Heavy Metal In Botswana


In Europe, we tend to think of African music as if not jungle drums then more in the line of the blues, jazz and the like, Fela Kuti excepted, but would you believe heavy metal is alive and well and living in Botswana? The power trio Skinflint were featured in a recent BBC travel programme, and they aren’t bad at all.

Skinflint are the country’s leading heavy metal band, and have quite a following. As can be seen from their website, they have also been around for a while, but they are far from the only such outfit in the country, how about Wrust? They too have been around for some time.

Skinflint list Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Megadeth and Metallica among their influences; people who know about this genre would say they were far more in the vein of Metallica (thrash metal) than of Sabbath or Maiden.

It should probably come as no surprise that heavy metal would eventually insinuate itself into black Africa; Botswana was a British Protectorate until 1966 (formerly known as Bechuanaland), and there is still a small number of whites living in the country, including Skinflint lead guitarist Giuseppe Sbrana. Let us not forget either that heavy metal has African roots albeit in a roundabout way, having developed from rock ‘n’ roll which owes more to Chuck Berry than to any white musician.

Earlier this year, Skinflint were rated the top heavy metal band in Africa, out of one hundred!

You won’t have time to sample them all, but there is clearly a lot of talent out there that Western music fans have yet to discover.

Check out Skinflint on SongFacts, the world’s leading song database.

About the author

Alexander Baron