South African Street Style: 15 Ways To Be ‘Zef’

Roughly translated as “common” in Afrikaans, Zef is a growing fashion trend in South Africa and was popularized by the rap-rave duo Die Antwoord. With the look of 80’s-redneck-meets-Marilyn-Manson-meets-Flavor-Flav, it’s no surprise that singers Yolandi and Ninja get a lot of negative publicity backlash for sporting it. But that doesn’t stop them and their flourishing fan club from rocking their odd appeal. Here are 15 signature ways to be Zef.

1. Yolandi’s mullet

The Zef mullet has a slightly different approach than your average Billy-Bob mullet. It’s still all business in the front with a party in the back, but with its rough buzz-cut edges and untamed locks made to resemble a large porcupine’s hide, these mullets have their own wild streak.

2. Grills

No, we’re not talking about BBQ this time. Donning grills isn’t just for Mike Tyson, but for any fashionable Zef stylist. The more that the grills are adorned with pieces of art, the more Zef you will be.

3. Boxer prints

If you already have one of these in your closet, you might already be a closeted Zef. Otherwise, just head over to your nearest Wal Mart or Target and buy them for $5.99. The tackier it is, the more Zeftastic you will be.

4. Full-Body Hoodies

The full-body hoodies will turn any Zef into an adult-sized kid and make them look like they just came from Furry-con. Ranging from Pokemon to Care Bears to bunnies, these hoodies are an excellent way to express yourself and have an excuse for fatty boom boom days.

5. Eerie Contact Lenses

Whether they make you look like you’re possessed, contaminated, or a cat, odd and spooky contact lenses are a fun addition to ward off non-Zef people. So save up your money around Halloween, because that is when you’ll be able to get your grubby Zef hands on these products.


6. Bad Tattoo Art

If your tattoo does not look like it was done by an inmate with an electric toothbrush, then you’re doing it wrong. Low quality arts and fonts can be found in random spots throughout their bodies that will leave anybody questioning their criminal past.

7. Rats

If u fink bad tattoos weren’t freeky enough, rats are a must have for any Zefs. Used as accessories or coats, these critters will knock Paris Hilton’s pet chihuahua off its leash.


8. High Top Fade

Kid n’ Play will either be amused or shaking their heads at this once-dead trend that is rapidly making its re-appearance. Ninja’s high top fade proves to be a popular hairdo among his followers. If you can pull off the high top fade into a mullet, you’ll score Ninja points.


9. Gold Blings

Owning more gold chains than Mr. T is what Yolandi preaches. Being Zef is all about showing your bling. Despite being poor and common, you’ve still got it good and you’ve still got style. 


10. Face Art

In addition the the spooky contact lenses, face painting will complete the full Zef (or redneck zombies) look. Whether you powdered your face completely white, drew an animated animal face on yourself, or splashed yourself with artificial blood, it won’t matter. Any type of face art will work for any true Zef.

11. Walmart-esque print bras

Like what you would find in any developing 90’s teenage girl’s closet, low quality Walmart-esque print bras are a signature Yolandi’s look. This is good news for Joe Boxer who might finally have a chance to save his dying business.

12. Over-sized Clothing

Being Zef means one thing–your clothes should either be too small or too big. You should be swimming in your over-sized shirts as if you just looted it from Biggie Smalls. So if that pair of shorts you just bought is the perfect fit, you better return it back to DollarMart and buy some that are five sizes too big instead.


13. 80’s Shades

If it looks like something that Corey Feldman would’ve worn during his “License to Drive” days, then you’ve got it nailed. Don’t go anywhere without one of your most important accessory–your Zef shades.


14. Unusually short midriff shirts

If your fellow Zefs have no chance of getting a glimpse of your Joe Boxer Walmart bra, then your midriff is not short enough. Any female (or male) that is confident enough can easily pull off this bold look. You, baby, will be on fire!


15. Black and White Line Art

If Harold from “Harold and The Purple Crayon” grew up and turned Zef, his art would look like the signature artwork of Die Antwoord’s. Multiple stick figure faces, dollar signs, animals, and odd sayings can be found throughout their black ad white line art.

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