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

Uyinene Mrwetyan’s legacy remembered by civil society organisations through anti-GBV campaign

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Lest we forget, gender-based violence (GBV) is a widespread problem in South Africa. This women’s month, various organisations have come together to take a stand against the violence through an advocacy campaign.

The campaign underpins the memory of Uyinene Mrwetyana, who was vocal about the various social ills such as patriarchal oppression in society.

She was a UCT student when her life was unexpectedly cut short in August 2019 by the sort of patriarchal oppression she was against.

Her passing caused an uproar which reverberated around the country and even internationally, alerting President Cyril Ramaphosa to the urgency with which the violence against women should be met from a parliamentary perspective.

That is why the government has partnered with Multichoice, People Opposing Woman Abuse (POWA), the Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation and Bomb Commercials to speak out against GBV.

The campaign straddles the themes of social justice, compassion and honesty; some of the values of the Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation which was founded in commemoration of its namesake.

It gives one hope that it is possible to rid our society of the violence by confronting GBV head-on and reflecting how proximate it is to us all.

The production house, Bomb Commercials was tasked with translating the message into thought-provoking visuals by creating “a piece that would not only get us talking, but also get us thinking,” says director Stephina Zwane, who wrote and directed the commercial.

The company got the picture and drove the message home by delicately placing the idea of an ideal domestic situation side-by-side the extremes of violence without making the commercial too graphic.

“In portraying a normal life, I wanted to juxtapose with a life of brokenness that is so often present in homes, but we don’t always speak about.”

The seriousness of GBV was personalised by setting the scene in a house – an environment we can all relate to.

“It shows us what happens behind closed doors of some households. It shows the aftermath of the violence against women in a setting we all know.”

Having written a poem after Uyinene’s tragic passing in 2019, Zwane was presented the opportunity to further detail her message through film.

“I had to challenge myself in how best to do this in the most impactful way. I knew I didn’t want to put the majority of the work in using women to raise awareness on their own struggle. I needed… men to also take responsibility and acknowledge their role in the fight against GBV.”

The commercial was shot during lockdown in Zwane’s first time on set during the pandemic and says; “it was a bit scary at first being around everyone and having to follow strict social distancing rules. But once all of us got the hang of it, it was smooth sailing.”

Zwane notes the aim of the commercial was not necessarily to stand out from the crowd of the other gender-based violence commercials but simply continuing to raise awareness through adding to the discussion.

“We are all different and we are moved to action by different pieces of art,” she says.

Zwane says she will know the campaign is a success when gender-based violence is completely eradicated in our communities and is encouraged by the increasing discussions being had by men on the issue.

“What is encouraging is that through social media, I have had some guys reach out after seeing the commercial, to add their support to the cause and share their thoughts about what it was like having to see an image that represents them as a perpetrator,” she says.

The campaign acknowledges the pertinence of the GBV discussion and recognises the vision of completely ridding our society of GBV requires a long-term systematic approach.

The commercial is nonetheless progress toward that shared vison.

This vision is shared by Multichoice Group CEO, Calvo Mawela, who sees the campaign as an opportunity “to educate and mobilise citizens in order to eradicate acts of violence against women and children.”

The campaign is certainly worthy of Uyinene Mrwetyana’s memory according to the Foundation, which was founded for advocacy initiatives such as this one.

“We are driven to honour the name of Uyinene and keep her spirit alive by ensuring that no woman or child ever suffers the fate that she did,” says Foundation Managing Director, Masimbulele Buso.

POWA is also pleased with the campaign and the reach it can garner through collaborating with its partners.

We welcome the opportunity to reach millions of households across the country with a message that should be so obvious that we should not have to utter it: any form of violence is wrong – but violence against women and children must end immediately,” says Mary Makgaba, Chief Executive Officer of POWA.

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

Dreaming Big With Siphelo ”Speech” Bayana

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I adore people who work hard to achieve their goals and dreams. A lot of people tend to forget their vision and they are usually waiting for that one big break but it’s not the case with Siphelo Bayana (SB) aka Speech The Dreamer. From a tender age he knew what he wanted to do and he’s been working so hard to achieve that. He’s currently our favorite presenter on Hectic On 3 (SABC 3) Okay without giving out too much information let’s get to chat with him to find out more about who he is and his achievements. Grab a glass of juice.

