The biggest South African hits of the '70s, '80s, and '90s

The biggest South African hits of the '70s, '80s, and '90s

Celebrate Heritage Day by grooving to some of the biggest hits that united South Africans in the '70s, '80s, and '90s. 

Friends dancing among bright sunbeams
Friends dancing among bright sunbeams/ iStock

Thursday is Heritage Day in South Africa - a day where we celebrate our South African roots, culture, and diversity.

East Coast Gold will be playing loads of lekker local tunes from SA artists throughout the day. It’s going to be a special Gold playlist, so make sure you listen in on Thursday!

READ: Heritage Day 2019: There is no South Africa without heritage

Here's a taste of some of the featured songs or artists.

Clout - 'Substitute'

One of the biggest songs of 1970 that put South Africa on the map was 'Substitute', a song by the all-female band called Clout. The song became a global hit which topped the charts in several parts of the world.

Miriam Makeba - 'Pata Pata'

Miriam Makeba, aka Mama Africa, united all races in South Africa with her hit song, 'Pata Pata'. 

It was released in 1967 from the album with the same name. The song saw Makeba travelling the world and performing for people of different races and classes. 

To date, 'Pata Pata' continues to be a South African favourite. 

Vicky Samson - 'African Dream'

Soon after South Africa gained its Freedom, musician Vicky Samson released the song, 'African Dream'. 

The song carried a message of hope that encouraged all Africans to work towards a new tomorrow. 

"Cause in my African dream, there's a new tomorrow. My African dream, is dream that we can follow," says the lyrics of the song. 

Joy - 'Paradise Road'

Joy, an all-female vocalists group, came together to encourage South Africans to walk towards a better future with their song, 'Paradise Road'. 

The song became the unofficial anthem of the Apartheid Struggle in South Africa during the 1980s. 

Rabbitti - 'Charlie'

'Charlie' is one of South Africa's greatest pop songs. It was a major hit amongst teens in the 1970s. 

Ipi nTombi featuring Margaret Singana - 'Mama Thembu's Wedding'

'Mama Thembu's Wedding' was released by the group Ipi nTombi. It featured the amazing vocals of Margaret Singana. The song was a big hit in the 1970s. 

Brenda Fassie - 'Weekend Special'

The late Brenda Fassie released many hits, but one that was a favourite across the country was 'Weekend Special'. 

The song was released in 1983 and remains a hit to this day. 

Ballyhoo - 'Man On The Moon'

One of the biggest songs of the 1980's was 'Man On The Moon' by Ballyhoo. 

The song topped the charts and was enjoyed by both the young and old.

Steve Kekana & PJ Powers - 'Feel So Strong'

Two musical giants - Steve Kekana and PJ Powers, came together in the 1980s during the apartheid era to show that music is a powerful tool that can unite people. 

They collaborated on the hit single, 'Feel So Strong'. The song was enjoyed by the diverse racial groups in South Africa.

Mango Groove - 'Special Star'

'Special Star' became an unofficial national anthem in South Africa in the late 1980s and 1990s. 

Johnny Clegg & Savuka - 'Scatterlings of Africa'

'Scatterlings of Africa' is Johnny Clegg and Savuka's biggest hit of the 1980s. 

The song was so big that it became the soundtrack for the movie, 'Rain Man'. 

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