You can’t talk about the top Afrikaans gospel songs and music videos without mentioning hit songs like Die Onse Vader, My Pa is die Koning, Alles vir Mie, O Heer My God, More Sal Weer Skyn, among others.
Gospel music is known around the world for being extremely soothing and comforting. It becomes even more magical when rendered in the Afrikaans language. Certainly, Afrikaans is one of the most widely spoken languages in South Africa today. The creole language has expanded to accept multiple other musical genres apart from the usual folk music—Bushveld music—which the Afrikaner people were usually known for.
Why Afrikaans Gospel Songs Are Much Sought After In South Africa
The South African Gospel music industry is arguably the biggest in Africa and one of the most widely appreciated genres worldwide. Lovers of this particular genre have spoken about experiencing a very close connection to God during such ministrations. Slowly but surely, Afrikaans gospel songs and music videos have become a go-to choice for anyone wishing to worship God in the purity of spirit and truth.
About 10.3 million people speak Afrikaans as a second language in South Africa. This makes it one of the biggest markets in the country, especially when it comes to music and the Gospel genre is no exception. The list below is curated to help you get into the right mode of worship and praise. Here are the 10 top Gospel songs in Afrikaans.
Afrikaans Worship Songs
Worship is an integral part of Gospel music and is easily one of the most popularly adopted singing styles by Christian artists. These songs are usually differentiated from praise and worship by reducing the tempo. They are slower and less upbeat and focus more on the personal relationship between the worshipper and the worshipped. Here are some well-known worship songs in Afrikaans:
1. Alles vir My (Everything for Me)
- Artist: Retief Burger
- Date of Release: 2005
- Producer: Louis Brittz
- Album: Luidkeels (Loudly)
This worship number was released from Retief’s 2005 hit album, ‘Luidkeels,’ and was one of the biggest songs from that project. The album was so popular that it went platinum in less than a year. Loosely translated to mean, ‘Everything for Me,’ the song ‘Alles vir Mie’ is a nearly 4-and-a-half-minute track that speaks to the sufficient nature of God.
Retief solemnly sings that God was everything to him, and apparently, millions of others agree with him. ‘Luidkeels’ wasn’t Daniël Retief’s only rodeo—the singer released three other albums titled ‘Luidkeels Hersien,’ ‘Luidkeels Oorgegee,’ and ‘Luidkeels Dieper,’ with the first two eventually reaching gold-certified status in sales.
Retief has won so many awards for his music, making him one of South Africa’s most awarded Gospel artists to date. For his Luidkeels album, he won multiple SAMA awards, especially for ‘Best Gospel Album’ (Afrikaans) in 2006. Other awards include a Huisgenoot Tempo award, a Ghoemas award, and one Crown Gospel Award.
- Artist: Lance James
- Date of Release: 1969
- Producer: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
- Album: Ahoy Madagaskar Ahoy
The song Dankie is a barely three-minute-long song featuring Lance James expressing his utmost thanks to his Maker. The heartfelt track had recurring themes of gratitude scattered all over the song’s chorus. Written by Chris Steyn and Martin G Schneider, the song went on to take its spot atop the South African Gospel music charts at the time.
The impact of Lance James’ song is still felt as it’s now a favorite of South African churches, even five decades later. ‘Ahoy Madagascar Ahoy’! won the 1970 SAMA award for ‘Best Album of the Year,’ a Sarie award, and one Solidary award.
The song’s creator Lance James was one of the top country singers of the past couple of decades. Lance was also a radio personality and decided to pursue a musical career, as he was led in his spirit. The Germiston-born artist heeded the call and immediately dropped two albums, ‘Thank You, Vicki’ and ‘Ahoy, Madagascar Ahoy!’
It was based on the success of these two albums that he was given the Huisgenoot’s Skouspel Awards in 2009 for his contribution to Afrikaans music. Sadly, Lance James passed away in 2020 after over 55 years of active ministry.
3. Die Onse Vader
- Artist: Rina Hugo
- Date of Release: 2009
- Album: Wat ‘n Vriend Het Ons In Jesus
Another well-loved Afrikaans Gospel song is none other than Die Onse Vader by the amazing Rina Hugo. The song, loosely translated as ‘Our Father,’ has been covered by different artists, including the phenomenal Juanita du Plessis.
This slow pop song has been an Afrikaans staple since it was released as one of the lead singles from her 2009 album, ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus.’ The 3-minute-long song features Tina’s angelic vocals singing praises to the Father.
If you follow South African Gospel music, especially the Afrikaans bloc, you would know that Rina Hugo is no small fish in the industry. Born and raised in South Africa, she got her Bachelor’s Degree in Music from the former Potchefstroom University, now North-West University, in 1970.
She is exceptionally talented and has performed in many different genres, including light music, opera, oratorio, musicals, and operettas. In January 2020, Rina Hugo was honored as a living legend at the South African Legends Museum for her contribution to South African music.
4. Een Hart
- Artist: Erika Le Roux
- Date of Release: 4 March 2014
This relatively new single from Erika Le Roux was one of the favorite Gospel songs of 2015. The 4-minute long number revealed Erika singing about the eternal love she has experienced from God. If you need a song that reaches your heart, this song is for you.
And although there are no solid reports about exactly how well this song did on the music charts, there is no doubt that this was one of the best worship songs of that year. Singer Erika le Roux was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, into an artistic family.
She learned music, especially the piano, at the feet of famous tutor Barbara van Wijk, one of the most sought-after piano tutors in the country. She then went under the tutelage of British-South African musician and composer Dr. Adolph Hallis, who fine-tuned her skill in piano.