Who is Speech?

SB: Speech The Dreamer is a young futuristic thinker who is confident in his own skin, goal driven and strongly influenced by other dreamers like The Fergusons, Oprah Winfrey who have built their own media empires from scratch.

What made you passionate about broadcasting?

SB: Growing up in the dusty streets of Gugulethu gave me some hope to dream big. I was so fascinated about radio and television when I was little. I would imitate some of the personalities back then on TV and since then I fell in love.

When was your biggest break?

SB: After being unfairly dismissed at Bush Radio where I was a journalist/newsreader and after my incredible start at Cape Town TV, GreenBag Media, Fomo Tv and many other shows that I’ve done throughout my experience of 7 years. I would like to say Hectic On 3 has been my biggest break so far.

What challenges have faced along the way?

SB: I have been told that I’m not articulate and good enough for any form of broadcasting but it didn’t stop me to pursue my dream. A dreamer never gives up. It might be hard at first but pat yourself at the back and try again.

You have attended Influencers Talk by Iconic Black. What do you like most about the event?

SB: Influencers Talk is a great space for networking and collaborating. I’ve always wanted to know how I can utilize my social media and how I can money out of it. Iconic Black brought that opportunity for me by bringing us speakers who give us advice and solutions to some of the challenges being faced in the creative industry.

Any celebrity crush or anyone you would like to work with one day?

SB: I would love to work with Siyabonga Ngwekazi (Scoop Makathini) . He inspires me and I adore his work. I hope to be mentored by him someday.

Whats your go-to look on television?

SB: I always keep it original. I love African fashion pieces mixed with trendy street-wear.

What advice do you have for those who would like to follow into your steps?

SB: Speak things into existence and always dream big.

Images Credit: Okuhle Media

Follow Speech @speechthedreamer

Reminiscing: Fashion and Style by Fashion Force SA

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Don’t you all miss dressing up, looking nice and be beautiful just to go somewhere. It might be to a party, festival, dinner or whatever it is. This lock down got us missing dressing up but don’t worry, we are going down memory lane to see some of the best fashion and style looks courtesy of Fashion Force South Africa. Fashion Force South Africa is a growing media platform focused on African fashion. They keep up to date on global fashion trends that influence the world fashion scene. Established in 2015 to give acknowledgement to local fashion designers. Recently launched a newly fashion/lifestyle show which celebrates influential people across the Africa in Fashion,Lifestyle and Tourism on the African continent. The TV show is hosted by your darling Vuyo Joboda. Let’s take a look at some of the best looks in 2020 so far. P.S For more looks check them on Instagram (@fashionforcesa)

Reminiscing: Art Events By North North Social Club

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North North Social Club is a creative collective founded by three friends (Andrea Davids,Wynton Marsalis McAllister and Chuma -Sande Bentele) in 2018 and they are based in Cape Town. The collective is committed to investing positively in the creative industry by celebrating local culture and championing innovation through networking. Operating as a non-profit organization, in the sense that they fully fund the events and exhibitions that they host. They aspire to provide platforms where creatives feel free to connect and share skills and experiences. Thus, inviting and encouraging a culture of collaborations and the idea of working together to achieve greater heights. 

Their vision is to create a more culturally diverse and inclusive environment for aspiring creatives and like-minded individuals to interact and exhibit their work, but more importantly, to provide exposure to the industry by aiming to bridge the gap between the aspiring artist’s goals and their place in the creative industry and culture.” We want art to be enjoyed, celebrated and consumed by everyone who relates to it” says, Andrea Davids one of the co-founders.

Every event has some sense of achievement to it. North North Social Club have managed to penetrate different areas of the creative market in Cape Town. They’ve grown immensely in the production, management and quality of the events which they host. The collective’s biggest highlight to date has been the “OURs” event, which was hosted in collaboration with GUS (Gallery University Stellenbosch) and Fungus (Creative Department For the gallery) in 2019. The event was a two week long exhibition, where artists were exposed to multiple crowds, and celebrated for their uniqueness. Throughout the duration of the exhibition, North North held two collaborative efforts with FUNGUS, known as Speakeasy – where attendees were welcome to perform, and a pop-up event thrown, North North style. The creatives ranged from fashion designers,photographers, illustrators and so much more. ”We always want to keep a really social atmosphere going with wine and beer on sale and music for vibrancy” says Wynton Marsalis McAllister.

