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] www.youtube.com

"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) www.youtube.com

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) www.youtube.com

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 www.youtube.com

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 www.youtube.com

"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] www.youtube.com

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) www.youtube.com

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 www.youtube.com

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 www.youtube.com

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) www.youtube.com

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 www.youtube.com

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] www.youtube.com

"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 www.youtube.com

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) www.youtube.com

"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) www.youtube.com

"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 www.youtube.com

DJ Sbu ft. Portia Monique "Beautiful"

DJ Sbu feat. Portia Monique - Beautiful www.youtube.com

Ishmael "Ever Since (Takalani)"

Artwork: Barthélémy Toguo Lockdown Selfportrait 10, 2020. Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Goes to Paris in 2021

The longstanding celebration of African art will be hosted by Parisian hot spot Christie's for the first time ever.

In admittedly unideal circumstances, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair will be touching French soil in 2021. The internationally celebrated art fair devoted to contemporary art from Africa and the African diaspora will be hosted in Paris, France from January 20 - 23. With COVID-19 still having its way around the globe, finding new ways to connect is what it's all about and 1-54 is certainly taking the innovative steps to keep African art alive and well.
In partnership with Christie's, the in-person exhibits will take place at the auction house's city HQ at Avenue Matignon, while 20 international exhibitors will be featured online at Christies.com. And the fun doesn't stop there as the collaboration has brought in new ways to admire the talent from participating galleries from across Africa and Europe. The fair's multi-disciplinary program of talks, screenings, performances, workshops, and readings are set to excite and entice revelers.

Artwork: Delphine Desane Deep Sorrow, 2020. Courtesy Luce Gallery

The tech dependant program, curated by Le 18, a multi-disciplinary art space in Marrakech medina, will see events take place during the Parisian run fair, followed by more throughout February.
This year's 1-54 online will be accessible to global visitors virtually, following the success of the 2019's fair in New York City and London in 2020. In the wake of COVID-19 related regulations and public guidelines, 1-54 in collaboration with Christie's Paris is in compliance with all national regulations, strict sanitary measures, and security.

Artwork: Cristiano Mongovo Murmurantes Acrilico Sobre Tela 190x200cm 2019

1-54 founding director Touria El Glaoui commented, "Whilst we're sad not to be able to go ahead with the fourth edition of 1-54 Marrakech in February as hoped, we are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to be in Paris this January with our first-ever fair on French soil thanks to our dedicated partners Christie's. 1-54's vision has always been to promote vibrant and dynamic contemporary art from a diverse set of African perspectives and bring it to new audiences, and what better way of doing so than to launch an edition somewhere completely new. Thanks to the special Season of African Culture in France, 2021 is already set to be a great year for African art in the country so we are excited to be playing our part and look forward, all being well, to welcoming our French friends to Christie's and many more from around the world to our online fair in January."

Julien Pradels, General Director of Christie's France, said, "Christie's is delighted to announce our second collaboration with 1-54, the Contemporary African Art Fair, following a successful edition in London this October. Paris, with its strong links to the continent, is a perfect place for such a project and the additional context of the delayed Saison Africa 2020 makes this partnership all the more special. We hope this collaboration will prove a meaningful platform for the vibrant African art scene and we are confident that collectors will be as enthusiastic to see the works presented, as we are."

Artwork: Kwesi Botchway Metamorphose in July, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery 1957

Here's a list of participating galleries to be on the lookout for:


31 PROJECT (Paris, France)
50 Golborne (London, United Kingdom)
Dominique Fiat (Paris, France)
Galerie 127 (Marrakech, Morocco)
Galerie Anne de Villepoix (Paris, France)
Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire/ Dakar, Senegal)
Galerie Eric Dupont (Paris, France)
Galerie Lelong & Co. (Paris, France / New York, USA)
Galerie Nathalie Obadia (Paris, France / Brussels, Belgium)
Galleria Continua (Beijing, China / Havana, Cuba / Les Moulins, France / San Gimignano, Italy / Rome, Italy)
Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana / London, United Kingdom)
Loft Art Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco)

Luce Gallery (Turin, Italy)
MAGNIN-A (Paris, France)
Nil Gallery (Paris, France)
POLARTICS (Lagos, Nigeria)
SEPTIEME Gallery (Paris, France)
This is Not a White Cube (Luanda, Angola) THK Gallery (Cape Town, South Africa) Wilde (Geneva, Switzerland)

For more info visit 1-54

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