Authors Posts by Donovan Faranando

Donovan Faranando

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I'm a young creative entrepreneur who loves to read, write and make conversations. I'm also involved in the tv, radio and fashion industry. Don't mess around with me cause I'm a lawyer too!

New Releases: Amashumi By HOLY ALPHA

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Have you ever heard of xhosa trap music? I bet you haven’t. It’s a new sub genre and it’s popular now especially in Cape Town. A lot of new artists are coming out of their comfort zone and they are releasing xhosa trap music. I really love the sub genre as it brings some culture to the industry. Anyways one particular artist who goes by the name Holy Alpha released some music and it’s showing that she’s not here to play. You all better be prepared for shows, tours and more music from her this new year.

From the streets of Khayelitsha rises a brand new face for South African hip hop. Born Sanele Alpha Gwabe, who now goes as HOLY ALPHA aka MAMA GHOST in the streets. Living up to the title with her experience filled lyrics and xhosa story telling techniques. Her music journey started in 2016 shortly after that she introduced herself to the hip hop scene in 2017 when she dropped a single titled Guala. She is definitely a forced to be reckoned with and has been previously feature on the popular hip hop online magazine ”SLIKOUR ON LIFE” as one of the hottest artists in the streets, being described as fierce and unapologetic in her flows and cadence.

Almost 4 months after her hit single GHOST debuted, she was exposed to a wider audience with her introduction of Xhosa Trap. A little bird from the streets tell us she’s already got big plans for the sub genre in 2021.

She describes her music as art, because art reflects society and she believes the lyrics of her music depict the everyday life of South African youth who don’t have the opportunities to express themselves. Coming from a musical family, HOLY ALPHA was always destined for lyrical greatness and this year she teams up with Cape Town’s biggest music hub, CAPE TOWN THING to drop a single she’s been teasing the whole December of 2020. ”AMASHUMI” is a drill banger that sees HOLY ALPHA diving into her experiences with nocturnal activities in her township of Khayelitsha.
STREAM AMASHUMI NOW!

https://open.spotify.com/track/5WsGoCi2SLOSRtcUGwTidR?si=nRqNNS-QQNm9Vu0STcspyw

Iconic Black to help raise funds with Friends of Allemansdrift B to create food security in Mpumalanga

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Iconic Black has been on the forefront of changing the narrative through their fashion brand. From collaborating with a different creative artists to hosting creative community building events like Influencers Talks in Cape Town. The brand is definitely more than just a fashion brand. This time Iconic Black has joined forces with expats Kelly Szabo and Kate Crossland who started a project together to support a rural village following the onset of South Africa’s protracted Covid 19 Lockdown period.

A family pose for a picture after receiving food parcel from Friends of Allemansdrift B
Children from Allemansdrift receiving their food parcels

The ex pats collectively fed over 1000+ families weekly with the support from other concerned individuals around the globe. As South Africa moved to level 1, they took a joint decision to move towards Hand Ups Vs Hand Outs and they are now working on creating both food security and job creation opportunities in Allemansdrift B, Mpumalanga. Allemansdrift B is a large rural community near Vaalbank with huge poverty, because essentially there is no employment there.  There are a lot of elderly people who are bringing up grandchildren and there’s a lot of child-headed households. There is also an extreme need and intermittent water supply.

some of the families who received help from Friends of Allemansdrifts B

In order to do this, an infrastructure needs to be put in place in the form of an office, equipment and training materials. Kelly approached the brands Issa Leo and Iconic Black for assistance in this respect ”being aware of the brands involvement with community based initiatives of this nature”. The brands have donated one each of our signature leather jackets for auctioning in order to purchase the requisite equipment and in hope that people will support their efforts.

The winning bid on each jacket will have access to our creative team at Iconic Black who will, in turn, customise their jackets making their purchase a highly specialised limited edition at no charge other than for the price bid. If you don’t get a chance to bid on the auction, you can still purchase some items on the brands websites. The brands will donate 30% of the sales to the cause. Your support will definitely go a long way. For more information on how you can bid on the auction you can visit https://www.friendsofab.co.za/

KNO Is The Man Of The Moment And Here’s Our Top Five Songs By Him

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Ever since the Cape of Good Hope song which was well received, national acclaimed rapper KNO has been the man of the moment (can we get an autograph).Also can we rephrase that ‘national acclaimed‘ to ‘international acclaimed’ because he’s now known in America. Famous DJ/Journalist Sway Calloway surprised him with a good inspirational message/shoutout during an interview on Afternoon Express SABC 3 where the rapper was sharing his story about how he started his career. The song has also been played on our local radio station even making it to Number 1 on the charts . We love how people are catching up with the talent that is in the mother city Cape Town. I have been a fan of KNO from way back and these top five songs that I’m enlisting are a way to appreciate the talented rapper, songwriter that he is. Hoping that you all going to enjoy these songs and don’t forget to follow the man of the moment to keep in track with his musical journey.

