Born From South Africa’s Townships, Kasi Flava is a Dynamic Style All Its Own

Most soccer fans are familiar with the idea of “Joga Bonito,” the Brazilian style of football that provides swagger while giving players extra room for creative play. But did you know that South Africa has its own unique style of play that allows a similar freedom of expression? It’s called Kasi Flavor.

Joga bonito with Ronaldinho and Robinho.
Joga Bonito with Ronaldinho and Robinho.

Kasi Flavor or “Kasi Flava” is a style of play that encompasses skills and tricks along with a strong dash of showmanship unique to South Africa. Similar to Joga Bonito, it has roots in street soccer with strong influences from the local culture. “Kasi” comes from the word for location or lokasie in Afrikaans, that’s used to describe townships (a favela-like residence where non-whites were relegated to live during the apartheid era).

Fittingly, rhythm and individual style take precedence over physical play or game tactics in Kasi Flava. It’s most commonly showcased on dirt fields in impoverished areas, but some South African pros have brought elements of their kasi roots to the full field, mirroring their Brazilian counterparts.

Despite overwhelming poverty and oppression, South African ballers have created a flavor of football that expresses joy and a celebration of the sport, rooted within a rich and vibrant community.

What do you think of the Kasi Flava?