Culture Music Op-ed

The rise and prominence of Hipster culture in South African townships

In a time where trap music & gqom waves are taking over townships all over Mzansi, there’s a certain niche that has developed its own way of living, dressing and consumption of music. Some call them cool kids, punks, hippies, fashionistas or even nerds to some extent, but hipster culture in South Africa has taken up a life of its own and has a strong grips on South African street culture.

Hipsters in the hood have been somewhat of a niche market for the longest time, that is until the birth of sub-cultures such as, thrifting, street culture entrepreneurship, markets and unplugged sessions with DJs (yes with DJs). One of the biggest influences in hipster culture is the music. With the game seeing new producers of eclectic soul, hi-tech & lo-fi beats take centre stage without having to be backed by artist. This has not only revolutionised the bedroom studio CEO’s but has connected young producers with the rest of the world creating a global culture exchange.

With the game changing every year and hipster lifestyle seeping in from Braamfontein (Johannesburg) or Long street (Cape Town) all the way to hoods like Ghomora, K1, Mambisa or Sotra, the youth has embraced being different, stylish and woke. And as more and more music festivals play host to these KasiPunk hipsters, we could see a whole new era in kasi youth expression on a global scale. So next time you think you are different, take a look at the kids brave enough to embrace and eat off being a hipster in the hood. Let’s just coin it #KASIPUNK.

Image credit: Mduduzi Meth Mahlangu