in the film, we learn how steadfast Boniface Mwangi is — he talks about being willing to die for the ideals he believes in, which made me think of Nelson Mandela and his Rivonia Treason Trial speech. Boniface is someone in the present day who still shares this belief?

When we were working on the edit, and kind of crafting and thinking about what the story was going to be, something that we found that was really, really interesting is, with a lot of the stories, like the story of Nelson Mandela, you'd never see the other side. That's something we see later, up ahead, as a retrospective. We'd hear about Martin Luther King and then we'd read about Coretta Scott in, I think, 1990, like, 'Oh, this his was her struggle.' That sort of thing. But for me, Boniface and Njere represented a present day reality struggle that showcases what Mandela was going through, what Martin Luther was going through. That was kind of like unravelling the curtain; when you see Martin Luther marching, Coretta's at home, trying to help their kids do their homework. And this is the reality.

OA: And the film poses that question of love for your country versus love for your family, and which one should come first?

Exactly. They see it in different ways. Boniface sees it that if you improve the country, you improve the lives of those who you love. Njere's like, you have to have your family's back first. And that means everything else comes second. And she's right; she's not wrong. And he's not wrong.

OA: The film really is privy to some really private moments in Mwangi's life — how did you gain his trust?

When we started filming the short video, he was really involved with the protests, and we started doing the protests with him. So we were—quote, unquote—in the trenches with him in the protests, and somehow that's how he kind of welcomed us to his home. When you've been with someone in the streets, and you're tear-gassed together more than once, you already have a common bond. But then I started developing a relationship with him that was beyond the streets. Just checking up on him and asking, what's going on, what's taking place? That sort of thing. I think it took a while. And I think even from Njere, we kind of developed a kind of camaraderie that was separate from my relationship with Boniface, because I would actually be like, 'Hey, he said that, how does that make you feel?' And not necessarily on camera. But over time, he kind of accepted us to be there with a camera. At some point, I kind of felt like they were talking to me, and not necessarily the camera; like, the camera is kind of this thing that's there, but not there. That kind of trust, again, was built on a respect that I have for them and their values and what they're doing. I think that's something they saw. It made them trust me with their story and trust me with their family.

You're the director of the film, but you're also producer, writer and cinematographer. Did Boniface's own style as a photojournalist influence you in any way?

The film has three cinematographers, and a lot of my cinematography is within the intimate moments, because that's when they would only engage with someone they trust. But him being a photographer actually, to a point, made the work a bit hard because he's constantly looking at how you're doing it. He's in your face about the angle. He's like, 'Hey, why are you standing there, you should be there.' But in some places he did help 'cause he's been filming in the streets and filming protests for a very long time. So when you're there filming, he'll easily tell you, 'Dude, don't stand there. They're about to start tear-gassing. Go to the other side.' And it's weird, when you're on the other side and you're filming, and all of a sudden you see tear gas, you wonder, 'How the hell did he know?' You do that 234 times and you start knowing yourself, 'Oh, this is how,' and he was really helpful in that sense.

I can imagine that filming during the protests must have been one of the big challenges of making this film but what else did you struggle with? There were death threats for Mwangi, did that happen to you as well?

It's so funny, when you're filming and when you're in the protests, it's adrenaline talking. So you're not really thinking about whether you're going to be okay. This one time, I got arrested because the cop said I was a spy for the protesters. [We had everything] from cameras breaking to sound equipment messing up, but when it became a more political story, with death threats, it became scary even for editing the film. Because you don't know who's watching you. This one time, I was with him in the car, filming, and we were being followed. So we kind of had to be very careful who we are telling about the story. It was a very deep secret that we were making this film and there are people who are watching it now asking, 'How could you keep this from us from all these years?' Because we had to do that. Especially when the family was in the US. We had to do that for the sake of safety for him, Boniface, for his family but also the film team. I remember doing the pitches with different names. But then we were also lucky that we had our co-producing partner in Canada, Eye Steel Film, so they were able to house the edit there. I went to Canada to edit and that kind of also gives you a kind of freedom to think and work and create. That was the reality, and now I think we have PTSD from the film. I can't film another protest. I'm sorry. I'm out. Like, it tapped me out.

There are similarities to the Black Lives Matter protests here in the US, against police brutality and violence but the slogan takes on a different resonance in places like Kenya, where the police force is particularly heavy-handed. How do you see these protests as being similar but also different?

There are two things that you learn with the film. One, our voices can never be silenced. They will try, but I think humanity is like a pressure cooker. The more you boil us, the more you put that heat, the more explosive we become. And through people like Boniface's life, you see that there are human beings who exist, who do extraordinary things.

The other thing is the idea of activism doesn't necessarily just speak to the person who's on the street. It doesn't necessarily speak to the person who's holding the placard. An activist is someone like Njere and her life, and her family. And Khadija [Mohamed, Mwangi's campaign manager]. She's such a strong and powerful activist in her own right. She was Boniface's campaign manager for free. The work they did was so powerful. And you have these other people in the background who are doing such incredible things. The sum total of what they've done is [to] instigate… We have an election next year, but I am so sure that we are going to have so many candidates who are going to be like, 'We want you to donate to our campaign. We have these values and beliefs; this is what we want to do.' That is how we need to go about change or add on to the conversations of change.

The same thing that's happening with the Black Lives Matters movement. Yes, there are people going to the street and we should keep going to the street. But we need to push people to engage in policy and make sure these policy changes are made.

We need to stand for what we believe in, as filmmakers in spaces where we feel oppression exists. Like the rules that have come out with the Academy Awards, these are rules that should be celebrated because they add on to that conversation of diversity and representation. All these things—that sum total—is what makes the difference. It's going beyond the streets and going beyond our Tweets, going beyond our Facebook messages, making films and sharing films. We just need to keep pumping up the volume, keeping the heat up, keep pushing. It's gonna take a while, but we'll get there.

Photojournalist-turned-politician Boniface Mwangi during a protest in Nairobi, Kenya Photo courtesy of Sam Soko

That's where you as a filmmaker come in—this film was the first Kenyan film to get into Sundance, where it won a special editing prize.

There's another film I'm producing and, and, yes, I had my film at Sundance, that's great. But there's this other filmmaker who's making another film, and it's so cool, and this is the thing—we need to keep bouncing off this energy and this light and this vibe, and just keep pushing and making sure that the wheels keep turning. That's what we're all about.

How do you renew your strength, as a filmmaker but also as a Kenyan and as an African?

Being a Kenyan is hard. I think being an African is hard. Like, it's hard. There's a line I heard Boniface say once: 'I love my country, but I am afraid of my government.' But the way in which, personally, I find energy is when I meet new filmmakers, or you know, people who are like starting out and they want to make films that sound totally crazy. And they believe that they can do it. And I'm like, 'yes, yes, keep going!' We are planning to do a premiere. We have not confirmed the date yet but we're thinking it's around going to be early October in Kenya, because Kenyans haven't watched it. The government gave us an adult rating. They're putting us on the same level as porn.

This is the same government that banned Wanuri Kahiu's Rafiki because of its homosexual theme…

Exactly, that's what we're getting but the lemonade that we've made out of all this is, 'Guess what? This is cinema!' We're going to take it to a cinema. People are going to come to watch it in a cinema or watch it at home or watch it in the best way possible. And the people who've watched it have appreciated it as a film and a story, and their story. They've seen a reflection of themselves. That gives me so much joy because the Kenyans who've watched it, when they give you feedback, they say, this is truth; this is our truth. And they don't see just an activist. They see a couple struggling with love. They see our history in the last 10 years. And they're like, 'What the hell, we lived this?' and they see the things that are unresolved — and many things are unresolved. Seeing that reaction gives me so much strength and hope. But it's hard. It's very hard. Because, you know, you have to wake up and see the policeman getting a bribe. And you're like, 'Homie??'

"SOFTIE" Movie Poster

Watch the trailer for Softie here.

Softie | Official Trailer | A film by Sam Soko

get okayafrica in your inbox


Whoisakin Channels His Love For Anime In the New Video For ‘Magic’

The single, featuring Olayinka Ehi, comes off his latest EP Full Moon Weekends.