Heavy metal has arrived to Botswana. This is neopunk.
Edith, Hellrider, and Dadmonster pose for a photograph. In Botswana, heavy metal music has landed. Metal groups are now performing in nightclubs, concerts, festivals. The ranks of their fans have expanded dramatically. These fans wear black leather pants and jackets, studded belts, boots and cowboy hats. On their t-shirts stand out skulls, obscenities, historical covers of hard-rock groups popular in the seventies and eighties, such as Iron Maiden, Metallica, and AC/DC. They have created their own style, inspired by classic metal symbolism, but also borrowing heavily from the iconography of western films and the traditional rural world of Botswana. Their nicknames, Gunsmoke, Rockfather, Carrott Warmachine, Hellrider, Hardcore, Dignified Queen, may appear subversive and disturbing as their clothing, but they are peaceful and gentle. “We like to get dressed„ drink meet friends and feel free , this music is so powerful . We are lucky to live in a country tolerant and open” argues one of the leaders. A precious rarity for Africa. (© Daniele Tamagni, Italy, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards)
It’s amazing how metal is expressed outside of the Americas and Europe. I’m in the middle of a book about the metal scenes in the Middle East and North Africa, and I’d love to hear some of these headbanger’s stories.