1:CAPE OF GOOD HOPE

Cape Of Good Hope, tells the story of the gang culture, poverty, and racism the community of his youth experienced on a daily basis. Packed full of vivid imagery, emotive lines, and a devastating delivery, it also tells the story of all the young children whose lives have been lost to gang violence – either as participants or innocent bystanders. The single’s powerful accompanying video also pays visual tribute to the children KNO saw caught in the cross-fire.

2:LEVEL OF GREATNESS

3. OVERTIME

4. FOCUSED

5. I KNO

SHEKHINAH PRESENTS A VIRTUAL ROSEFEST 2020

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Internationally acclaimed and award-winning artist Shekhinah’s Rosefest returns for its second edition on Sunday the 11th of October in partnership with the number one youth radio station YFM.

After two successful editions in Johannesburg and Durban in its inaugural year, which featured artists and personalities that included Sho Madjozi, DJ Zinhle, Kim Jayde, Lady Zamar and DJ Doowap. The all-women music festival will this year be a digital music experience that keeps with the spirit and vibe of the festival’s mantra: ‘Power to She!’

Since last year, Rosefest has evolved to become an all-year-round experience through its digital platforms and Sunday conversation series, with the music festival culminating as its hallmark. This year’s virtual music experience will highlight performances and contributions from women artists beyond Women’s Month. In 2020 Rosefest presents another stellar line-up with headline vocalists, rappers, personalities and artists performing alongside Shekhinah, as the experience celebrates the power of connection and collaboration.

Across genres and cultures, Rosefest is about performance with purpose, and support with thoughtful intent. In upholding these values, Rosefest 2020 – Power to She! is proud to play its part in seeking actionable change in the music and creative industries, offering equal opportunity, fair pay and equitable access to development for women – while being mindful of and exploring the context they work and create in.

Backing up purpose with action, Rosefest has set up a partnership with Life Line PMB which will see ongoing support and investment into programs focused on the development of young girls and boys into healthier happier humans. Profits from ticket sales for Rosefest 2020 will be directed towards this objective.

“Rosefest culminates into an amazing music experience, however, the journey of Rosefest has been 8 weeks of creating open discussions with women through conversations like body image, anxiety, gender based violence, bias in the workplace and deeper discussions that highlight women whilst educating society”, says Shekhinah on the evolution of the experience. “It’s been a difficult journey, but I’m so proud that we are making it happen again this year, virtually, and I am in awe of how everyone has come together to make this happen. I’m really excited to work with live broadcasting, and make Rosefest a beautiful experience for everyone – from the artists to the audience.”

Tickets for this digital music experience are available for purchase on Computicket at R70 per device. Ticket link: https://tickets.computicket.com/event/rosefest_2020/7151864/7151871/112813

Stay tuned to @ROSEFEST.ZA social pages for the line-up reveal and more information about the music experience.  http://www.shekhinahd.com/rosefest/

#rosefest2020 #powertoshe #everymonthiswomensmonth

#IAmCreativeForAfrica: Dylan Cairns On Being A Leader

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I always get excited discovering good people that are doing great amazing things in the creative industry. This one particular person whom I’m going to chat to, he has done amazing things in his life and its fitting for us to include him on this campaign of I Am Creative For Africa. For those who don’t know what the campaign is all about, let me tell you about it. I am creative for Africa is not only about being discovered but it’s about helping people feel good about what they do creatively. Let’s chat with Dylan Cairns and find out who he is.

Who is Dylan Cairns?

Dylan Cairns is very passionate about entrepreneurship and assisting others with building their businesses/brands. Since the age of about 12, my mind was set in thinking and saying – “Anything is Possible, through God and Hard work”. I’m a family man whose purpose is to work hard and leave a legacy for my son and family while making sure I see other people succeed, grow and reach their potential.

When did you realize that you have a passion for modelling?

To be honest I don’t really have a huge passion for modeling, I’ve been blessed enough to get approached by people and brands/businesses to do shoots with a few of them on occasions, but it’s not a real focus of mine (if I can put it that way). Just really grateful for the opportunities that are presented to me.  

You have done a campaign with Puma before, take us through the journey?

It was really amazing to do a photo shoot with such a well-known brand.
I would say, the shoot came about quite quickly. It wasn’t something that was really planned or anything like that. I got a call from a photographer who needed help with the shoot. Funny enough my favorite brand at the time was Puma! So, it made it even sweeter to shoot the merchandise.

