The 20 Best South African Songs of the Month

Featuring 25K, Moonchild Sanelly, Stiff Pap, Sio, Ayanda Jiya, etc.

Our list of the best South African songs of the month includes new singles that dropped in August, alongside those that were highlighted by getting the visual treatment.

Check out our selections below, which feature 25K, Moonchild Sanelly, Stiff Pap, Sio, Ayanda Jiya, among others.

The list is in no particular order.

Follow our MZANSI HEAT playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Stiff Pap "Mkokotelo"

Arguably the strongest song on Stiff Pap's new EP Stiff Pap Radio, "Mkokotelo," just like its siblings, references the past while looking into the future and living in the present. Kwaito, house and electro merge perfectly, met halfway by engaging storytelling from the duo's rapper Ayema Problem.

Lunatik x  Moonchild Sanelly "Dlala"

"Dlala" feels like summer. Moonchild Sanelly has a knack for kwaito, and meets the producer Lunatik halfway. She laces the instrumental with kwaito-esque verses and hook.

​25K "Culture Vulture Remix" (ft. Emtee and AKA)

25K's street hit gets treated to expensive verses from SA hip-hop royalty, AKA and Emtee, and it's lovely.

Just G, Ranks ATM & Sims (ft. Emtee) "Where Would I Be?"

An introspective opening song to ATM members Just G, Ranks ATM and Sims' collective mixtape 3 Way, "Where Would I Be?" boasts a strong hook from Emtee and focused rapping from the trio over a soulful trap beat by Ruff.

​Solo "Promises" (ft. Kwesta)

Solo and Kwesta share a kwaito instrumental that teleports you straight to the golden era of kwaito—the 90s and early 2000s.

​Camagwini "Dubai"

Camagwini returns after a five-year hiatus sharp as ever. On "Dubai," she blends maskandi, Afro-soul and rock and, reflects on making a questionable decision when she chose money over love.

​Tumi Tladi "Burning Out" (ft. Thabsie)

A feel-good tune that references South Africa's 80s' bubblegum pop music, "Burning Out" is both ratchet and sophisticated.

Rick Jade "Moenie Worry" (ft. Forcalistic)

Priddy Ugly and Bontle Modiselle rope in Forcalistic for "Moenie Worry," a song from their joint album as Rick Jade. Old school kwaito and amapiano lend influence to the dynamic and jolly standout song.

​Manu WorldStar "Young African Story"

For this joyful reflection on his journey, Manu WorldStar floats without any effort above open-ended production from Ganja Beats. "Young African Story" is the title track on Manu WorldStar's new EP of the same title. Peep it.

​DJ Kaymoworld ft. 25K, Espiquet and Reason "The Come Up"

Solid collaboration curated by DJ Kaymoworld. Reason and Espiquet spit playful potent bars, while 25K seals it with a hook that demands your attention.

Ami Faku "Inde Lendlela"

Ami Faku releases a motivational ballad from her upcoming debut album Imali. "Inde Lendlela" lets you know that you are not alone in your struggles, the road is long by nature.

​Samthing Soweto x Makhafula Vilakazi "Omama Bomthandazo"

"Omama Bomthandazo" is a song by Samthing Soweto and poet Makhafula Vilakazi, which the artists released to commemorate Women's Day (August 9) and Women's Month (August) in South Africa. They sing praises to black mothers who sacrifice a lot of their lives for the better of their kids.

​Sio "could You"

One of many great tunes from Sio's debut album, a selection of electronic soul tunes in which Sio shares her views and experiences on love and life.

​Ayanda Jiya "Lover 4 Life"

An outstanding R&B-rap collaboration between R&B artist Ayanda Jiya and Stogie T that celebrates love's great moments.

​PHFAT "Feeding Time"

"Feeding Time" showcases breath-taking production from Narch making for a song that troubles your eardrum, but you'll love it.

​Kwesta (ft. YoungstaCPT) "Live from Kathlehong"

Kwesta and YoungstaCPT trade heartfelt verses over a deep bassline which contributes to the song's intensity and emotion.

​YoungstaCPT "Old Kaapie"

YoungstaCPT highlights "Old Kaapie" from his album 3T as a single by giving it the visual treatment. "Old Kaapie" preaches resilience to South Africa's coloured community. The video was shot in Eldorado Park, Joburg and showcases coloured life in the neighborhood.

