The biggest South African song on the radio in 2021 finally gets highly cinematographic visuals.
Believe it or not: the most played song on South African radios in 2021 was not an amapiano track, and it was not even sung in a South African language. “Osama”, by Zakes Bantwini, leans more towards deep house than anything, a genre the country obviously knows how to appreciate. As often in Mzansi, the song became a hit way before being released, when Bantwini unveiled it in a live show for Shimza’s label imprint, Kunye. A few months later, the track was made available as a single for the artist’s Ghetto King album, and its enchanting chorus took over every party, radio station and event. Bantwini chose the highly significant date of December 31 to drop the song’s video.
A spiritual song, “Osama” is interpreted by vocalist Kasango in glossolalia, a practice in which people utter sounds or words some believe to be a divine language unknown to the speaker. In a country where house music is close to being a religion, the song’s spiritual tone is intensified by the visuals, in which South African actor John Kani, in an introduction, speaks prophetically about finding our purpose, never forgetting who we are and being fearless. Fearless like a lion, the word “osama” allegedly making reference to the iconic animal in Urdu language.
Ghetto King, still available on all platforms.