Top 15 most famous South African bands of all time: Where are they now?

Top 15 most famous South African bands of all time: Where are they now?

Did you know that good music may lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety, and improve mood? Listening to music is one of the top forms of entertainment worldwide. Famous South African bands and other solo artists have released amazing tracks. As a result, you cannot run out of new music to listen to in 2022.

PAY ATTENTION: Сheck out news that is picked exactly for YOU ➡️ find the “Recommended for you” block on the home page and enjoy!

Most famous South African bands of all time
Photo: (modified by author)
Source: UGC

When talented musicians come together, they release masterpieces. South Africa has some of the top African musicians globally. Discover various famous South African bands whose music you should listen to in 2022.

Most famous South African bands of all time

There are many music bands in contemporary South Africa. Some are known for releasing hit tracks and giving electric on-stage performances.

Read also

Several hurt in Kenya stadium crush ahead of Ruto swearing-in

Check out the most famous South African bands of all time below. The ranking is based on the popularity of their songs.

PAY ATTENTION: Never miss breaking news – join Briefly News' Telegram channel!

15. Half Price

  • Origin: Cape Town
  • Members: Homo Pete, The DFG, Emo Mawk, and Kyle the Machine
  • Years active: 2001 to date
  • Genres: Punk rock and Skate punk

Half Price is one of the famous South African rock bands. The music group was founded in 2001 and has four members identified by energetic performances. It is known as the first South African punk band to sign with Punk Outlaw Records, an American digital record label.

Homo Pete does vocals and guitar, The DFG is on vocals and bass, Kyle the Machine plays the drums, and Emo Mawk plays the guitar.

14. Fokofpolisiekar, a.k.a. Polisiekar or FPK

Read also

Egypt's Sisi to make first post-rift visit to Qatar

  • Origin: Bellville, near Cape Town
  • Members: Francois Badenhorst, Jaco Venter, Hunter Kennedy, Johnny de Ridder, and Wynand Myburgh
  • Years active: 2003 to date
  • Genres: Punk rock and pop-punk

Fokofpolisiekar, a.k.a. Polisiekar or FPK, is an Afrikaans alternative rock band from Bellville. Initially, the group was a mere joke. The members wanted to shock the predominantly conservative Afrikaner community with its name.

The members were drawn from the popular bands 22 Stars, New World Inside, and 7th Breed. The group released its debut EP, As Jy Met Vuur Speel Sal Jy Brand, in late 2003. Dagdronk, Komma, and Paranoia are among the group's famous singles.

13. Watershed

  • Origin: Johannesburg
  • Members: Paul McIver, Craig Hinds, Quintin Askes, Howard Combrink, and James Sunney
  • Years active: 1998 to date
  • Genre: Pop rock

Watershed is one of the most famous South African bands of all time. It is known for its signature track, Indigo Girl, released in 2002. In 2004, the group's Fine Girl was used for advertising Wimpy.

Read also

Napoli striker Osimhen out with thigh injury

Among the popular singles by Watershed are In the Meantime, Letters, Close My Eyes, and Magical Energy. The group has released seven albums.

12. Radio Kalahari Orkes

  • Origin: Eastern Cape
  • Members: Ian Roberts, Lize Wiid, Friso Woudstra, Bradley Cooper, and Wynand Davel
  • Years active: 2005 to date
  • Genres: Cape Malay and traditional Afrikaans

Radio Kalahari Orkes is a music group fronted by actor Ian Roberts. The group has toured the length and breadth of South Africa, entertaining people with a variety of music genres. Although the members can sing many genres, the band mainly focuses on the Cape Malay and traditional Afrikaans styles.

11. Just Ginjer

  • Origin: South Africa
  • Members: Ard Matthews, Brent Harris, and Denholm Harding
  • Years active: 1996 to date
  • Genre: Contemporary rock

Just Ginjer, formerly known as Just Jinger, is among the best-selling rock bands in South African history. The group has performed locally and internationally. Sandy Chila, Alec Bridges, Simon Bailey, Tuxx Mothomme, and Verny Scholtz are among its previous members.

Read also

BET Redemption cast (with images), trailer, plot summary, full story, episodes

10. Man As Machine

  • Origin: Johannesburg
  • Members: Xavier Knox, Rob Visser, KJ Forde, and Norden Hartman
  • Years active: 2008 to date
  • Genre: Alternative rock

Man As Machine is an alternative rock group from Johannesburg. Nothing But A Thing, the group's debut album, was released in 2011. Control and Burnout are among its top jams. The group has performed at numerous events.