​Clement and King Monada "Good Life"

Clement and King Monada croon with the aid of autotune over a beat that marries South African house, trap and pop on their collaborative single "Good Life."

Kabza De Small "Jimmy Dludlu"

Kabza De Small samples jazz legend Jimmy Dludlu's trademark guitar and tosses it in playful drums and the customary amapiano pads.

​Sho Madjozi "John Cena"

Sho Madjozi introduced an unreleased single titled "John Cena" during her viral performance on A COLORS SHOW. It's Sho Madjozi performing lyrical acrobats over a gqom beat, as usual.

Follow our MZANSI HEAT playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Still from Burna Boy's Tiny Desk concert video via NPR.

Watch Burna Boy's Mellowed-Out 'Tiny Desk' Concert

Watch the 'African Giant' run through some of his hits like 'Gbona,' 'Ye' and more for NPR's Tiny Desk concert series.

Burna Boy is the latest artist to grace NPR's famous Tiny Desk.

The Nigerian "afrofusion" star took to the set for a mellowed out performance of four of his biggest tracks. Getting straight to business, the artist opened his set with a toned down rendition of his single "Gbona" before heading into the socially-aware "Wetin Man Go Do." It's much calmer of a performance than we're used to seeing from the artist.

Next he performs a funky version of "Dangote," before rounding his set out with his magnum opus of sorts "Ye." He's backed by the band The Outsiders and vocalist Christina Matovu throughout.

Burna Boy has had a stellar year, releasing his seminal album African Giant, performing at Coachella and winning several awards—including 'Best African Act' at the BET Awards—in the process.

Check out his full Tiny Desk performance below, and revisit a recent Tiny Desk performance from British-Nigerian rapper Dave from last week and check out Burna Boy's okay acoustics performance of 'Anybody' from August.

Keep reading... Show less
Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and Sabelo Mkhabela.

Wizkid, Anatii Win Big at BET Soul Train Awards Alongside Beyoncé

The Nigerian and South African artists, respectively, won soul train awards for their contributions to 'Brown Skin Girl."

Nigeria's Wizkid and South Africa's Anatii both earned BET Soul Train Awards last night for their contributions to Beyoncé's hit song "Brown Skin Girl."

The song, which is an ode to dark-skinned women, was one of the standout tracks from Beyoncé's The Lion King: The Gift. It earned the "Ashford and Simpson Songwriter's Award" last night during the awards ceremony in Las Vegas. Wizkid is featured on the track and has a writing credit, while Anatii is credited as a composer along with Michael Uzowuru, and others.

The song was also nominated in the "Best Collaboration Performance" category.

Keep reading... Show less
Simi in "Selense" (Youtube)

Watch Simi's Beautiful Music Video For 'Selense'

Premiere: Simi shares the upbeat new video for "Selense," a song about time which draws inspiration from classic highlife.

Nigeria's Simi comes through with the new music video for her recent single, "Selense."

The song, which sees her sing about using your time and years on this earth preciously, gets a beautiful new video that follows Simi's verses about different characters who may or may not be spending their hours in the best way.

The upbeat new music video, which was directed by Adasa Cookey, is getting premiered here on OkayAfrica today.

"'Selense' is a song about time," Simi tells OkayAfrica. "The song draws inspiration from classic African highlife. A timeless classic that is perfect for all seasons."

Keep reading... Show less
Photo by Seyllou/AFP via Getty Images

France Returns a 19th Century Sword Back to Senegal

The sword belonged to a Senegalese anti-colonial struggle fighter Omar Saidou Tall.

France has returned a 19th century sword back to Senegal. The sword belonged to Senegalese Islamic scholar and anti-colonial struggle fighter Omar Saidou Tall. The French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe recently handed over the sword to Senegal's President Macky Sall in a ceremony held in Dakar this past Sunday. The sword is now in the Museum of Black Civilizations of Dakar. The move comes after the Senegalese government's request for France to return more than 100 artifacts housed in French museums and France's President Emmanuel Macron subsequently commissioned a report entitled "The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage: Toward a New Relational Ethics".

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox