AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

I wasn’t sure of how to react when I opened the Youtube link to Kwality’s “Official Lion King.” video, first uploaded on May 17. What is this, and who is he, I wondered. While waiting for the video to buffer, I read the comments, nine in total at that time. (The video had 87 comments and 6,567 views by 10.30 this morning). “F*ck u dude!!” read the first one. “DAFUQ??!!!!” followed another later down in the comment thread.

Like myself, the people who left comments seemed to be in a predicament, uncertain of how to interpret this … this confusing visual concoction (though what he does reminds of IceJJFish; who later turned out to be part organic internet phenom and the product of some savvy marketing and production). If you can’t bear to watch and need a summary, here goes: an outside establishing shot is intercut with Kwality waking up from his bed to sit on its edge. It’s all very sudden; within the first ten seconds, we’ve heard the words “my lion king, my lion king” uttered repeatedly atop a beat whose direction I’m still trying to figure out. The irksome refrain is amplified by the equally-irritating (mis-)usage of auto-tune. What follows next you’ll have to see yourself.

Where is he from?

I was curious, so I reached out to the internet gods in an attempt to secure an interview with Kwality (he is on Twitter)–to hear, firstly, who he is. Most importantly, it was to acknowledge my own misgivings in judging him (, and to let him tell his story. I’m still waiting for the response. For now, enjoy the video.

* An earlier version of this post is crossposted on the African Hip Hop.

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Ngoan'a Nts'oana

A writer first and foremost. Interested in documenting people's lives and sparking a conversation using words


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