In honor of the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela taking office as the first post-apartheid leader of South Africa, A.J. Holmes has dropped a mix of classic kwaito from the mid ’90s and early ’00s. We covered some present-day kwaito in our “South Africa Today” program last year. Holmes’ mix provides a great chance to explore the genre’s roots in the Soweto township of Johannesburg, and its rise to one of the most popular styles of the country.

You can give the mix a listen on Soundcloud or download it below:


Holmes writes, “I would love to go to a club that played this music. So if anyone wanted to invite me to play a set of hissy old kwaito cassettes from this golden era of South African dance music, I’d be well up for it!” We could not be more enthusiastic about this potential event. Everyone could use some of the thumping, groovy rhythms of classic kwaito to liven up their night!

Track List

Mandoza – 50/50

Jimmy B – Make Em Bounce

TKZee – Magesh

Spokes ‘H’ – Wara Wara

Aba Shante – Come Get Me

Brenda Fassie – Qula

Arthur – Kaffir