9. Mango Groove

  • Origin: Johannesburg
  • Members: Andrew Baird, Claire Johnson, Beulah Hashe, Pinkie Moseme, Keith, Sydney Mavundla, John Leyden, Themba Ndaba, Percy Mbonani, Siziwe Ngema, and Thomas Selmer-Olsen
  • Years active: 1984 to date
  • Genre: Afropop, marabi, and kwela

Mango Groove is a popular South African Afropop band. Its music fuses pop and township music, especially kwela and marabi. The group comprises members from various ethnicities.

Some band members have left over the years, and new ones have joined the group. Two Hearts, Kind, From the Get Go, This Is Not a Party, Keep On Dancing, and New World (Beneath Our Feet) are among Mango Groove's popular singles.

Read also

Heartwarming Afrikaans love songs and music videos: top 15 list

8. aKING

  • Origin: Bellville
  • Members: Laudo Liebenberg, Jaco Venter, Andrew Davenport, and Hennie van Halen
  • Years active: 2007 to date
  • Genre: Rock

aKING is a melodic rock band based in Bellville. Hunter Kennedy and Jaco 'Snakehead' Venter were the original founding members in November 2007. Hunter has since left the group. Some of the top aKING members are You and I and In The Twilight are among the group's top singles.

7. Ladysmith Black Mambazo

most famous south african bands
Ladysmith Black Mambazo at the Inaugural Durban Tourism Awards Launch at Oyster Box Hotel in October 2021 in Durban, South Africa. Photo: @Darren Stewart/Gallo Images via Getty Images
Source: Getty Images
  • Origin: Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Members: Thamsanqa Shabalala, Thulani Shabalala, Pius Shezi, Sibongiseni Shabalala, Albert Mazibuko, Mfanafuthi Dlamini, Sabelo Mthembu, Abednego Mazibuko, and Msizi Shabalala
  • Years active: 1960 to date
  • Genres: Isicathamiya and mbube

Ladysmith Black Mambazo is among the most famous black South African bands of all time. The band has existed for over six decades. Over the years, some members have left, and others have been recruited.

Read also

China export growth slows sharply in August: official data

Joseph Shabalala founded the group in 1960. The group mainly sings Isicathamiya and mbube songs and has won many awards, including multiple Grammys.

6. Rabbitt

  • Origin: South Africa
  • Members: Trevor Rabin, Neil Cloud, Duncan Faure, and Ronnie Robot.
  • Years active: 1969- 1978
  • Genre: Pop rock

Rabbitt evolved from a band called The Conglomeration, comprising members Trevor Rabin, Neil Cloud, Duncan Faure, and Ronnie Robot. Rabbitt recorded its debut single in 1972. This was a cover of Locomotive Breath, which was an instant hit.

The boys went their separate ways and reunited in 1974. The boys worked hard and became international sensations. In 1978, the group disintegrated.

5. The Narrow

  • Origin: Pretoria
  • Members: Hanu de Jong, Emile de Jong, Deon Kruger, Lias De Lange, and Jow Feldtmann
  • Years active: 2002 to date
  • Genre: Hard rock

The Narrow was founded by guitarists Emile and Sid, drummer Nelius de Lange, and bassist Jow Feldtmann. Self Conscious, the group's debut album, received wide critical acclaim. Other albums by this band are Dream of Perelandra, You Don't Get to Quit, and Travellers.

Read also

Top 20 most popular Kpop groups in the world - which is the most famous band?

4. Four Jacks and a Jill

famous south african rock bands
Four Jacks And A Jill pictured in December 1971. Photo: @Evening Standard/ Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Source: Getty Images
  • Origin: South Africa
  • Original members: Clive Harding, Glenys Lynne Mynott/Harding, Keith Andrews, Tony Hughes/Rouse, and Bruce Bark
  • Years active: 1964-1983, 2000 to present
  • Genre: Pop

Four Jacks and a Jill released its debut song in November 1965. The band is known for the hit single, Master Jack. The group underwent many lineup changes over two decades before disbanding in 1983. It was revived in 2000 and has many new members.

3. Freshlyground

most famous south african bands
Freshlyground members in the studio. Photo: @Haley Blum/Penn State University/Tribune News Service via Getty Images
Source: Getty Images
  • Origin: Cape Town
  • Members: Julio Sigauque, Simon Attwell, Peter Cohen, Josh Hawks, and Seredeal "Shaggy" Scheepers
  • Years active: 2002 - 2019
  • Genres: Folk, Afropop, jazz, rock, and indie

Freshlyground was formed in early 2002. It comprised seven talented and diverse musicians from South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Jika Jika, its debut album, cemented the band as one of South Africa's most successful young acts. In 2010, the group was featured in Shakira's Waka Waka (This Time for Africa).

