The 10 biggest crossover hits from other African countries

Nigeria is a choice location and prime market to sell anything. The reason is not far from obvious, Nigerians can make anything cool, even music. But this does not mean Nigerians are easily impressed. Every once in a while, songs from other African countries get big enough for Nigerians to deem them worthy of our collective attention.

Here are some of the biggest hits from other African countries to have made it onto Nigerian airwaves.


Khona (feat Uhuru) – Mafikizolo (South Africa)

Afrobeats is a great sound, but we would be living in denial if we failed to admit that South Africa’s house music is Africa’s official new-age sound. Thus, the becoming of Mafikizolo’s 2013 summer jam Khona into a continental hit was evident from the song’s style and delivery. The repetitive lyrics and catchy hook were warped into a great instrumentation to produce a hit Nigerians could not get enough of, despite the dark subject matter of the song itself.

Windeck – Cabo Snoop (Angola)

Although he has been largely off the radar even in his own home country, singer Cabo Snoop became a superstar overnight, after his hit single Windeck made him an international sensation. The song didn’t hold much lyrically but it came with a dance move which involved a lot of waist movement. It didn’t take too long for Nigerians to catch onto his growing buzz and join in the complicated dance moves.

1er Gau – Magic System (Cote d’ Ivoire)

Originally recorded in 1999, Magic System’s magical hit didn’t become successful out here until three years later. The Ivorian Zouglou instrumentation served as a major influence on a host of Nigerian songs produced during the time. 1er Gaou simply translating as “First fool” is a personal account of a girl who left the band’s lead singer because he was broke and tried to get back with him after he found fame and success.

Gate Le Coin Awilo Longomba (Congo)

The Awilo phase is a nostaligic era for children born in the the mid to early ’90s. The cover sample by Julius Agwu titled Monday Tuesday, Wedneday,showed how much of an influence the song was.

Agolo – Angelique Kidjo (Benin Republic)

Nigeria’s adopted child Angelique Kidjo, is a 2-time Grammy winner. Agolo was one of the biggest songs out of Africa upon its 1994 release. The song is almost completely rendered in Yoruba and it earned Kidjo her first Grammy nomination.

U Go Kill Me – Sarkodie (Ghana)

Just before the peak of the Azonto madness in late 2012, this song by Sarkodie started it all.

Vulindlela – Brenda Fassie (South Africa)

Late Brenda Fassie was a brilliant singer and activist. This classic tune has conquered charts all over the world. Lyrically, Vulindlela is a wedding song, sung by the proud mother of the groom.Vulindlela is one of Brenda Fassie’s greatest legacies to African music.

Sexy Dance – Fally Ipupa (Congo)

Fally Ipupa’s 2009 hit Sexy Dance came just at the point Africa was as embracing its new school leaders. The Congolese and his twisting waist found a place on our TV screen and eventually, the MTV Africa Music Awards in 2010.

Decale Aladji – Ramatoulaye (Burkina Faso)

Ramatoulaye’s Aladji came from nowhere in 2007. Till date, many Nigerians don’t know the overly sampled audio clip of the phrase “Ehn Aladji” was by a Burkinabe known as Ramatoulaye.

Remember You (feat Beatenberg) – DJ Clock (South Africa)

DJ Clock’s Remember you is a deviation from many of the other heavy club jams on this list. The light high-life guitars on the song’s instrumentation was infused with a resonating lyricism, to produce an alternative song even Nigerians could not resist. The song is rendered in English by band Beatenberg, with instrumentation provided by house music maestro DJ Clock.



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