This video pick is a flashback to Summer 2016 from South African musician and dancer Bongekile Simelane, better known as Babes Wodumo (“The famous Babes”). “Wololo” features her West Ink labelmate and fiance Mampintsha and is among the top songs on the South African music charts. The song is defined within the genre “gqom,” a dance subgenre unique to Babes Wodumo’s home city, Durban. Not only does she pursue her own acting, modeling, dancing, and music endeavors, she created the West Ink Dance Academy in order to get kids off the streets.
“Wololo” came to be after an incident where one of Babes’s friends woke up so drunk, she didn’t know where she was. The song warns against having so much fun you don’t remember where you’ve slept. Babes brought gqom to the forefront of the charts after years of being a model and dancer, and a vocal advocate for fair pay for herself and fellow women in the industry. All her hard work paid off when she impressed Afrotainment owner DJ Tira (parent company to Mampintsha’s West Ink Records) and the rest is history.
The video for “Wololo” features Babes Wodumo smiling, having fun, and showing off her dance moves. Her choreography has since inspired a myriad of imitation videos on YouTube and an intense following of fans and admirers. Her full length album, Gqom Queen Vol 1 is available now on iTunes.