Apple Music collaborates with legends in Sport, Fashion, Music, Business & the Arts in Star-studded celebration of 30 Years of Freedom

As South Africa celebrates 30 years of freedom this year Apple Music will be marking the occasion by paying homage to the excellence and resilience of South Africa’s people with the 30 Years Of Freedom campaign. Music played a vital role in South Africa’s liberation, and the campaign will shine a light on the songs and albums that have been the ultimate soundtrack to freedom.


Apple Music will also showcase inspired playlists from beacons of South African excellence which boast a carefully curated selection of songs that they feel have defined these last 30 years of freedom. These iconic individuals who are celebrating South African freedom through their playlists include Nomzamo Mbatha, Benny McCarthy, Connie Chiume, PJ Powers, Laduma Ngxokolo, Rich Mnisi, Melanie Bala, Arno Carstens, Sylvester Chauke, Brenda Mthambo, Musa Keys and Gregory Maqoma.


Each playlists features a selection of songs to mark the milestone and span across a number of different genres and generations. The legends opened up about what inspired their playlists and what freedom means to them.



“These songs take me back to my childhood memories, growing up in the Cape Flats. These were the songs that gave you hope and aspirations of one day making a difference in people’s lives. It was all about making a success of your life and dreaming about becoming famous just like them. It was all about rising out of poverty and seemingly having no future or opportunity, to making a good life for yourself and your family.” – Benny McCarthy



“These songs are deeply nostalgic for me. I think of a time when it would be a Saturday morning and my father would be making breakfast, so the kitchen would be filled with the aroma of eggs, bacon and toast. Whilst the living room is fuming with Mr Min furniture spray. By the time both tasks are done there’s the freshest breeze meandering through the house. It also reminds me of December summer days of Gqom hitting the speakers, where I’m grateful for the chance to live in a new renaissance of this country. They remind me that South Africa has always and will always create music that unifies and solidifies lifetime memories.” – Nomzamo Mbatha



“I have chosen these songs based on knowing exactly where I was and how I felt the first time I heard them. From the first time I heard Brenda [Fassie] sing ‘Black President’ and the pride I felt, to the sadness in my heart when I heard Bright Blue’s “Weeping”. None of these songs, whether protest or simple love songs, in my opinion have dated or ever will.” – PJ Powers



“These songs take me back to different stages in my life, they are special because they are a great reference point for what I have lived through. The feeling is the same, even listening to them years after. The majority of these songs also speak of trials and celebrations that an everyday South African would go through. They have instilled hope in people and have encouraged them to keep going.” – Laduma Ngxokolo



This playlist is about multiple generations of homegrown creativity, represented by predominantly three genres born and developed here: Kwaito, Amapiano and Gqom. It’s made up of voices that built South Africa’s musical legacy and birthed these descendant sounds, alongside the voices doing new things with the incredible legacy left to us.” – Rich Mnisi

Visit Apple Music to discover all the 30 Years of Freedom Playlists

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