We have seen you running an organization called Youth Redemption. What drove you into getting into that realm?

Yes! Youth Redemption NPC was run (no longer running) by my good friend and I from the period 2014 – 2018. We basically started the organization to help inspire young people all over South Africa to start their own businesses and follow their passions/dreams. We were very driven to educate these young people the importance of giving back to their communities. We started an initiative called the Kick Game Grind a community project, where Youth Redemption collected and distributed more the 7 000 pairs of shoes to the less fortunate all-over South Africa. This was one of the organization’s biggest achievements which managed to get many young people involved, well-known celebrities and businesses. The organization will forever be a very uplifting thought in my mind, as it was through pure intentions of helping as many young people as possible and rightfully.

What do you think South Africa needs to change in terms of helping young people who need fundamental support like education, entrepreneurship?

I would say, obviously a lot needs to be done in this area, especially for our future generation and generations to come. Pin-Pointing the exact type of ‘fundamental support’ would be such a long list, but I feel that as South Africans we should just start supporting and encouraging our young people and all ages for that matter in whatever they are pursuing and/or working towards, for me, this can be the starting point. There’s definitely a lot of questions at the moment regarding the assistance and help we do receive but at this point supporting one another and creating opportunities for ourselves is what we can continue doing.

You are a born leader yourself. Tell us more about the future of South Africa if given the opportunity to run the country?

Good question, firstly I’d make sure that I’m fit/capable of doing the job and taking up such a huge responsibility. Regarding the future of South Africa. I would definitely drop certain salaries in (so-called) top positions in the Government especially, to start working on the poverty crisis we’ve been dealing within South Africa. I would also then make it my mission to get some sort of structure to build for people who do not have any place to stay/sleep nobody deserves to sleep on a pavement or road. Basic education for children would also be on my top priority list, through free online classes/course to very affordable Schools which are well looked after and well run. Those would be the first few steps I would take in order to make the future of South Africa a bit brighter.

 You recently got married and you have joined your wife into the digital world by content creating. We like your content by the way. Tell us more about the process of getting into that industry and the brands you have worked with?

Yes recently got married to the woman of my dreams. Regarding the content creating part, my wife solely runs that through her business. I’m literally just there to support and give her some advice where need be (based on my past experience of running a NPC). Other than that Darian runs this through her Social Media Agency Business. She has been in the industry for quite some time and in terms of fully focusing on it, I think 2020 was her year. She’s working with quite a few local and international brands in all forms (through Social Media Management, Content Creation) Brands such as My Natural Hair, Sugar bear International, Aunt Jackie’s, and many more. Please check out her website – www.reddee.co.za

What’s next for Dylan?

I’ve recently joined the Board of Directors of a Non-Profit Organization who are focused on changing lives through sport and education. Currently working on a new business venture that will be officially launched in 2021, which is focused on individuals’ mindsets and Business mentoring (very excited about this). I’m also looking into growing my business network both locally and internationally – which is going quite well so far. And lastly, hopefully, get another few photoshoots and sponsorships with some local brands in the near future.

Any advice to the youth who wants to join the digital world, modelling industry and running an NGO?

My advice is quite simple – Take some time to educate yourself about the industry/business venture you’re interested in going into, connect with, and learn from people within those industries or businesses and then, most importantly DREAM BIG NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD. 

Shoko Festival Announces Innovative New Format for 2020 Edition

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Zimbabwe’s longest-running urban culture festival – Shoko Festival has announced that its 10th edition running from the 21st to 27th September 2020 will feature some of its most innovative and unique programming to date. This year’s edition, dubbed “The Phoenix Edition” will feature a completely digital implementation with live sets streamed from both Harare and Bulawayo for all 7 days.

Shoko 2020 will feature performances from popular urban acts including Poptain, Jah Master, Ray Vines, Natasha Muz, Anita Jaxson, Pro Beatz, and many more local acts. The festival will also release the name of its surprise international act soon.

This year’s edition of Shoko Festival will see a mixture of new and old formats as we optimise the experience for the streaming audience on Facebook and other online platforms. Digital attendees can expect amazing live performances, Peace In The Hood, Mash Ups Night, The Bang Bang Comedy Show, a Digital Poetry Slam, a Top Comedian Battle, #DigitalMediaWeek hosted by The Hub Unconference, a #ZimbabweanLivesMatter cypher and the Voice2Rep competition amongst many other scheduled presentations.