#IconicBlack Influencers Talk And Share Their Creative Indoor Experience

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Covid-19 Lockdown has affected a lot of people in South Africa. It has not only affected our day to day activities but also the way we conduct our businesses especially creative people. Iconic Black hosts Influencers Talk every once in a month but due to the lock down, the event has been postponed. Instead of whining and complaining the brand introduced a small series called the 21 Days Creative Series. The 21 Days Creative Series aims to bring solutions and challenge young creatives to start creating nomatter the situation. Iconic Black asked some of their favourite Influencers about the best part of the lock down and here’s what they have to say.

For more information about the Creative Series or The Influencers Talk event. Make sure you visit www.iconic–black.com or follow the brand on Instagram. #Jointhemovement

PUMA and Von Dutch team up for a throwback collection

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PUMA, Von Dutch, Collection, Fashion, Hypebeast, Streetwear, Collaboration, South Africa, Online Shopping, PUMA,com,

Von Dutch emerged as an early-2000’s icon, making their mark on American culture with apparel and accessories donned by the biggest names in music and Hollywood. For the PUMA x Von Dutch collaboration, interchangeable design elements from Von Dutch are combined with classic PUMA styles. The unisex collection is inspired by the ability to create your own world through fashion, tapping into the cultural subconscious to mix and match pieces and express personal style.

Footwear includes the PUMA x Von Dutch Ralph Sampson (R1 999) and RS-2K (R2 299) as well as the PUMA x Von Dutch Future Rider (R1 999), featuring prism pink touches on the sole and leather overlays with ripstop upper and an additional set of pink laces, and the Ralph Sampson Mid (R2 199) featuring interchangeable hook and loop patches, a classic leather upper, silky suede heel piece with mesh insert on collar and 3 sets of laces.

PUMA, Von Dutch, Collection, Fashion, Hypebeast, Streetwear, Collaboration, South Africa, Online Shopping, PUMA,com,

Utilising brand logos, plaid and graphic prints, the PUMA x Von Dutch apparel includes a Reversable Track Jacket (R2 399), Track Pants (R1 299) and Sweatpants (R1 199) as well as the PUMA x Von DutchAOP Bandeau Crop Top (R449) and Graphic Tee (R549).

Complete the collection with acccessories like the pink PUMA x Von Dutch Bucket Hat (R449) and the PUMA x Von Dutch Swop Cap (R599) featuring a front panel with all over embroidered PUMA and Von Dutch logos plus 3 different interchangeable badges.

PUMA, Von Dutch, Collection, Fashion, Hypebeast, Streetwear, Collaboration, South Africa, Online Shopping, PUMA,com,

Create your own story in the all-new PUMA x Von Dutch collection, dropping on PUMA.com and at PUMA Select Cape Town and Braamfontein, X-Trend and selected retailers from 16 October 2020.

New Artist Alert: Killer Gram – Cape Town based Artist

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Killer Gram, New Artist Alert, Music, Feature, Press Release, Cape Town, South Africa, Soundcloud, VXraw, Figures, EP Launch

Killer Gram, an upcoming artist who was born & raised in Cape Town’s notorious Parow Park public housing flats, was always inspired & influenced by outspoken artists during his youth (with his main idol being Tupac). As he grew older he found inspiration in artists of his own generation (such as Denzel Curry & XXXTENTACION) who shared this raw and outspoken characteristics he was so fascinated by, this led him on his own journey of creating music and promising himself to never hide the truth within his art.

Killer Gram, New Artist Alert, Music, Feature, Press Release, Cape Town, South Africa, Soundcloud, VXraw, Figures, EP Launch

From 2017 Killer Gram would go on to release a number of free Soundcloud projects and singles while working alongside VXraw, it wasn’t until late 2019 when him and VX realized they were onto something after both being booked every weekend to perform in Cape Town’s buzzing Long Street (Most frequently Sneaker Cartel and the now closed down Uncut).

