Zef Subculture

The Zef subculture, what is it and where does it originate from?

Hoby met with an Afrikaans band known as “Die Antwoord” in London and Ninja and Yolandi the singer or rappers of the band told her that Zef is about you not really care for anything, you are on your own little mission. They said that people that follow the Zef culture “soup their cars up” and the will usually ware gold which is often referred to as bling. They stated that the sub culture is all about you might be poor but you can still be fancy, sexy and you can still have style in your own way.

According to Bosch and Hoby the Zef style of music is a hibernation of Afrikaans and English. In an interview ‘Die Antwoord’ with Damien Lay they state that Zef is a style, a way of thinking and a way of dressing. Bishop wrote that the term Zef referred to the blue-collar worker in South Africa or rather the Suid Afrikaner who is descendants from Dutch. Bishop also stated that if someone is called Zef then they have a “ridiculously souped-up car” they often drink brandy and coke, watches rugby and gets involved in bar fights. The term is derived from the Ford Zephyr that was driven in the 1970’s and was a cheaper car.

Parker also uses the term souped-up cars but explains that the cars have fur on the dashboard, a person wearing Crocs and drinking brandy. Parker also explains that the term Zef literary means common. He states that this subculture is often associated with lower-middle classes “that glorifies the trashy and the weird”. He wrote that the subculture began forming in the 60’s and the 70’s and still exist to the present day and can be found in the underground music scene of Bellville. Bellville is a middle class suburb is the place where the Zef movement grew into what it is today. The artist like Jack Parow and Die Antwoord are from Bellville and made the movement what it is today.


Images of the Movement
















Bishop, M. 2011. That’s Zef: The True Story Behind Die Antwoord’s Mysterious Style. http://www.mtviggy.com/articles/thats-zef-the-true-story-behind-die-antwoords-mysterious-style/

Bosch, M. 2010. S.African Afrikaans rappers takes Internet by storm. http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/02/05/oukoe-uk-safrica-rappers-idAFTRE61446820100205?sp=true

Hoby, H. 2010. Die Antwoord: ‘Are we awful or the best thing in the universe?’. http://www.theguardian.com/music/2010/sep/12/die-antwoord-music-feature

Parker, R. Mullets & music: Introducing Zef Culture. http://next.upi.com/archive/2011/10/25/Mullets-music-Introducing-Zef-culture/5851319525095/













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