HomeDiaspora African NewsAmapiano conquers Africa and the African diasporas

Amapiano conquers Africa and the African diasporas


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dbn gogo

Photo: Oupa Bopape/Gallo Images

  • Amapiano performers charge up to R200,000 for a single show in Africa.
  • The international Covid-19 lockdowns are due in part to the credit of their current demand.
  • Amapiano has become a global sound, particularly due to the South African diaspora community in Europe and the United States.

When DBN Gogo, whose real name is Mandisa Radebe, 28, took the stage at 02:00 on Monday at a Yacht Club farming complex on the northern outskirts of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city, she couldn’t believe that the electrifying audience awaited his.

“Oh my word!” she exclaimed, heading to the stage with a bit of fear visible in her eyes.

She had serenaded a similarly hungry crowd in the capital city, Harare, just under 24 hours earlier. Her next stop could be another African city.

After nearly two years without flights due to Covid-19-induced lockdowns around the world, the entertainment industry was one of the hardest hit. The most affected in South Africa was probably the youthful sound of the Amapian new wave, a kind of offshoot of kwaito and house music.

Now young artists are traveling the continent, taking advantage of the festive season. First in Zimbabwe was the Major League duo who experienced Zimbabwean life in an aristocratic way.

Their hosts took them to the concerts on a private jet between cities and, due to the love they received, they are back in Zimbabwe on December 22.

Announcing on their Twitter account @MAJORLEAGUEDJZ, the duo have a series of shows in the first African country to gain independence, Ghana, in December.

Amapiano has become a global sound, particularly due to the South African diaspora community in Europe and the United States. Major League DJs have a series of concerts across the US this month.

Vusa Mkhaya, an Austria-based Afro music producer, told News24 that Amapian artists are reaping the rewards of the hard work put in during the lockdown because they created a lot of content.

“I think one of the positive things that has come out of this pandemic is the way people have embraced online entertainment and the arts in general.

“The song Jerusalema went viral around the world thanks to the dance challenge that emerged during the pandemic when the world was in lockdown and people had time to consume art from the comfort of their homes.”

“Amapiano artists were busy creating and feeding the world new music through their social media pages. So when the world opened up, people all over the world were and still are hungry for live entertainment,” said.

Amapiano’s DJs are making relatively good money. They charge between R50,000 and R200,000 per show. A music promoter who has brought some to African cities, Adias Moyo, said the artists are worth every penny they charge.

“The average Amapian artist commands a crowd of at least 2,000 revelers. People pay a lot of money outside of South Africa to have a good time,” he said.

Friday brings Boohle (Buhle Manyanthi), the melodious voice of Cassper Nyovest. Siyathandana, to Bulawayo. Depending on the show, his intention is to take the artist to other SADC cities.

In 2015, at the height of the xenophobic attacks in South Africa, Cassper Nyovest almost postponed her shows in Zimbabwe fearing a backlash.

Out of love, he donated his earnings to victims of xenophobic attacks.

On April 29 next year, the Victoria Falls Carnival returns.

Bringing together people from various parts of southern Africa, the DJ line-up has been announced, with headlining acts being Amapian gods DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small, music producer Master KG, who Jerusalema hit is known far and wide in the destinations of Africa.


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