Renowned philosopher and writer, Victor Hugo, said life would be a mistake without music. And as a South African emigrant, we tend to agree – life simply holds more meaning with some song and dance in the mix, especially when those tunes remind us of home.
So in honour of those songs that make our hearts beat to an African drum, we’ve put together a list of 50 South African songs (in no particular order) which play on our heart strings.
Just like the colourful cultures and personalities of the rainbow nation, this mix is rather eclectic (to say the least), and we’ve tried to accommodate everyone. This means grannies and grandpas may want to skip over a few numbers, while our younger readers will necessitate a few eye-rolls at other entries. But no matter your taste; this music is ours, and makes us proud – proudly South African that is.
50 South African hits
- Master Jack – Four Jacks and a Jill
- Halala Afrika – Johannes Kerkorrel
- African Dream – Vicky Sampson
- Right Here In July – Al Bairre
- Kaptein – Kurt Darren
- The Warrior – Ipi Tombi (Bertha Egnos & Gail Lakier)
- Agter Elke Man – Steve Hofmeyr
- Our Heritage (braaiday song) – Die Heuwels Fantasties ft HHP, JR & the Soweto Gospel Choir
- I’d Like – Freshly Ground
- Sounds of Silence (cover) – the Awakening
- Gebed – Jannie du Toit
- If You Wanna Be Happy – Dr Victor and the Rasta Rebels
- Sprokie vir ‘n Stadskind – Koos du Plessis
- Midnight – 350ml
- Stof – Klopjag
- Paradise Road – Joy
- Born in a Taxi – Blk Sonshine
- Safe as Houses – aKing
- Toe vind ek jou – Karen Zoid en Francois van Coke
- Fine Again – Seether
- Click song (Qongqothwane) – Miriam Makeba
- Sonkring – Helena Hettema
- Take yours, I’ll take mine – Matthew Mole
- Blue Eyes – Springbok Nude Girls
- Jantjie – Sonja Heroldt
- Scatterlings of Africa – Johnny Clegg and Savuka
- Sarafina! – Hugh Masekela
- De la Rey – Bok van Blerk
- The Boy from Apricot Spells – the Led
- Donkey Rattle – Felix Laband
- Stuur Groete aan Mannetjies Roux – Laurika Rauch
- Substitute – Clout
- Shine – James Stewart
- Royal Hotel – David Kramer
- Cooler as Ekke – Jack Parrow
- Enter the Ninja – die Antwoord
- Man on the Moon – Ballyhoo
- Sproetjies – Sias Reynecke
- Special Star – Mango Groove
- Victoriabaai – Lucas Maree
- Oliver Tambourine – Wrestlerish
- Ek wil jou ken – Anneli van Rooyen
- Do you remember – Noa Noa
- The Banded – the Narrow
- Ten Years – Josie Field
- Ruiter van die Windjie – Bles Bridges
- Peter – Desmond and the Tutus
- Tussen Treine – Richard van der Westhuizen & Lochner de Kock
- Ou Ryperd – Dozi
- Gedagte vir die Dag – die Straatligkinders
Bonus entry: Africa – Toto
Although Toto doesn’t count as a South African group, few things bring us so close to tears as listening to this Californian band sing about our favourite continent, which is why we feel they deserve an honorary mention on our list.
And there you have it folks! An eclectic South African mix for all our fellow emigrants abroad. We’re sure you have a few personal favourites to add to this playlist. We say crank up the volume and sing along at the top of your voice.
All hail, mother Africa!
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