Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

One of the hosts of The Sobering podcast seated in front of a microphone. The Sobering is one of the most popular podcasts in South Africa.

6 South African Podcasts to Listen to During the Lockdown

Here are six South African podcasts worth listening to.

South Africa has been on lockdown for almost two weeks as a measure to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and it looks like the period might just get extended. If you are one of those whose work can't be done from home, then you must have a lot of time in your hands. Below, we recommend six South African podcasts you can occupy yourself with and get empowered, entertained and informed.

The Cheeky Natives

‎The Cheeky Natives: Mphuthumi Ntabeni: Broken River Tent on Apple Podcasts

A literary podcast hosted by two literature freaks, Dr Alma-Nalisha Cele and Letlhogonolo Mokgoroane. The podcast, which is usually recorded live before an audience, sees the two hosts interview (South) African authors about their work and the literary industry. If you love literature, just subscribe and listen to conversations with authors such as Haji Mohamed Dawjee, Sihle Mthembu, Panashe Chigumadzi and more.

Stream The Cheeky Natives on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

​The Sobering

‎The Sobering: S04E02 ft Scoop Makhathini on Apple Podcasts

Hosted by three knowledgeable and highly opinionated hip-hop heads, Kitso Moremi, Kabelo Moremi aka Lil Frat and Javas Skolo, The Sobering is one of the longest-running hip-hop podcasts in South Africa, having started in 2015. The trio has no holds barred conversations with their guests, who are usually hip-hop artists. Ginger Trill, Scoop Makhahini, Stogie T, Loot Love and Fred Mercury, among lots of others are some of the guests that have been interviewed on the podcast.

Stream The Sobering on Apple Podcasts and Spotify


​The Almost Perfect Podcast

‎The Almost Perfect Podcast: BONUS: Bylwansta - Roots Up TV on Apple Podcasts

Durban-based writer, critic and comedian, Bob Perfect holds conversations with artists, fellow critics and cultural figures in his podcast, The Almost Perfect Podcast. He has interviewed the likes of Aewon Wolf, Lex LaFoy, P Kuttah, ByLwansta and a whole lot more. If you love listening to spontaneous conversations that don't sound like interviews, while gaining new insights on the subject, this podcast is, well, perfect for you.

Stream The Almost Perfect Podcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

​The Dojo SA

‎Rev It Up (feat. Sir Spits & Kevadventures) - Single by The Dojo

Listening to The Dojo SA is like embarking on a journey without knowing the destination. The conversation between the hosts DesNoTutu and The Sensei and their guest (if they have one) steers itself in its own direction. Hip-hop forms a huge part of The Dojo SA, but the conversations expand to varied topics like race, relationships and just life at large. Guests such as Amu, Fortune Masina, Sizwe Dhlomo and Dr Sindi Van Zyl have all contributed to engaging episodes of the podcast, which has been around since 2016.

Stream The Dojo SA on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

This Audio is Visual

This Audio Is Visual - Koketso Tube by This Audio Is Visual • A podcast on Anchor

Hosted by multidisciplinary storyteller Andiswa Mkosi, This Audio is Visual is a podcast that focuses on photography. She interviews a different photographer in each episode about their work and how they navigate their way in the industry. As a photographer herself, Mkosi knows the right questions to ask to get insightful responses from her guests. She has interviewed the likes of Tseliso Monaheng, Andile Buka and Puleng Mongale among a few others.

Stream This Audio is Visual on Anchor, Spotify and SoundCloud.

​Mashstartup Podcast

‎Mashstartup Podcast: How To Build Partnerships & Quantify Value on Apple Podcasts

Mashudu Modau engages African entrepreneurs about their journeys in their careers in his podcast Mashstartup Podcast. The podcast goes beyond profiling guests but further ensures they share their insights on various aspects of the start-up and entrepreneurship world such as building good relationships, dealing with failure and rejection. Modau describes himself as an "eco-driven specialist, youth entrepreneur and part-doctor" and is passionate about the start-up space.

Stream Mashstartup Podcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.


6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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