‘a walk in africa 1979–81’ by national wake, south africa’s long lost punk band

October 11, 2013

The label Light In The Attic recently released a project by National Wake, South Africa’s long, lost punk band. A Walk in Africa 1979–81 isn’t exactly a re-release of the band’s sole album, but it is a compilation of everything they ever recorded, including demos, live recordings and six tracks from their 1981 debut album Walk in Africa. What makes this group so lost and noted at the same time is that they were a multiracial punk band who formed in the midst of the Soweto Uprising in 1976. Their tracks supplied the soundtrack to large numbers of students protesting the Afrikaans Medium Decree that entered the school system in 1974, which forced Black schools to use Afrikaans and English as the languages of instruction.

Review by Niesha Miller, AFROPUNK Contributor

This union earned them a spot in music history, but their creativity ended up being shutout by the government, which resulted in them being denied public performances and only being able to sell 700 units of their album. The foursome’s sound was a mix of funk, punk and reggae. At one point, their legacy could only be found through the artifacts of bootleg cassettes and magazines.

Purchase the band’s latest project here.