South Africa deserves a re-introduction, beyond the tribal safari landscape the tourism based television commercials are highlighting, a bustling culture where tradition meets modernity can be found. Johannesburg, the host of the 2010 World Cup is a booming and bustling cosmopolitan city and the first sound to be heard in this city Kwaito, the urban beat of the streets blasted through moving cars, shops, and the clubs of the city.
The sound of Fela on Broadway is an amuse-bouche of African ear candy which leads us back to Kwaito, the central unit of music and culture in South Africa. Established in Johannesburg around Nelson Mandela’s monumental election, Kwaito music carries with it social, political, and cultural elements of post-apartheid life in South Africa. Kwaito’s poetic lyricism touches upon the youth and urban culture over the pulsing syncopation of driving bass lines. The language spoken is almost like Jamacian-Patois, a mixture of English, Zulu, Sesoth, and Isicamtho (a South African street slang). Kwaito music is reconstitution of European house beats infused with local South African soul which demands a dance party.
After gospel music, Kwaito is the best selling genre in the industry. Artists like Dj Bongz enjoy huge success in the mainstream music scene in South Africa. In the past, white record label industries dominated the scene posing a challenge for Kwaito musicians to enter the market which eventually propelled them to produce their own labels such as Ghetto Ruff, which is the top selling Kwaito label right now.
NEXT PAGE: KWAITO MUSIC AND NIGHTLIFE IN JOHANNESBURG
Along with the vibrant music scene, the local nightlife is energetic especially in the heat of the World Cup, the spirits are vivaciously high and extends far beyond tribal chanting around tents with elephants and giraffes. Here’s a closer look at some attractive venues for the World Cup after-parties where one can experience rabid soccer fans and a unique taste of South Africa.
This club looks no different from the VIP clubs of New York and Los Angeles. The purple and blue lighting backdrops complements the glistening chandeliers making The Bank a chic, minimalist venue for people to relax and mingle at. The Bank is completely dedicated to the soccer craze complete with viewing parties, exclusive events, and celebrations with Adidas Originals.
NEXT PAGE: LIVE MUSIC AT THE BASSLINE
Bassline is a legendary club providing live music and entertainment in the Johannesburg area. It’s not only a great performance venue but also a mainstay in the city’s music and art scene. Many regulars frequent this place and it is a great spot to check out the local flavors as well as the array of international acts they feature.