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The 10 best South African music videos of 2016

by: Aseza Pupuma - 19 December 2016

kwesta-hipnotik-festival-2016We compile a list of some of the music videos that we thought deserved a standing ovation this year, from Kwesta’s James Bond-esque “Mayibabo”, the short film that is “Ekuseni” by Sjava, the minimalistic “Come to my Kasi” by Priddy Ugly, and more. The list is in no particular order.

1. DJ Citi Lyts ft. Saudi & Sjava – “Vura”

When it comes to music videos, the concept of having rappers rapping their way through a house party is nothing new. However, Ofentse Mwase, the director behind this video, inserted interesting lifestyle commentary cutaways to make it slightly different. The dance crews on the streets and Saudi being told to take money to Bab’ uNxumalo, which he says in his raps. These go quite well with the narrative of the song, which is about driving a Vura (VW VR6) ekasi.


2. Euphonik ft. Donald – “Runaway Lover”

This music video is the definition of slick and clean. It’s very simple and it utilises the rhythm of the music to drag you into it. The sound interacts perfectly with the visuals creating something you wouldn’t mind watching over and over again.

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3. Mi Casa ft. Eddy Kenzo – “Movie Star”

What I love about this music video is the witty performance by the artists. J’Something is usually the one taking centre stage with the dance moves on Mi Casa videos. However, on this song, the rest of the group as well as the Ugandan artist Eddy Kenzo, who is featured, joined in, because what would men not do to impress a young lady? The colourful imagery works with the playful storyline.


4. Sjava – “Ekuseni”

This video captures a beautiful love story set in the apartheid era. The director creates an emotional narrative by using a lot of close-up shots to show you the characters’ facial expressions. From when the lady character cries after the police took her husband (Sjava) to when he is actually in jail. It really makes you want to drop a thug tear there for a minute.


5. Riky Rick – “Sidlukotini”

The production of this music video is outstanding. The self-named King Kotini shows us why he is worthy of such a title. He lets the visuals and the necessary essentials do the talking, from the luxurious fur to the grills on his teeth. The video has great cinematography, the lighting and special effects display something that appears to be quite expensive.

6. Kwesta ft. DJ Maphorisa & DJ Buckz – “Mayibabo” 

This video reminds me of a James Bond movie. The concept may not be anything new, but it’s definitely something fresh for the South African music industry. The video has this fast motion technique in the beginning where Kwesta is driving and being chased by motor bikes, which compliments the song well. But Okmalumkoolkat’s scene, where he is driving a speedboat, is probably the illest much like his verse, without a doubt.


7. AKA ft. Yanga – “Dreamwork”

Adriaan Louw shot a dope video with an interesting concept. However, a lot of self-proclaimed critics on the YouTube comments section were not really impressed because “it has nothing to do with what the song is about”. The video’s concept is open-ended, we all have different understandings of it. AKA was trying to communicate a message, and you have the liberty to decide what it is.


8. Priddy Ugly ft. YoungstaCPT – “Come to my Kasi”

This music video is great for two reasons that don’t even need an expert to analyse. Firstly, the aerial shots are the definition of “dope”, and they enhance the production of the video making it a work of art. Secondly, the minimalism is what makes me love it the most, and that is courtesy of Nkululenko Lebambo the producer and director.


9. Emtee – “We Up”

I am a fan of anything that has insightful content, and that’s why this video is on this list. It’s in synch with the rhythm, visualising exactly what Emtee is rapping about. My favourite scene is when all the dreamers come together at the dinner table celebrating their successes in their professional attires. And, of course, the granny from the beginning of the video gives me life.


10. Khuli Chana ft. KayGizm, Victoria Kimani & Sarkodie – “One Source”

This video is as immensely powerful as the song. Khuli Chana raps “flip the anger to passion”, and that is reflected by the expressive dancers. That elicits some kind of emotion or reaction in you. What stands out for me are the graphics; they capture unity and creativity. It’s quite cinematic, and I am not using that word lightly.

Feature image of Kwesta by Sabelo Mkhabela

What was your favourite video this year? Let us know in the comment section below.

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