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South Africa’s biggest music genre, Amapiano, has taken the world by storm. From Mnike being the biggest Amapiano song in the world to Amapiano artists Uncle Waffles, FOCALISTIC, Musa Keys, Pabi Cooper, Mellow & Sleazy, Pcee, Justin99, and many more getting back-to-back international bookings.

Over the past few months, there has been a little bit of concern from South Africans about the genre or identity of Amapiano being stolen from them by Nigeria. Nigeria penetrated the world with its Afrobeat sound with artists such as Burna Boy, Rema, Wizkid, Davido and more becoming international superstars.

Nigeria has a bigger reach and a lot of internationally established artists than South Africa making it easier for them to break Amapiano to the rest of the world as theirs. Many people who have been very vocal on this have clarified that any artist is any part of the world can jump on Amapiano but what is important is to educate the rest of the world that it actually originates from South Africa.

Uncle Waffles at Coachella 2023

Although it is one of the fast-rising music genres in the world, the genre has not yet been fully established and there are still a lot of countries that do not know that it originates from South Africa. A good example is Asake and Olamide who recently released a song titled ‘Amapiano’ and because he already has a huge fanbase internationally, there are a lot of people who got exposed to Amapiano through Asake for the first time and somehow associated it with Nigeria.

American rapper one half of the hip hop duo Rae Sremmurd, Swae Lee, took to the socials to announce that he has been working on some Amapiano music which he shall be dropping soon and recognized Nigeria as the originator of the sound. As he began receiving a lot of backlash from South Africa he went on to clarify that he was exposed to Amapiano through Nigerian artists thus he thought it was their sound and pushed for unity as we are all Africans.

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South Africa didn’t take too long to clarify and educate Swae Lee that the Amapiano sound does not originate in Nigeria but in South Africa.

READ: Kendrick Lamar Coming Back To South Africa For Hey Neighbour Festival 2023

Below are some of the South African reactions to Swae Lee’s tweets.

https://twitter.com/MusaThePope/status/1678888586152640512?s=20

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One thing that we also agree with in all this is that Amapiano is now making its footprint to the rest of the world and it is very important that during this important phase it does not get diluted when being introduced to new audiences all over the world.

Just like Hip Hop is known to originate in America, and Afrobeats in Nigeria, we also want the rest of the world to know that Amapiano originates from South Africa. Anyone in any part of the world can do an Amapiano song and be a part of the culture just like a lot of communities around the world have embraced it.

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