“As Shoko Festival we’re all about pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and what can be performed. Because of Covid-19 we’ve had to pivot our programming and its challenged us to come up with a brand new virtual programme of cutting edge curated events, brand new musical collaborations, daring comedy game shows and an inspiring digital conference too!”

says Shoko Festival Director Comrade Fatso,

Shoko Festival will continue to provide a platform for upcoming artists in different urban culture genres, and also collaborate with more established acts from different genres via our Peace in The Hood event and Mash Ups Night. In true Shoko tradition, the festival will be presenting never-seen-before collaborations including man-of-the-moment Poptain featuring rapper BlacPerl & seasoned poet Madzitateguru.  Another explosive collaboration the festival has curated will see popular new singer Anita Jaxson joining forces with rising rappers Natasha Muz and Sibo.

“We are proud that even in these trying times Shoko Festival is able to be one of the few cultural platforms where upcoming and talented poets can perform alongside the biggest acts in the country, and, the same festival can also host some of the best comedians and rappers while also running a cutting edge week-long conference that covers the state of the internet and engages our political leaders on critical issues“

says Shoko Production Manager, Tongai Makawa AKA Outspoken

Shoko’s main sponsors this year are the Prince Claus Fund, Norwegian People’s Aid, Accountability Lab & the Heinrich Boll Foundation. More information about this year’s edition of Shoko Festival can be found on their website

Donel Releases New Single ‘wish you well’ via Empawa Africa

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One-to-watch talent DONEL returns with his first new music of 2020, with the uplifting, feel good single in the shape of ‘WISH YOU WELL’ released via global entrepreneur and talent MR EAZI’s EMPAWA AFRICA talent incubator programme.

The young creative, who was raised in Zimbabwe, has been enjoying a heady ascent into stardom as a pop star with the full package; Donel sings, writes,dances, performs and presents. Sonically his music fuses afro-beat with contemporary pop and R&B, delivered with an infectious energy with ‘WISH YOU WELL’ acting as another self-penned example. 

Speaking on the new single and his relationship with MR EAZI and EMPAWA AFRICA, Donel quotes;

“Working with Eazi is great – he was the first artist to reach out and show me support, and now he’s given me a great opportunity to showcase my music with his company. When we link up it’s always a great vibe, I feel like his little brother! He’s always giving me feedback on how to improve my music and as a mentor I always take his advice on board. I’m very grateful to have him in my corner.”

With an impressive cast list of credits that include working with top-tier producers across both London and Africa including Will.i.am, MNEK (Beyoncé, Dua Lipa, H.E.R), GuiltyBeatz (Mr Eazi, Beyoncé), Pip Kembo ,(Jason Derulo, Trey Songz), Alan Sampson (Jay Sean, Zayn, Idris Elba),Rymez (Wiley, Stefflon Don), Daecolm (Chris Brown,Mario), a strong profile on TikTok (14.2m) and partnerships with NIKE, ASOS, BEATS BY DRE;Donel is presenting himself as a frontrunner in his genre.

Stay in touch on the below

TIK TOK // INSTAGRAM // TWITTER // SPOTIFY

Creative Convos a successful collaboration between Iconic Black and North North Social Club

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The idea that everyone can work together and produce something better than they could on their own with less work is called collaboration, literally that’s what is lacking in the city of Cape Town particularly in the creative industry. A lot of outsiders say the city is too cliquey. What they are saying might be true as I have faced career stigmatisation because I didn’t have certain skills, not following any ”cool brands” or have artistic friends. Anyways we are not here to talk about me, we are here to talk about people who covering this gap of career stigmatisation by working together, sharing ideas and encouraging artist empowerment in the creative industry.

Iconic Black a fashion brand in Cape Town has been on the fore front of producing premium streetwear clothes and they have a flagship project which gives young people who are involved in fashion, film, arts and music a platform to connect, create and collaborate. Recently they had a chance to work and collaborate with North North Social Club a young creative collective company based in Cape Town which works with different artists. The companies came together to produce a segment called Creative Convos.

Since Covid -19 happened,every event or workshop is now digital. Creative Convos was hosted Live on Instagram at 19:30pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for two weeks. The main focus of the segment was to create a spirit of sharing ideas, knowledge and discussing pending issues and challenges in the creative industry while providing possible solutions. The Live stream saw the likes of Vicky Sheelongo, Nicola Kruger, Shiraz Reddy, Soulful Clay, Anda and Abnormal coming through to share ideas, their career journey and providing insights on how young creative people can change the creative industry in Cape Town.

The segment was well received with people around South Africa and even AKA the biggest artist in the hip hop industry tuned in as well to hear one of the conversation. Speaking to Andrea Davids one of the members of North North Social Club about the segment she said,” we wanted creative people to converse with each other and talking is great. It opens up a lot of connection outlets that’s why we had to produce this segment with Iconic Black because the time for change is now and our voices and future in the creative industry matter”.