This series of bookings led them to be found by the well-known Jozi-Based duo of Benny Afroe & Macc Gee whilst looking for artists to book for one of their first gigs in Cape Town. It was then Killer Gram started to officially release his music across all platfroms with his latest EP titled ‘Figures’ which includes features from VXraw, Stepdaddy & Benny Afroe.  

Follow Killer Gram on Twitter, Soundcloud and Youtube

Mental Health in the Entertainment and Creative Industry

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Local Celebrities:

  • Gigi Lamayne
Source: Gigi Lamayne (Instagram: @gigi_lamayne)

Gigi Lamayne, an award-winning South African hip-hop artist has shared that she has been struggling with depression for over 8 years now. Lamayne influenced and still influences South Africa to a great extent with her immense talent regarding lyrical abilities, song writing and her ability to catch and keep an audiences’ attention with her charismatic personality. She has admitted that she had stopped feeling the essence and joy of life, causing her to fall into a dark hole of years of self-destruction that ultimately lead to her suicide attempt in 2018.

She plummeted into depression, because the pressure of being so involved in her career and constantly in the public eye, made her feel like she is not able to be human and make mistakes. Her suicide attempt has however encouraged her to be a supporting person for whomever needs help and support. She aims to create awareness of mental health in South Africa, a country that is especially not as educated on mental health.

  • Tebogo Thekisho a.ka. ProVerb
Source: Tebogo Thekisho a.ka. ProVerb (Instagram: @proverbmusic)

ProVerb — real name Tebogo Thekisho, rapper, radio presenter, TV personality and Idols SA presenter recently launched his memoir titled The Book Of ProVerb. In this memoire, he addresses his hard battle with depression, his relationship with his late mother and his grandmother, who died this year. He stated that the book is not about his divorce, but rather how he survived a dark period of his life and how he has found peace. He talks about his victory against depression and how he overcame that really dark period in his life. He hopes to inspire and bring awareness to mental health and the implications it has on a person.

International Celebrities:

  • Demi Lovato:
Source: Demi Lovato (Instagram: ddlovato)

One star in the entertainment industry who does not shy away from speaking about their mental health, is Demi Lovato. Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2015 , the superstar has tried to help people get through the psychological impact that Covid-19 has had on individuals by lending a helping hand to those in need. She took to Instagram to announce that she was launching a Mental Health Fund that would help provide free counseling to those who were psychologically impacted during the pandemic. Studies from The Harvard Gazette have shown that the Covid -19 Pandemic has had a negative impact on people’s mental health. The star went on to share that “Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength”, which is why asking for help is the first step to a better you.

  • Kanye West:
Source: Kanye West (Instagram: @kanyewest)

No introduction is needed when referring to Kanye West and his many talents, but something that not a lot of people know about him is that he suffers from a mental disorder. Kanye West is a Grammy Award winning rapper, record producer, highly influential fashion designer and a sufferer from Bipolar Disorder. He was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2017. Many have voiced their opinion that the uncalled for actions and behaviors that he displayed in the past, make more sense now knowing that he suffers from Bipolar Disorder.

His wife, Kim Kardashian West, opened up about his disorder and the effect it has had on their family. She stated that they now know how to cope with his illness and what they can do to support and assist him during his mental health journey. Kim Kardashian West, like many others, emphasizes that if anyone close to you is struggling with their mental health, it takes a toll on both of you. Awareness regarding mental health for not only people suffering from it, but also people close to those who are suffering, needs to be created.

Source: Tatiana Alfaro (Medium.com)

We are all human and all humans need to take care of their mental health. Mental health problems affects the way you think, behave and see life in general. Mental health is just as important as physical health, but we are less educated on it than on physical health. The more we learn about mental health problems and ways of coping with it, the better we can support and assist those who struggle with mental health conditions.

New Kid, Costa Titch sets SA Hip Hop alight

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Who Is Costa Titch 

Real name, Costa Tsobanoglou, Costa Titch is a talented dancer, rapper and songwriter. He hails all the way from Nelspruit, South Africa. Costa Titch relocated to Johannesburg in 2014 after completing his matric certificate, to pick up dancing as a career. Which then led him to join the New Age Steez dance crew which included Phantom Steez who features in a lot of his music. The crew went on to win an international award in the process. 