A graduate of the University of Witwatersrand, Le Roux sometimes accompanies her piano skills with some vocals. The award-winning musician recently organized two concert series, which have been running for quite some time, in Wiesbaden and Landau in der Pfalz.
5. Een Ware Vriend
- Artist: Cathy Viljoen
- Date of Release: 2004
- Album: n Keurbundel
- Producer: Clemens and Stephanie Mans
This song, translated to mean “A True Friend,” was the lead single from Catherine’s 2004 album, ‘n Keurbundel.’ Although the song was regrettably too short, its catchy gospel notes immediately made waves across the country. The album was broadcast with the help of Kruiskyk radio station and was produced by Clemens and Stephanie Mans.
The album was the most-selling album of her career, and other singers on the album included Sandra Hougaard, Hettie Pienaar, Ren du Rand, Henning van Zyl, and Victor van Wyk. Singer Cathy Viljoen (neé Liddle) was born in South Africa in 1957. Although the singer and songwriter came from a humble background, her distinctive voice immediately set her apart.
She was able to become one of the Afrikaans hitmakers of the eighties. She got married in 1982 and has two children, a daughter (born in the late eighties) and a son (born in the early nineties). She remained a pretty active artist in the Gospel community, even though she once decided to take a back seat from producing commercial songs, preferring to sing mostly for charity instead. Ms. Viljoen sadly passed away in 2017, when she was just 50 years old.
Afrikaans Praise and Worship Songs
If you are an African, you would understand that dancing and praise are integral parts of our Christian worship. These songs are usually dance songs, accompanied by uplifting and catchy beats made by using many percussion instruments. The songs are designed to give the worshipper a feel of celebration and victory in Christ. On this note, we bring you this list of praise and worship songs in Afrikaans.
6. More Sal Weer Skyn
- Artist: Leon Ferreira
- Date of Release: 2009
- Album: ‘n Hart Vir Hierdie Land
This optimistic, upbeat number translated to mean, “tomorrow will shine again,” was one of the hottest releases of 2009 in the gospel genre. With its main motive to uplift the children of God, this track talks about the importance of not losing faith as a child of God.
The voice of Leon Ferreira rang strong and clear throughout the barely 3-minute long number, leaving the listener with a high, giddy feeling. The song was released as the lead single from Leon’s third studio album and became one of the most recognizable songs from his ‘n Hart Vir Hierdie Land’ era.
The song artist, Leon Ferreira, is a South African multi-potentialite as he is a singer-songwriter, an actor, comedian, voice-over artist, and a television presenter who began his music career after releasing his debut solo album way back in 1992. He went on to release other albums, including “Asemrowend,” “No Longer I,” “Another Day,” and “Dagreis.”
7. My Pa is Die Koning
- Artist: Juanita Du Plessis
- Date of Release: 2004
- Album: Altyd Daar Gospel Album, Vol. 1
This particular song by the eclectic Juanita du Plessis is one of the highlights of her career. The song title, which means “My Father is the King,” when translated to English, was certified 3x platinum in 2020. Its video has accumulated over 85,000 views on YouTube since its release eighteen years ago.
Singer Juanita du Plessis is one of the biggest Afrikaans musical acts of the early 2000s. The country singer was born in Windhoek, Namibia, but moved to South Africa as a child. Her breakout song Ska-Rumba placed her on the list of singers to watch for, and her self-titled album proved it.
After winning the CMA Awards in 1998 for ‘Best Singer’ and ‘Best Songwriter,’ the 51-year-old established herself as one of South Africa’s top female musical acts and has remained relevant ever since. In 2018, she celebrated 20 years in the music industry.
8. Nooit Alleen
- Artist: Mirelda Josephs
- Date of Release: 2017
If there were anything like an unexpected hit song, then Mirelda Joseph’s Nooit Alleen would be it. The relatively unknown singer grabbed the attention of the South African Christian industry with this 5-minute-long number. When translated to English, the song, which means “Never Alone,” was a cover of Jo Black and Leah’s song of the same title.
Although the song was a huge success, Mirelda’s musical career never really took off. She prefers to keep out of the spotlight entirely, but she remains a gospel minister either way.
9. O Heer My God
- Artist: Elvis Blue
- Date of Release: 13 January 2014
South African singer Elvis Blue is by no means a stranger to the top of music charts. However, this particular song didn’t become a chart-topper; nonetheless, it merits a spot on our list because it became one of the most coveted South African gospel songs in history.
His previous single, Shine, made him the top-selling South African artist on iTunes in just one week of release. His first Afrikaan album, ‘Êrens in die Middle van Nêrens,’ produced in 2016, spawned a series of top 10 radio hits, and Elvis Blue became a platinum-selling artist.
He continued to dominate music and soon got the highest number of Ghoema nominations for any solo artist in the show’s award history. He finally went on to win the most Ghoema awards ever in the 5-year history of the awards, for Album of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, Best Music Video, Best Songwriter, Best Contemporary Album by a Male Artist, and Best Live DVD.
10. Sing ‘n Hallelujah
- Artist: VirAnder
- Album: U Alleen
- Date of Release: 2019
This happy, victorious song is an upbeat, peppy song that will push you to your feet in praise. The almost 6-minute-long song is the Afrikaans version of the original song Raise a Hallelujah by Bethel Music. The song was performed by the Afrikaans Gospel band, VirAnder. Since its release four years ago, the music video has gathered almost 700,000 views on vlogging platform YouTube.
Although the song was a huge commercial success, the band faded into oblivion. There is little or no information on the identities of its members and what they are currently up to.