Choose your country and language:

Africa

  • Global
  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • DRC
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Americas

  • USA
  • Argentina
  • Brazil

Asia Pacific

  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Australia

Europe

  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • United Kingdom
Back
South Africa

You are only moments away

Arts
Entertainment
Family
Cape Town
Johannesburg
Bloemfontein
Durban
Nelspruit
Pretoria
Port Elizabeth
Polokwane
Kimberley
Cultural Discoveries

TThe music culture in South Africa is made up of diverse genres, from jazz, hip hop, kwaito and gospel to pop and alternative rock.

Jazz has a special place in South African music culture, and South African artists are well-known for pushing musical boundaries and doing things in new and exciting ways. The country’s political environment has had a major influence on its music, leading to the birth of original genres like kwaito, African jazz and mbube.

Did You Know?
“Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika”, part of the joint national anthem of South Africa, was originally composed as a hymn by South African school teacher, Enoch Sontonga in 1897.

TThis vibrant contemporary music scene reflects a long and colourful history that saw African, American and European music forms mix, evolve and go on to entertain diverse groups of South Africans over the decades.

Making it, listening to it or moving to it—in South Africa, music infuses every aspect of our lives. The country has a rich musical heritage that includes both popular and folk forms, encompassing genres such as jazz, blues, gospel, rock, pop, reggae, hip hop, kwaito and more.

WWhile favourites like Ladysmith Black Mambazo remains one of the world's most popular choral groups and the likes of Hugh Masekela and Abdullah Ibrahim’s music legacies continue to enthral, there is an exciting new group of South African musicians that have emerged over the last decade.

This group includes singer Simphiwe Dana, whose success has seen her hailed as the new Miriam Makeba, with her unique combination of jazz, pop, and traditional music. Another young star is Thandiswa Mazwai - originally a kwaito singer with Bongo Muffin - who combines local hip-hop rhythms with traditional Xhosa sounds, creating something completely new. Artist, Verity has been recognised internationally for innovation in the music industry, and bands like BLK JKS and Die Antwoord are bringing South African culture to the forefront of musical development and are receiving global recognition.

Kwaito is also a uniquely South African sound based on house music beats, but typically at a slower tempo, characterised by melodic and percussive African sounds, deep basslines and vocals that are chanted or shouted, most often by a male singer.

Who to contact
How to get there
What it will cost
What's happening
Best buys

Related articles

Vibrant culture

Xhosa culture: the clans and customs

Vibrant culture
Xhosa culture: the clans and customs

The AmaXhosa are part of three nations known as Nguni that are found in South Africa. The other two are AmaSwazi and AmaZulu.  The AmaXhosa settled in the Eastern Cape and over time spread to the Western Cape.

Vibrant culture

Cape Malay cuisine: food that feeds the soul

Vibrant culture
Cape Malay cuisine: food that feeds the soul

A food group born from the souls of slaves, in its heart, one motto: make sure our people are fed.

Vibrant culture

The Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela of the Pilanesberg

Vibrant culture
The Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela of the Pilanesberg

In the north-eastern corner of the Pilanesberg, where the Big Five roam the plains and platinum sits in abundance under the soil, you’ll find the ancestral home of the Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela people.

Vibrant culture

Bapedi history, traditions, culture and food

Vibrant culture
Bapedi history, traditions, culture and food

The Bapedi tribe (also known as Pedi and Basotho) arose from small chiefdoms that were formed before the 17th century.

Vibrant culture

Xhosa cuisine: the dishes and traditions

Vibrant culture
Xhosa cuisine: the dishes and traditions

Xhosa cuisine: the dishes and traditions

Vibrant culture

Shaka kaSenzangakhona, the founder of the Zulu kingdom

Vibrant culture
Shaka kaSenzangakhona, the founder of the Zulu kingdom

King Shaka kaSenzangakhona has been portrayed as a blood-thirsty dictator who ruled through coercion and instilled fear in his people. Contrary to these misrepresentations, early colonial accounts portray him as a keen international trader who went out of his way to protect the traders between 1824 and 1828.

Vibrant culture

Venda culture

Vibrant culture
Venda culture

Venda culture and traditions are rooted in the responsibilities of the royal leaders, who are referred to as mahosi or vhamusanda in the Luvenda language, which means chiefs or traditional leaders who are royal leaders.

Vibrant culture

Zulu culture and cattle symbolism

Vibrant culture
Zulu culture and cattle symbolism

The Zulu-speaking people are descendants of the Iron Age communities of Southern Africa who cultivated the soil and kept livestock.

South Africa on social media

Copyright © 2018 South African Tourism
|Terms and conditions|Disclaimer|Privacy policy