WATCH: Busiswa, Babes and Co on How Women Own the Gqom Scene


The gqom revolution is here and its addictive beats are taking over both global and local music scenes by storm. Our local leading ladies are dominating this genre (which was previously male-dominated) as vocalists, dancers and producers, which is why we shot seven local female gqom artists for our May 2018 issue and #COSMOGqomKweens campaign, including Babes Wodumo, Ntando Duma, Sne Mbatha, Moonchild Sanelly, Busiswa Gqulu, Sho Madjozi and DJ Prie.

Not only is this making waves locally but it’s taking on the world and gaining popularity in the US, Canada and Europe. Gqom music even made an appearance in the ground-breaking blockbuster Black Panther movie this year when songs Wololo and Gobisiqolo were featured in the film. Both songs were led by female vocalists Babes and Busiswa. #YAAASKweens

‘Females are influencing the genre with lyrics and messages that empower and inspire other women by including our experiences and telling our stories with our own voices, rather than being objectified like it often happens in other genres.’ – Busiswa Gqulu

Gqom has also influenced fashion in a big way with its fun, loud, sporty and street-inspired nature.

‘Gqom has created a new wave of colour, character, statement and comfort in fashion. I am loud and full of life. I love the freedom of being able to play around with the outfits I wear and enjoy wearing bold colour.’ – Sne Mbatha

Watch our #COSMOGqomKweens talk about how gqom is empowering women to express themselves and how it influences their style in the video below.

Hit Play and Turn Up The Volume:

Watch our campaign video:


Photographer: Steve Tanchel/Red Hot Ops

Videographer: Lesedi Rudolph

Hair: Urban Mimz

Make up: Leslie Whitby/Lampost

Fashion: Bev Nates and Cleo Marcopoulos 

Meet Our Ggqom Kweens:

Babes Wodumo, Artist

‘Women are starting to make their mark in this industry. We are at the centre of gqom.’

Sne Mbatha, Dancer and Choreographer

‘Women have had a tough time fighting for their rights, but we’ve taken a stand. We are exploding with colour and earning our well-deserved seat in the room. We are making our mark.’

Busiswa Gqulu, Artist

‘I wear accessories that move, shake, swirl and bounce as I do the vosho or the gwara gwara.’

A post shared by Busiswa Gqulu (@busiswaah) on

Prie Nkosazana, DJ and Producer

‘Gqom has become a movement that lets you be you. It’s produced by young people on the street, so it has its own language. My style varies – one day you can find me rocking a tomboyish style and the next I’ll be keeping it fresh and girlie.’

Moonchild Sanelly, Artist

‘Women artists are able to speak more about ratchet stuff in their songs, and truly have fun without being judged. I don’t hold back – my lyrics tackle issues surrounding female empowerment.’

Sho Madjozi, Artist and Rapper

‘Gqom requires high energy. You need to be able to dance to it, so it makes sense that I wear sportswear. It’s important to remember that we influence and make gqom fashion – it doesn’t make us.’

A post shared by Maya (@shomadjozi) on

Ntando Duma, Actress and TV Host

‘My life has always been about gqom! From my taste of music, to the way I communicate and express myself, to the clothes I wear. I’ve always been a simple, raw and authentic kind of girl and that’s exactly what gqom is.’

Get your hands on our May issue now to see our gqom kweens slaying in our fashion editorial, and check out our social platforms for the rollout of our #COSMOGqomKweens digital campaign.

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