African youth represent a large part of
the population of the country. Young people
represent the future, a national resource
and a source of energy and renewal. For
10 years, the country has been undergoing
a process of transformation, development,
reconciliation and developing a South African
identity. On the other hand the youth were
developing their own identity, which is
truly, and proudly South African, the Kwaito
culture. It's all about Peace, Love and
Unity and about being yourself and loving
yourself enough to be YOU but and most of
all being proud of these things. It is more
than skin deep. It is the soul, the spirit,
mental orientation and a collective historical
and experiential memory bank.
word Kwaito is derived from the Afrikaans
word kwaai, which translates to "angry"
in English. In colloquial slang, negative
words or phrases often acquire a positive
connotation or "cool" status.
The language of Kwaito is Isicamtho, South
African township slang. Isicamtho is a modern
version of tsotsitaal - a Tsotsi is a thug
or a gangster, and taal is an Afrikaans
term for language. Tsotsitaal is a language
that has always been thought of as the language
of township thugs, and is probably derived
from flaaitaal of the 1920's slums and mensetaal
(people's language) of the 1940's and 1950's.
This language is made up of Afrikaans and
a mixture of all other vernacular languages.
It can be argued that Afrikaans is the skeleton
of the language. Most South Africans understand
more tsotsitaal than they're aware of as
some terms have become naturalised and incorporated
into daily conversations.
is about the township, knowing about the
township, understanding the township, walking
the walk, talking the talk and most importantly,
being proud of these things. The township
is being celebrated by the youth of South
Africa in Kwaito music, this is interesting
when one considers that the township was
created to keep a ready supply of cheap
labour under control by the apartheid government.
working on the project, it became clear
to me that the youth of South Africa refuse
to be condemned by the political situations
of the past (apartheid) but instead choose
to find their own identity without being