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10 Essential South African Love Songs to Set the Mood This Valentine's Day

Here are 10 songs from Mthunzi, Kwesta, Ami Faku, Berita and several others that you need to add to your playlist this Valentine's Day.

It's Valentine's Day. No matter how and where you plan on celebrating the occasion, we've compiled a playlist of 10 essential South African love songs to help you make sure the mood is set just right.

From Mthunzi's serenading Zulu lyrics to Kwesta's real-life wedding tribute and Ayanda Jiya's glorious anthem, there's a song here for everyone. Whether you're looking for a nostalgic jam to remember love lost or a powerful number to help you navigate a budding romance, we've got you covered.

And, if by the end of this playlist you're still searching for just a few more gems to add that (hopefully) growing playlist, you can also check out our African Love Songs playlist on Apple Music.


Mthunzi feat. Claudio & Kenza "Ngibambe La"

A standout track from his debut album Selimathunzi, Mthunzi reminds his love interest that while all the guys are excitedly chasing after her, the two of them both know that she's only got eyes for him.

Berita "Ndiceli'ikiss"

In this feel-good and upbeat jam, Berita unabashedly asks her lover to pull in just a little closer for that special kiss. You never know until you ask right?

Mafikizolo "Ngeke Balunge"

"Ngeke Balunge" sees popular Afropop duo Mafikizolo returning to their original sound and describing a love that will always lead them back to one another—just as with Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

Manu WorldStar "Future Plan"

In this laid-back and easy number, rising Afro-soul artist Manu Worldstar lays out all his imagined future plans on the table in the hopes of his love interest giving him a shot.

Ayanda Jiya "The Sun"

This glorious anthem by Ayanda Jiya may not be intended to be a love song, but it speaks about holding on just a little longer until the sun rises. We don't know about you, but love can have you feeling that way sometimes.

Samthing Soweto "Umuhle Uyasabeka"

In this uptempo track, Samthing Soweto praises his lover's ethereal beauty in a way that is sure to have her swooning.

Ami Faku "Ungowami"

Ami Faku slows the pace down in "Ungowami" as she lets her lover know that he belongs to her and no-one else.

Mlindo The Vocalist "Emakhaya"

In this beautiful number, Mlindo The Vocalist sings about looking forward to finding his lover upon making the long journey back home.

Amanda Black "Ndizele Wena"

No matter the ups and downs, the arguments and the disagreements, Amanda Black tells her love interest that she's not leaving—she's staying right there with him through thick and thin.

Kwesta feat. Makwa, Tshego AMG & Thee Legacy "Khethile Khethile"

Kwesta shows us a different side to his artistry in this vulnerable tribute to his wife on their wedding day. This track will definitely pull at your heartstrings.


















Interview

Malian Rapper Ami Yerewolo Rises Against All Odds

Ami Yerewolo reflects on her hard-won rap career, new album AY and why she insists on creating support spaces for young female rappers in Mali and beyond.

"No one is a prophet in his or her own land!" This is an accurate way to describe Ami Yerewolo's career to a tee. The Malian rapper's music has not always been popular in her home country, where female rappers are generally frowned upon. Instead, it has taken off abroad. Yerewolo's upbeat sound mixes traditional Malian elements with fast drums, contemporary beats and significant lyrics that compel listeners to reflect on life — all of which makes her songs carry a universal appeal. Her new album, AY (titled after the rapper's initials) has just been released by the label Othentiq.

Yerewolo shares her frank thoughts below...

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