Read also

Idols season 17 contestants: age, hometown and more about the contenders

2. Die Antwoord

What is the most popular band in Africa?
Die Antwoord pose in Cape Town, South Africa. Photo: @Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images
Source: Getty Images
  • Origin: Cape Town
  • Members: Ninja, Yolandi Visser, Lil2Hood, and HITEK5000
  • Years active: 2008 to date
  • Genres: Alternative hip hop, electronic dance, and rave

Die Antwoord comprises rappers Watkin Tudor "Ninja" Jones and Anri "Yolandi Visser" du Toit. It also includes producers Lil2Hood, and HITEK5000.

The band's music is centred around the South African counterculture movement called zef. In zef culture, modern, trashy, and discarded cultural elements are commonly practised. This band's studio albums include $O$, Ten$ion, Donker Mag, Mount Ninji and da Nice Time Kid, and House of Zef.

1. Mafikizolo

Who is the biggest artist in South Africa?
Mafikizolo at the Nescafe Ricoffy 50th birthday celebration at Hallmark House in Johannesburg. Photo: @Oupa Bopape/Gallo Images via Getty Images
Source: Getty Images
  • Origin: South Africa
  • Members: Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla Nciza
  • Years active: 1997 to date
  • Genres: Afropop, Kwaito, House, and Afro-soul

Ndihamba Nawe kuphela, Khona, Sibongile, Mafikizolo: Love Potion, Kwela Kwela, and Udakwa Njalo are some of the hit singles by Mafikizolo. The multiple award-winning group comprises composer Theo Kgosinkwe and lead singer Nhlanhla Nciza. Tebogo Benedict Madingoane was part of the group from its founding until his demise in 2004.

Read also

Stiletto Vendetta 2 teasers for September 2021: More lies lead to more deaths

Who is the biggest artist in South Africa?

It is challenging to identify the biggest artist in the country. Some of the top musicians are Miriam Makeba, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Die Antwoord, Brenda Fassie, Johnny Clegg, Mahotella Queens, Seether, and Savuka.

What is popular South African music called?

Kwaito is the most popular South African music. It contests for the top position with Kwela, Mbaqanga, South African house, Isicathamiya, Javia, Mbube, and South African Jazz genres.

Who is the most famous singer in South Africa?

The most popular singers include Miriam Makeba, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Die Antwoord, Brenda Fassie, Johnny Clegg, Mahotella Queens, Seether, and Savuka.

What is the most popular band in Africa?

Mafikizolo is arguably the most popular South African band in 2022. The group is known for songs such as Khona, Love Portion, Ndihamba Nawe kuphela, and Sibongile.

Which famous bands are from South Africa?

Read also

Telemundo's Loli's Luck (La Suerte de Loli): cast with images and plot summary

The famous bands in the country include Mafikizolo, Die Antwoord, Freshlyground, Four Jacks and a Jill, The Narrow, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and aKING.

Every human being needs good music to make them smile, lift moods, and relax. Which among the famous South African bands above is your favourite? Share with us in the comment section.

READ ALSO: Famous South African musicians 2022: Top 20 greatest artists recently published a list of famous South African musicians in 2022. The past decade has seen the increased popularity of Mzansi music.

New and sensational artists have also cropped up and brightened the music scene. Amapiano music draws its roots back to the country and has become globally recognised.

PAY ATTENTION: Сheck out news that is picked exactly for YOU ➡️ find the “Recommended for you” block on the home page and enjoy!

Source: Briefly News

Peris Walubengo avatar

Peris Walubengo (Lifestyle writer) Peris Walubengo is a content creator with 5 years of experience writing articles, researching, editing, and proofreading. She has a Bachelor of Commerce & IT from the University of Nairobi and joined in November 2019. The writer completed a Google News Initiate Course. She covers bios, marketing & finance, tech, fashion & beauty, recipes, movies & gaming reviews, culture & travel. You can email her at

Cyprine Apindi avatar

Cyprine Apindi (Lifestyle writer) Cyprine Apindi is a content creator and educator with over six years of experience. She holds a Diploma in Mass Communication and a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Kenyatta University. Cyprine joined in mid-2021, covering multiple topics, including finance, entertainment, sports, and lifestyle. In 2023, she finished the AFP course on Digital Investigation Techniques. She received the 2023 Writer of the Year Award. In 2024, she completed the Google News Initiative course. Email: