South Africa, what’s good?

Where are the pots?

Yes, I went there.

If you live in gorgeous South Africa and part of the 61.1% of the population that has internet access, you’ve probably seen this video and all the memes, status, tweets, snaps and Instagram posts about it that have taken over your social media feed.

What you probably haven’t  seen is the show that this comes from or the context of the video. You can watch it here if you’re super keen

This video will disappear from our feeds in a week or so, however it has changed the ordinary South African’s understanding and reference to pots and “things be done.” This video has become part of our popular culture.

SA pop culture  features everything and everyone from  Basetsana Khumalo to Kenny Khumalo, Carte Blanche to 50/50, Die Antwoord to AKA, Sashi Naidoo to Clive Naidoo, Sketchy Bongo to Mzekezeke to Black Coffee. He’s playing Cochella this year,#shineson.

These are all things we all know and people we know, well to some extent. These are all and people  that shape our online social interaction as well as the media we consume. But if we look closer there is also a binary within South African popular culture and how it is consumed and by whom. This binary is unfortunately a result of our past history, it’s a result of apartheid.

Jothi Maistry  writes that Apartheid and race shapes the narrative of popular culture and how it’s consumed in South Africa. And it’s easy to understand why.  Maistry explains in her research that with censorship and separate development, popular culture was very much restricted in its development. There was black popular culture; this mainly concerned itself with messages of liberation and protest. Joy is my most favorite example

And there was inevitably  is white popular culture, yes there is white culture.

This binary made its way into democracy and whilst crossover of the two is occurring, thank 5fm’s Xperia mixlab for that, the way in which we consume popular still is very prevalent.

Within the ‘black’ South Africa, popular culture, was mainly consumed through traditional media, but since democracy  and Telkom’s infrastructure, black South Africa now consumes most of its popular culture through the internet.  Mybroadband reports an impressive 53% of the South Africa’s black demographic to had access to the internet in 2015.

This differs in white communities, with only 29% of the white demographic having access to the internet. This can be attributed to more white Dstv subscribers, because white South African consumes popular culture through M-net and E entertainment, but this is post for another day.

These stat are unexpected but hopeful, they show that South Africa is moving forward and our popular culture is changing. We really are becoming a melting pot- see what I did there.


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