Khuli Chana’s new doccie ‘Maftown Heights Untold Stories’ delves into the history of SA’s hip hop scene

Khuli Chana. Picture: Instagram

Khuli Chana. Picture: Instagram

Published Jun 11, 2024


The untold stories of hip hip are set to come alive with the release of a new documentary produced by music icon Khuli Chana, among others.

“Maftown Heights Untold Stories” is an extension of one of Africa’s largest hip hop festivals, “Maftown Heights”.

The festival is known for its vibrant performances, diverse line-up, and commitment to showcasing emerging talent. Over the years it has become a cultural landmark attracting thousands of fans and artists from across the continent.

The compelling four-part series promises to delve into the rich history, cultural significance and behind-the-scenes moments of the long-running festival.

According to a statement the documentary will “explore the festival’s journey from its humble beginnings to becoming a powerhouse in the African hip hop scene”.

It will feature exclusive interviews, never-before-seen footage and personal stories from artists and organisers.

The documentary will provide an in-depth examination of the impact the well-known festival has had on the music industry and how it influenced the careers of many well-known performers.

The “Khuliyano” hitmaker, who is a prominent industry figure teamed up with Refiloe Ramogase of RefRam Productions and Molotov Cocktail and Towdee Mac to produce the four-parter.

“Maftown Heights has always been more than just a stage for me, it’s a homecoming, a place where the roots of my music and my journey are celebrated,” Chana said.

He added that the documentary is a celebration of the incredible talent, passion, and community that defines Maftown Heights.

Ramogase said that the documentary, which has been in the works since 2020, has been a “labour of love and a celebration of the cultural tapestry that has shaped the South African music scene”.

“We aim to honour the legacy of the artists who have inspired a generation (some of whom are no longer with us), and to provide a platform for their voices to be heard in an authentic and compelling manner.

“We believe it will resonate with long-time fans and newcomers alike, providing a deeper understanding of the festival’s significance and its role in the broader cultural landscape,” Ramogase shared.

In episode one viewers will discover the inspiration behind the Maftown Heights festival and how it grew over the years to become an African phenomenon.

The following episode will include exclusive interviews from iconic African hip hop artists like Cassper Nyovest, KO, and the late Riky Rick and AKA, as they share their personal connections to the festival and how it influenced their musical journeys.

In the third episode, “Cultural Impact”, viewers will learn how the festival has contributed in promoting local hip hop and created a platform for emerging artists.

The last episode will take a look at the dedication and hard work that goes into organising the annual Maftown Heights festival. It will feature interviews with festival founders Chana and Ramogase.

Ayanda MVP, DJ Sabby, Maglera Doe Boe, Focalistic, Gigi Lamayne, JR Bogopa, Kabelo Mabalane and Kahn Morbee have also contributed to the documentary.

∎ “Maftown Heights Untold Stories” premières on Saturday, June 15, on Channel O (DStv channel 320) at 4pm.