If you missed the Creative Convos, make sure to check them out by clicking this link. We can’t wait to see what other collaborations these brands are bringing to the creative industry. All the best to them!

Lungisa Landu: South Africa’s Top Model To Watch Out For

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The Modeling industry can be very competitive, daunting and there is a lot of hard work that goes into getting auditions even through scouted by an agency. As a model, you need to work on yourself from getting a toned body, perfect shape, and the way you carry yourself. In South Africa, we have so many agencies that are scouting a lot of models, and having them work with local and international brands among those people is Lungisa Landu a freelance model all the way from Gugulethu, Cape Town. The young model can be seen wearing a lot of brands from Imprint, Iconic Black, Byele Lifestyle, Nao Serati, Thobey Cooper, and more. Despite being a runway model, he’s also a walking billboard. His love for fashion is very top-notch. He loves to dress up and some of his fashion styles are inspired by the city of Paris in France.

Lungisa Landu’s first biggest break came through when he walked on a runway for Imprint at African Fashion International fashion week. From there, he graced the South African Menswear Week, Cape Town College Of Designs fashion show, becoming the face of Imprint and working with different fashion stylists that work for fashion and lifestyle magazines. Speaking about thriving in the modeling industry Lungisa says,” I’m willing to work hard with different people to get exposed to more opportunities that’s why I have made it so far, yes my face can sell magazines and be on billboards but we are in different times now. You have to be multi-talented, organized and take this career as a business ”

The young model isn’t stopping or retiring soon until he gets to the top as he dreams of living in Europe and the USA working top fashion brands. Go for it Lungisa, the sky is the limit. We wish you all the best and we are rooting for you. We can’t wait to see you rocking Rich Mnisi or Thebe Magugu or better yet Gucci, Versace, and Off-White.

Lungisa wearing Imprint

#QuarantinedFilmFestival: Boiling Point – A Short Film By Matthew Eaton

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Boiling Point follows a lonely man stuck in lock down who turns to his tea addiction to help cope with the chaotic world that lies outside his walls. Becoming more and more engrossed with world news everyday and his sanity slowly slipping away with his tea stockpile,what will become of this man as the outside world becomes too much?Let’s get chatting with Matthew Eaton who created this gripping masterpiece of a short film about what inspired the making of the film.

”I got bored a couple days into the lock down and wanted to find ways to create something during lock down. I had seen other creators making awesome pieces of work. I came across a video on Youtube from a friend of mine Dean Tucker aka VisualRev, he had partnered with Epidermic Sound to host a quarantine film festival where people could submit films no longer than 3 minutes using only sound from Epidermic Sound library”, says the young filmmaker who got to work and develop his idea with his Head Lecturer Anton Kleynsheldt from college who has a great extensive knowledge of films and a facilitator of ideas and concepts.

After days of chatting with his Head Lecturer to develop his idea. Matthew came up with three act short clips and a story-line of a man who is stuck in lock down turning to his tea addiction to cope with the maniac world. Drawing a lot of inspiration from the famous movie ”The Shining” which is about a man who is stuck inside his snow bound hotel who turns on his family when cabin fever took over his world. This psychological idea from the movie is one of the main pieces of inspiration behind Matthew Eaton’s film. For those who watched ”The Shining” you will notice there is similar pieces related to the Boiling Point film. Do you see them? If yes do let us know in the comments. Anyways let’s continue with the chat as he explains the process and challenges of making the short film.

Regardless of the long tedious process of making this film. I took my time with planning which has never happened before because I don’t usually have lots of time to film due to other commitments. After spending countless hours on the sound design of the film which I believe is the strongest aspect of the film, I made sure everything was on point from filming , redoing the shots, revising the scripts, getting the shots and lighting to be exactly how I wanted. I’m very proud of the final piece and judging from people’s feedback who have seen the film. They appreciate it and some relate to the story line while others said they would love to see a sequel which might be on the cards in the future,explains Matthew Eaton

Use headphones for a better sound experience

The film couldn’t have been done without the incredible help of Anton Kleynsheldt and J.T Semple who did an absolutely incredible job grading the film for me and helping me with some aspects of the story line. This film made me excited for what I can make in the future and it showed me that you really don’t need a lot to create a nice piece of work.If I can make a film locked inside my house in lock down then who knows what is possible when the world reopens. I hope you all will enjoy the film and don’t hesitate to contact me regarding anything.

Thank you Matthew Eaton for chatting with us and you all can follow him on Instagram (mattheweaton_) for more of his content.