Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

The 15 Best South African Summer Songs of 2018

These are the hits South Africans will be losing their morals to this December.

In summer, especially the month of December, South Africa becomes something else.

December (or should we say Dezemba) is a lifestyle of some sort, where people forget about their troubles, work… pretty much everything and become shamelessly hedonistic—and we are totally here for that.

But there's nothing that makes Dezemba more memorable than the songs of the summer. It's those songs that are a permanent fixture on every South African's playlist as they take a break from a long and stressful year (2018 has been a lot!).

Below, we list some songs that have potential to be the soundtrack to December in South Africa. Some have already picked up in the past few months, while others are teeming with potential.

Note: This list is in no particular order.

Follow our SA Songs of the Summer playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.

King Monada "Malwedhe"

King Monada Malwedhe [New Hit 2018]

"Malwedhe" came from nowhere and staged a coup on the game. It comes with a dance that has travelled across the continent, without any formal promotion. King Monada has clearly cracked it—last year he did the same with "Ska Bhora Moreki," which was the soundtrack for the summer. Love or hate "Malwedhe," you will be forced to hear it everywhere you go, and chances are those close to you are fake-fainting and posting videos on social media. And you just might get on with the program, too.

Prince Kaybee "Banomoya" (ft. Busiswa & TNS)

Prince Kaybee ft Busiswa & TNS - Banomoya (Official Video)

If you are living in South Africa, chances are you hear this song more than once in a day. "Banomoya" has the gqom hit secret weapon, singer Busiswa doing what she does best—vocal acrobatics and intentionally crass lyrics.

Dladla Mshunqisi ft. Tipcee "Ses'fikile"

Dladla Mshunqisi Feat Tipcee- Ses'fikile (Official Music Video)

Afrotainment's latest signee Dladla Mshunqisi has one of the hottest house albums out, Umshunqo. "Ses'fikile" is the fan-favorite, and it's not hard to tell why—it has all the makings of a gqom hit: big drums, a looped synth and a chant on the hook.

DJ Maphorisa & DJ Raybel "iWalk Ye Phara" (feat. Moonchild Sanelly, K.O. & Zulu Mkhathini)

DJ Maphorisa, DJ Raybel - iWalk Ye Phara ft. Moonchild Sanelly, K.O, Zulu Mkhathini

Another gqom firestarter, "iWalk Yephara" features diverse guests from the rapper K.O to singer Moonchild Sanelly. The artists share a pleasant beat that leads with a hollow synth creeping under those big drums you hear on your favorite gqom hits.

Moozlie ft. Kid X "Vatel"

Moozlie - Vatel (Official Music Video) ft. Kid X

"Vatel" has an overt old school kwaito influence, so much that it's more hip-hop than kwaito. Producer Lunatik emulated kwaito veteran producer Mdu's production style—keys and a clean bass line—and Moozlie and Kid X laced it with catchy verses and a hook that are easy on the ear. A serious vibe.

Bigstar Johnson ft. Kwesta "Sgubu"

BigStar Johnson - Sgubu Feat. Kwesta [Official Video]

Another hip-hop song that flirts with hip-hop, "Sgubu" sees Bigstar Johnson and Kwesta celebrate pantsula culture. They recycle lines from TKZee and use the hood slang that Kwesta is fluent in. "Sgubu" is mid tempo and resonates with those who experienced kwaito in the 90s and early 2000s.

L-Tido (ft. AKA) "No Favors"

L-tido - No Favors ft. AKA (Official Video)

AKA gave Tido one of his catchy vocal hooks on "No Favors," which sits perfectly over Tweezy's minimalist yet rich instrumental. "No Favors" uses the tried and tested formula of making mega hip-hop hits in SA, and that's adulterating the genre with kwaito.

AKA ft. Kiddominant "Fela In Versace"

AKA - Fela In Versace ft. Kiddominant

One of the biggest songs on SA radio this year, "Fela In Versace" has been topping the charts since it dropped a few months ago. "Fela In Versace" is a hybrid of pop, afrobeats and hip-hop, and unlike many crossover hits, it satisfies all those markets. The track caught fire towards the end of the winter, and we are still jamming to it in the summer.

