Menu

userImg showBgrSwitcher

Background by

userImg

Thanks!

Menu

ALL THE WRONG PLACES: The Taxi Hit Squads of South Africa

Shopping carts packed to the brim with freshly skinned goat hooves ready for lunch? Yummy. The clash of golf-ball sized hailstones hitting our MINI Coupé? Holy windshield! We were in Soweto, Johannesburg's biggest township, for ALL THE WRONG PLACES: TAXI HIT SQUAD to find out why the local taxi drivers are such pivotal players in the local Kwaito and house music scene.

ALL THE WRONG PLACES: The Taxi Hit Squads of South Africa
Co-Pilot Krishna meets the Host, Elliott.

When Kwaito music first hit the Johannesburg streets in the early 90s, it was the sound of post-apartheid — an uplifting celebration of boundaries breaking and a bright new chapter in South Africa’s long dark history. But the Kwaito artists couldn’t get airplay on the commercial radio stations, so they took their music to the people by using the hundreds of township taxis to promote their music. Taxis, or Kombis, are the main source of public transportation in South African townships, since many residents can’t afford to own cars. And between five and 10 million South Africans use taxis every day, so that’s a lot of captive ears — and one huge taxi hit squad out on the road.

Riding in a taxi here is a totally different experience — it’s more like a party than a chore. And the taxis here that are pimped-out with the best speakers and latest tunes are famous in their own right. People queue to ride and be seen in these top-ranked taxis. And the fresher the music a driver provides his passengers the more people want to ride in his taxi, and the more money he makes. So music here is both an important part of the local culture and the economy. These influential DJs on wheels who pump out the latest Kwaito and SA house tracks can make or break the careers of the local stars. Want to get ahead in music in Soweto? Get the drivers in your corner.

ALL THE WRONG PLACES: The Taxi Hit Squads of South Africa
Getting to know some of Soweto's musical elites.

Kwaito was the music that defined this new generation, but in recent years house music has taken over again. And much like they did with Kwaito, taxi drivers throughout South Africa are now playing the sounds of SA house. We drove the MINI Coupé to meet one of the scene’s biggest artists, DJ QNess, and he summed it up for us, “ Even with the internet and radio these days…if a Soweto taxi driver is playing your song, then you know your song is big.”

Scroll through our ALL THE WRONG PLACES: TAXI HIT SQUAD gallery and get a rare inside glimpse into Soweto township life and the important role the taxi drivers play in shaping the musical backbone of this tumultuous country. Oh yeah and you might see a fresh goat hoof or two as well. Delicious.

Click on a picture to launch the image gallery (7 images)

Ride with us in the MINI Coupé to where few foreigners have been before and fill your ears with the sounds of the Johannesburg music scene. Check out the full ALL THE WRONG PLACES: TAXI HIT SQUAD episode right here.

Related Links:

Share

facebook
googlePlus
pinterest
stumbleUpon
E-Mail
seperate multiple email addresses with a comma

Comments

MINI Space Mixtape: Tune Up Your Commute

October 29, 2014
MINI Space Mixtape: Tune Up Your Commute

As the temperature dips and winter makes its advance down the northern hemisphere, keep the energy levels high with these seven tracks and jump-start your autumn commutes.

The MINI International Vol. 42

Motorama: Two of a Kind

October 02, 2014
The MINI International Vol. 42 Motorama: Two of a Kind

They have been popular for years but are now more desirable than ever: the new MINI Paceman and the new MINI Countryman.

One Man. 10 Tattoos: Meet the MINIac with a Permanent Passion

October 20, 2014
One Man. 10 Tattoos: Meet the MINIac with a Permanent Passion

Meet the fan who sports an undeniably unmatched number of MINI tattoos. Take a scroll through Spiros' MINI ink and his many modified MINI and watch the MINIac bar get raised.

The MINI International Vol. 42

Navigator: Made in Britain

October 02, 2014
The MINI International Vol. 42 Navigator: Made in Britain

Imaginative, individual, industrious, design-savvy and proudly British-born - heritage brand Private White V.C., based in Manchester, has a thing or two in common with the new MINI Cooper 5 door.

Top of the Chops: One Somerset Tinkerer's Pride and Joy

October 17, 2014
Top of the Chops: One Somerset Tinkerer's Pride and Joy

Andy Knight's classic Mini with original wood effect is attracting everyone's attention. Discover this Somerset tinkerer's unique pride and joy.

In Search of Surf: MINI Countryman Outruns the Storm in New Zealand

October 23, 2014
In Search of Surf: MINI Countryman Outruns the Storm in New Zealand

New Zealand offers rally-like roads and world-class surf spots - perfect conditions to take the MINI Countryman and a pair of top-notch Channel Islands surfboards out for a spin.