popular
Zola 7. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Zola 7’s New Single ‘Skobho Ne-Hennessy’ is a Return to Form for The Kwaito Legend

Zola 7's new single is a serious heater.

You may or may not know this, but Zola aka Zola 7 is one of the most talented South African artists across all genres. Ever since he appeared on the SABC 1 hit drama series Yizo Yizo in the early 2000s, the artist dropped gem after gem. His is one of the most impressive four-album runs in kwaito with 2001's uMdlwembe, 2002's Khokhovula, 2003's Bhambatha and 2005's Ibutho. Then a hiatus disturbed his output, as the artist focused more on his TV career and philanthropy. Baby mama scandals plagued him, and he went from being the country's darling to a villain.


Impepho (2009), Unyezi (2011) and Intathakusa (2014), the album he released after the hiatus had moments of brilliance, but mostly fell short. The albums came out in an era after many had pronounced the death of kwaito, as house and hip-hop became the genres of choice for most young South Africans.

His previous single "Ngmohla Wosindiso" from Intathakusa was honestly average.

Read: Hip-Hop & Kwaito's Long Love-Hate Relationship

His latest single, titled "Skobho Ne-Hennessy," however reveals a razor-sharp Zola 7. The song is vintage Zola, as the artist sounds like his old confident self. He reps his hood over a recurring synthesizer sitting atop a mid-tempo rhythm.

In the aforementioned three albums that he released after his peak, the man sounded either uninspired or bitter (understandable, he had been through a lot). On "Skobho Ne-Hennessy," however, the kwaito star takes you on a day in the life of Zola 7 and his goons indulging on skobho and Hennessy. In the music video, they cruise in a convoy of Bimmers. The music video could have been better, but the song is just perfect. He even pays homage to fallen kwaito artists Brown Dash and Mandoza in one of his verses.

It's great hearing an artist who many of us grew up listening to still being able to release music that will catch our attention. Zola is one of the few kwaito artists who bridged the gap between kwaito and hip-hop, genres that for the longest time failed to see eye to eye. More about that here.

Watch the music video for "Skobho ne-Hennessy" below.

Zola7 - Skobho ne-Hennessy (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com

Op-Ed
Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images.

Black Women Are the Future of French Cinema—When Will Cannes Catch Up?

In this op-ed, OkayAfrica contributor Aude Konan reflects on the progression of diversity in French cinema a year after the Noire N'est Pas Mon Métier demonstration at Cannes Film Festival.

A year ago, 16 French actresses of African descent walked the red carpet at Cannes to talk about a new project they authored, Noire N'est Pas Mon Métier (Being Black Is Not My Job), where they shared their experiences with racism and sexism in the film industry.

In an era where the movements #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite gained global momentum and led to some change in the Academy Awards, it was a first considering that outside of Aissa Maïga, French actresses seldom get any visibility and speaking out against racism put them at risk of being blacklisted, like the actor Luc Saint Eloi's unfortunate experience 20 years ago.

The red carpet moment was generally well received in France and in the rest of the world, with the main actresses getting large media coverage with features in Le Monde, Le Figaro and even Vogue U.S. The presidents of the Cannes Film Festival welcomed the actresses. No promises were made by any of the gatekeepers in French cinema, but the actresses were hopeful.

Since the book's release, the actresses have been busy working, some of them lucky enough to be able to portray fully fledged characters, others being reduced to play the "black woman" stereotype over and over again. Recently, one of them, Karidja Touré, well known for being in the film Girlhood, mentioned that she was pretty good at mimicking an "African accent." Semantics aside—and the fact that there is no such a thing as an African accent, as Africa is still not a country—it is pretty revealing: despite the wonderful coverage these actresses had, has the movement contributed to any change?

Keep reading... Show less
popular

Walshy Fire, Ice Prince & Demarco's 'Round of Applause' Will Soundtrack Your Summer

PREMIERE: New heat from the Major Lazer producer & DJ.

Keep reading... Show less
popular

Akwaeke Emezi's 'Freshwater' Is Being Developed Into a Series for FX

The adaptation is in early development as the Nigerian author teams up with screenwriter and director Tamara P. Carter to bring 'Freshwater' to life.

Akwaeke Emezi's debut, Freshwater, took the literary world by storm when it was released just last year.

We can now anticipate seeing the book be brought to live for TV. Their autobiographical novel is now in the early stages of being developed into a series for FX, Variety reports.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.