Manu WorldStar "Nalingi"

Manu Worldstar - NaLingi

Manu WorldStar's pop crossover hit is a smash hit, and will sure pack dance floors this December. "Nalingi" has all the makings of a hit—a catchy one-liner hook and a beat that's as smooth as it is catchy.

Cassper Nyovest "Gets Getsa 2.0"

Cassper Nyovest - Gets Getsa 2.0 (Official Music Video)

Sampling kwaito legend Doc Shebeleza's "Gets Gets," "Gets Getsa 2.0" by Cassper Nyovest is one of the most ratchet songs that came out this year. Again, a mixture of kwaito and hip-hop yields a song that works in shebeens and clubs alike.

Mobi Dixon ft Samthing Soweto "Abantu"

Mobi dixon - Abantu

Probably the most direct song of the year, "Abantu" is way up Dr Malinga's early output—it's a song about spending your money on booze and achieving happiness, in that order. That's exactly how December goes. Samthing Soweto's smooth vocals always sit perfectly over deep house beats, and "Abantu" is no different.

Black Coffee & David Guetta ft. Delilah Montagu "Drive"

Black Coffee & David Guetta - Drive feat. Delilah Montagu [Ultra Music]

"Drive" is the perfect song to bump during a road trip (try it). Just like most deep house songs, "Drive" is an oxymoron as it's both laidback and catchy. "Drive" is already a staple on radio and people's playlists.

Kwesta "Vur Vai"

Kwesta - Vur Vai

When December hits, hip-hop usually takes the backseat as house takes over. But Kwesta always holds down the fort—he's been doing it for the past two years with "Ngud'" and "Spirit." With "Vur Vai" having hit a million views already, he has clearly cracked it, and has one of the biggest songs of the year that people are already losing their morals to.

Manqonqo "Eyadini" (feat. Dason & Saviour Gee)

Manqonqo - Eyadini (ft Dason & Saviour Gee)

"Eyadini" features a catchy vocal hook, which make the song. It also comes with some raps from Saviour Gee. Dason's singing is reminiscent of maskandi, but it sounds at home over a gqom beat.

Master KG "Skeleton Move" (ft. Zanda Zakuza)

Master KG - Skeleton Move [Feat. Zanda Zakuza] (Official Music Video)

"Skeleton Move" is a melodic house banger that has been growing in popularity since it dropped earlier in the year. It's the type of song that your neighbor is highly likely to have on repeat throughout the festive season, and as a result forcing you to fall in love with it. The beat didn't even need vocals—it could stand alone as an instrumental house jam and still become a hit. But the vocals don't sound out of place either.

Follow our SA Songs of the Summer playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.

More hits...

Donald "Sanctuary Love" (feat. Zanda Zakuza, DJ Tira & Prince Bulo)

SANCTUARY LOVE - Donald ft Tira, Zanda Zakuza & Prince Bulo

DJ Sbu ft. Portia Monique "Beautiful"

DJ Sbu feat. Portia Monique - Beautiful

Ishmael "Ever Since (Takalani)"


The Best African Memes of 2018

Laugh with us into 2019 with OkayAfrica's best African memes of 2018.

Meme culture has become a mainstay on these internet streets. It's essentially an alternate form of communicating, of commentary and of simple laughter. 2018 had its fair share of highs and lows, and young Africans continue to utilize memes to celebrate or to cope with the nonsense.

To reflect on the African memes that broke the internet this year, we tapped contributors and African meme tastemakers to list the best African memes of 2018.

Laugh away below.