Off the success of the dance crew, Costa started getting choreography gigs for performers in the music industry. One gig that has gained him a place in the spotlight was being Cassper Nyovest’s dancer. This led to an increase in his fan-base. Not only has he achieved this, Costa has created a persona that is unlike anything that the industry has seen so far. 

The Come Up and The Album 

Costa Titch came into the spotlight late in 2019 with the hit-single “Nkalakatha”. The song is a re-make of the late Mandoza’s “Nkalakatha” hit-single from the year 2000. Many people dismissed the song as a gimmick or Costa trying to become relevant using African style and raps. Fortunately enough for him, the industry giants were watching. AKA and Riky Rick went on to collaborate with him on the official remix of the song. Since then the remix has gone to become one of the biggest songs of the South African hip-hop industry. The remix has reached the one-million stream mark on YouTube. 

Costa went on to release two other singles before releasing “Made In Africa”. He released “Thembi” featuring Boity where he speaks on how people didn’t believe he would reach the heights he has as well as “Phezulu” which is a sing-along that will undoubtedly be a crowd pleaser once festivals and performances are a thing again. Made In Africa is a project that consists of 17 well arranged tracks. He has also been able to  gather heavyweights of the South African music industry. These include big names like DJ Maphorisa, YoungstaCPT, Frank Casino, fellow new wave artist 25K as well as Riky Rick and AKA on two seperate songs. 

Made In Africa is mostly made up of club-bangers and doesn’t really focus on who Costa Titch and what makes him tick. Made In Africa is for people who want to dance and have an overall good time. Most of the music on the album is made up of catchy hooks and bass-heavy trap beats. Made In Africa has also brought back the 2014 – 2016 South African Hip Hop era back by having an album that is heavily influenced by Kwaito catchphrases and samples as well as rapping in indegeinous South African languages like isiZulu and Setswana. 

Controversy 

Costa Titch has been the centre of attention for the past few weeks in South African Hip Hop spaces with personalities like Nota calling him the SA Hip Hop saviour, to Speedsta having to apologise for saying Made In Africa is the best SA hip hop album of the year to the Twitter streets labeling him as a cultural appropriator. I would definitely love to see how far Costa Titch goes because he is currently a breath of fresh air whilst most of our homegrown talent is chasing American aesthetics and producing music that sounds as American. What do you think of him? Let us know in the comments below or any of  our socials!   

Not Your Average Sole

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Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Written by Thando Nojaja

Photo by Irvin Khumalo

As the saying goes, fashion repeats itself. It is evident, with the word vintage and retro popping  up in the same sentence as trendy. Vintage stores are popping up everywhere, and “thrifting” has become a thing. Wearing what some would consider hand me downs has become trendy. Hours and hours are spent thrifting, finding bargains and merchandising those with off the rack  fashion. Fashion from yesteryear has become the IT thing. 

Photo by Irvin Khumalo

I remember a time when we would not be caught dead in clothes our grandparents wear. Times  have changed though. Now what would happen if we switch it up a bit? What if our parents and grandparents wear  what we wear? 

What if we consider it trendy, as much as we consider it trendy for ourselves? In this series, photographer Irvin Khumalo explores the alternative flow of culture: where it used  to be passed on from the older generation to the new, he is passing on the culture from the  young to the old. Dressing old folk in sneakers, because they are as comfortable and just plain  dope!

Photo by Irvin Khumalo

Not your average sole is a photo series on the figurative age of fashion, depicting how it passes  from generation to generation, and the literal age, as seen in the people in these photographs  making sneakers fashionable. So, the next time you’re out shopping for the latest pair of kicks, grab a pair for your grandparents as well. Now that would be something!

Photo by Irvin Khumalo

I bet when you think sneakerhead, your grandparents are definitely not the first people that come to mind.The term sneakerhead is usually reserved for the hip youngin’s, who rock  sneakers for the culture, for expression and aesthetics of course. The common perception is  that sneakers are for the young, the trendy, the cool kids. The latest kicks mean they belong to  this generation, they are NOW, they fit in. My relationship with sneakers however is a simple  one, if it fits, I’ll wear it. 

