Freedom in New Sonic Registers: G'qom, Gender, and Sexuality in South Africa
Babes Wodumo and FAKA have recently emerged in the South African popular culture scene. Both artists challenge conventions relating to normative forms of black masculinity and femininity. Wodumo has enjoyed commercial success as one of the few women artists in g'qom music. I investigate her use of "ratchet aesthetics" and why a turn to the ratchet might be what South Africa needs at the moment. The duo FAKA revels in male femininity, producing jarring images and sonic textures that challenge masculinist representations in queer culture. Combined, these artists use dance, music, and sartorial practices to revise notions of post-apartheid freedoms and signal new sonic futures.