4 SA bangers that we’ll never forget

2018-09-16 14:00

Johannesburg - There are some songs that have been searing anthems in the soundtracks of our lives. For better or for worse, they are woven into the fabric of our experiences, on and off the dance floor. #Trending chose four songs that made a lasting impression on us:

1. Brenda Fassie – Weekend Special

This 80s jam has been a musical gift passed on from one generation to another. The song established the great MaBrrr as the voice of her generation, and was the precursor to a string of breakout hits throughout her career that captured the joy and pain of the nation. Weekend Special was the fastest-selling record at the time and was also popular internationally. Brenda and the Big Dudes toured the US, the UK, Europe, Australia and Brazil. The song’s carefree message is tinged with the pain of being “the other woman”, which is classic Fassie. – Rhodé Marshall

2. TKZee featuring Benni McCarthy – Shibobo

It was 1998, kwaito was upon us and TKZee rose to the top of the pile, and remains influential. Shibobo also hooked into the country’s love of football, doubling the pop appeal as international striker Benni McCarthy was given a verse and he appeared in the song’s streety video at an empty Orlando Stadium. Benni is one of the most decorated players our country has produced – not many other footballers can claim a Uefa Champions League title – so this urban anthem was actually a robust flex even before the streets knew what that was. These four cats took us to school on sampling by flipping the corniest record you may ever hear, The Final Countdown by Europe, and making it a dusty anthem that is still intoxicating. – Phumlani S Langa

3. Mafikizolo – Ndihamba Nawe

Who can forget the opening call of “We bhuti ... We bhuti ...”? That Christmas of 2002 and the whole way through the following year, you couldn’t get married, or even have a damn drink, without this being on the playlist. Ndihamba Nawe cemented Mafikizolo in the pop firmament, growing Afropop out of the kwaito scene and igniting a love for them across the continent. I don’t remember knowing anyone who didn’t own the album Sibongile, and I still remember the launch event that brought with it a bucket of trendy Sophiatown retro styles. Ndihamba Nawe is a Xhosa expression of love –in the song, a woman announces that she is going home with her man. – Charl Blignaut

4. Sfiso Ncwane – Kulungile Baba

From the moment gospel smash hit Kulungile Baba was released, it echoed across the country and became an anthem in shebeens, taxis and churches. The unifying track by the late Sfiso Ncwane won people’s hearts across the generations and went on to become the first gospel song to win the public vote and lift the record of the year trophy at the SA Music Awards in 2013. Another amazing accomplishment was when it cracked the hard shell of the Nigerian market by going on high rotation on radio there. Demand was so great from Nigerian music lovers that Ncwane was asked to translate Kulungile Baba into Igbo, and the song became known as Odigo-mma. The award-winning singer then recorded the song with Nigeria’s Chinyere Udoma. Though Ncwane is no longer around, Kulungile Baba keeps his memory alive. – Rhodé Marshall

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