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The Black Women Who Made Big Strides in France in 2018

Yes, this was a bad year for many reasons, but we can still celebrate the black women who rose to prominence

Back in 2015, a group of Black women activists appeared in the French media: les afrofems. They were and still are, fighting against police brutality, for better inclusion in the media and to destroy harmful sexual stereotypes surrounding black women among other worthy goals. Since then, more influential Black women have gained a bigger representation in the media. And, even better, some of the afrofems activists, like Laura Nsafou and Amandine Gay, have made films and written books to bring more diversity to the entertainment industry.

2018 has, in many ways, been a year where black women made strides in France, at least in terms of culture. From winning Nobel prizes, to having best selling books and being on top of the charts, Black French women have showed that, no matter how much France wants to keep them under the radar, they're making moves. And, no matter the tragedies and terrible events that have shaped the year, it is something worth celebrating.

France's New Queen of Pop Music

We begin with Aya Nakamura, France's new queen of pop music. Her song Djadja was a summer hit. Everyone from Rihanna, to the French football team who successfully won their second world cup, sang it. Her sophomore album "Nakamura" has been certified gold in France and is still on top of the charts. She is the first French singer to have a number one album in the Netherlands since Edith Piaf in 1961. The last time a black woman was as visible in pop music was in 2004, with Lynsha's single "Hommes...Femmes".

Nakamura has received a huge backlash, mostly due to misogynoir—misogyny directed towards black women where race and gender both play roles. From a French presenter butchering her African first name despite the fact that he can easily pronounce words like "Aliagas", to online trolls calling her ugly and manly when a picture of her wearing no makeup surfaced, to people complaining that she is bringing down the quality of the entire French pop music industry, Nakamura responds to her critics gracefully. Her music is not groundbreaking but her album is full of catchy songs with lyrics using French slang she masters so well that she came up with her own words like "en catchana" (aka doggy style sex). And most importantly, many black girls and women can finally see someone like them in the media getting the success she deserves.

The Nobel Prize Winner

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Another Black French woman has broken records this year: the Guadeloupean writer Maryse Condé who won the Alternative Nobel Prize, a prize meant to replace the Nobel Prize in Literature, after the scandal that the Swedish Academy of Literature faced last year. Condé wrote her first novel at only 11 years old and has been prolific ever since. A former professor of French literature at Columbia University, she has published more than 20 books since the 1970s, exploring the complex relationships within the African diaspora. "Segu", her most famous novel, is about the impact of the slave trade and Abrahamic religion on the Bambara empire in Mali in the 19th century. Condé's work is radical and she remains committed to writing feminist texts exploring the link between gender, race and class, as well as exploring the impact of colonialism. Condé is a pillar of Caribbean literature and it's taken long enough for her work has been acknowledged by the Nobel prize committee.

The Children's Books Writers

From Comme un Million de Papillon Noir

And finally, 2018 has been the year where France's children's literature industry has finally understood how important, for the public, writers and publishers, being inclusive and diverse was. From Laura Nsafou's Comme un Million de Papillon Noir, a best selling book about a young black girl learning to love her natural hair which sold more than 6000 copies, to Neiba Je-sais-tout: Un Portable dans le Cartable, the second book of Madina Guissé published this year after a successful crowdfunding campaign, there are more and more children's and young adult books with non white protagonists. In France, there are still no stats about how diversity is doing, but in America, in 2017, only 7 percent of writers of children's literature were either Black, Latino or Native American.

There's still much to accomplish in France for the Black community to have better representation in the media, politics and all walks of life, but important strides have been accomplished this year, and it make me hopeful for what 2019 and the following years have in store.


J Hus Has Been Sentenced to Eight Months in Jail for Knife Possession

The rapper has been convicted following an arrest in June.

Gambian-Biritish grime rapper J Hus has been sentenced to eight months in prison for knife possesion, reports BBC News.

The artist, neé Momodou Jallow, was arrested in Stratford London in June when police pulled him over near a shopping center, claming that they smelled cannabis. Police officers asked Hus if he was carrying anything illegal, to which the rapper admitted that he had a 10cm folding knife in his possession. When asked why, he responded: "You know, it's Westfield."

Hus pleaded guilty at a hearing in October after initially pleading not guilty.

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