South African musicians can't get radio play, turn to taxis

Neil sez, "A cool video from VICE Magazine about how musicians in South Africa used taxi drivers to make their own form of Kwaito House music popular in Johannesburg and around the world."

And because the new Kwaito artists couldn’t get any airplay on the local radio stations, they decided to take their music to the people by using the hundreds of township taxis to promote their music. Smart thinking given a recent Pretoria University study estimated that between five and 10 million South Africans use taxis every day.

Taxi stands or Kombis, are the main source of public transportation in South African townships, since many residents can’t afford to own cars. Taxi drivers played a pivotal role in breaking new Kwaito artists by playing and selling their CDs to their captive taxi audience.

South Africa - Taxi Hit Squad

Update: I just nuked the embedded video, which autoplayed an obnoxious ad for Shlock Holmes. Apparently, Vice's video embeds do this. Argh.

Update 2: Thanks to Vice for providing a non-autoplaying version!


  1. there is nothing new under the sun.  IIRC, it was Grandmaster Flash who used to distribute his mixtapes to the cabbies he knew for the same reason.

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