Audio

Audio: The Madonna of the Townships

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Happy Friday! Everybody knows, an African party is not a party unless the playlist includes Brenda Fassie — and the only song we could think of to properly celebrate the weekend is her irreplaceable "Vul’indela". The South African pop sensation — dubbed "the Madonna of the townships" —  enjoyed an illustrious career that propelled her unforgettable voice across the entire continent.

Known as Mabrr amongst her fans and Queen of African Pop to the world, Fassie began her musical journey singing with her mother, a pianist, for tourists in Cape Town. She sang songs of struggle, songs of triumph, and always carried the spirit of the township through her music. Though she enjoyed incredible widespread achievement, Fassie was troubled by personal struggles which led to her untimely death in 2004 but her legacy remains. Nevermind "Waka Waka", Fassie's tunes still reign as Africa’s party anthems!

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Interview
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Interview: How Stogie T’s ‘Freestyle Friday’ Became a TV Show

Freestyle Friday started as lockdown content but is now a fully-fledged TV show on Channel O. In this interview, Stogie T breaks down why the show is revolutionary and talks about venturing into media.

When South Africa was put under a hard lockdown in 2020, Stogie T started Freestyle Friday to "make SA rap again." Freestyle Friday, hosted on Instagram, saw a different cohort of rappers each rap over the same beat picked by the veteran rapper. From niche and emerging rappers to some of the most notable names in South African hip-hop—the likes of AKA, Focalistic, Ginger Trill and several others all participated.

In the last few weeks, however, Freestyle Friday has found its way to cable TV. The show airs every Friday on Channel O, one of the continent's longest-running music TV channels. Freestyle Friday as a TV programme isn't just about freestyles, it's about the art of rapping and the music business, particularly SA hip-hop. Guests range from lyricists to record executives and other personalities aligned with the scene—Ninel Musson and Ms Cosmo for instance.

But Freestyle Friday is only the first media product Stogie T is working on as he is in the process of starting a podcast network, a venture in which he is collaborating with Culture Capital. In the Q&A below, Stogie T breaks down the relationship with Culture Capital, how the show moved from the internet to TV, why it's a revolutionary idea, touches on his venture into media and his future plans.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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