Photo by Irvin Khumalo

The Bizniz Talk x Romeo Dibakwane

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The Bizniz Blog chats to Romeo Dibakwane, a 22-year-old South African fashion model signed to Lampost, an Architecture graduate, Transport and Supply Chain Management student and is also enrolled in an Artisan Programme, he is also the founder of a creative agency called MadeInRome (and we though we were the ones with a lot on our plate, yikes!). Romeo opens up about his childhood, work life and a little about his love life!

Courtesy of Romeo Dibakwane

So, who exactly is Romeo Dibakwane? Tell us a little more about the person you are today and what moulded you to become that said person.
The person I am today was moulded by struggle, friends and stories of people who have the same upbringing as me and I took those teachings to be my own.

How do your childhood and life experiences trickle down to your now choice in career?
My grandmother used to design Ndebele traditional clothes and she baked cakes with certain designs. I grew up with her majority of my life so I was her muse sometimes no matter if it’s female or male clothes. My love for visual arts and modeling come from her and she’s the biggest influence in my life.

Speaking of modeling, (it’s always refreshing seeing your face on campaigns btw) … what are 3 very important pointers you wished someone would’ve whispered in your ear before you entered the fashion model scene as a young queer black man?
That it was never going to be easy. That it needs determination and perseverance. The South African industry also works with connections hence networking is an important thing in South Africa.

Did you always want to be a model? In recent private conversations, it came out that you study architecture? What’s your plan with that?
Architecture is a form of art, that is what I saw while studying it. Its own movements coordinate with those of visual arts. The shapes, the spaces they all speak in a sense. My plan with architecture is to start my own company one day hence I’m doing logistics and studying to be an artisan so I have the whole spectrum of knowledge when it comes to building.

One thing that truly warms my heart is a young person with big plans! So, tell us more about MadeInRome, from being in front of the camera to being behind the scenes, what inspired you to take on a more creative directive role and what does your creative agency do that’s different from the rest?
MadeInRome has been something I’ve been thinking about ever since I started assisting on set and educating myself from how lighting works, creative directory, styling and set design. I knew nothing about those things. I had to encourage myself that for me to get better in this industry I have to know the full spectrum and it’s not like I can model until I’m 80 which I’d love but it’s unrealistic, so it’s also a means of securing other sectors to make money from. At my creative agency I’m a character by that I mean everything I’m good at in the entertainment industry is taken into account and from there they find me jobs where we (me and my agency) can make a living from it which is different and I love it.

Johannesburg is known to be the hub for young creatives, in your opinion what gap or opportunity do you think is essential to fill in a South African context. In other words, what’s missing from our creative space.
Give the kids jobs. To be frank we see the same faces everywhere immediately when they enter and they don’t make space for the younger creatives or even people that never made it. Sometimes that’s why it’s seen as a dead end of a career in terms of its a risk to enter this industry you’ll never know if you’ll make it in the industry or not . We can see that there’s limits to our entertainment industry and that why it’ll never reach Hollywood/European standards because of such greed.

I completely agree with you, but how many times will we sing the same song? I guess this is where creating our own brands comes in. As tough as building a brand from scratch is, it seems like a better option rather than waiting years for a company to see your potential. COVID-19 has also played a role in slowing down business activities (as well as creating new business opportunities), what’s something that you’ve learned or realised amidst the COVID-19 era about being a business owner?
Sometimes it’s not about singing the same song. As you might know I’m from one of the poverty stricken areas in SA, so for example a child with a dream of being a director can’t just up and start his own thing because cinematic equipment costs thousands of rands sometimes millions so those with privilege need to give those without an opportunity which is how most people in the industry get discovered cause no matter how much we might try to ignore it but our backgrounds has a hold on us. This year COVID-19 taught me that my investments had to go to parts of my business that make me money and not part I wanted to expand its a sad reality but it’s what majority of small businesses had to do without a choice.

Obviously, I have to be a little nosy. I’ve been living for the content you post of yourself and your boyfriend. What’s your take on building healthy relationships? And what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from your partner?
It’s not easy, it’s not like I live on a bed of roses. I just take it one day at a time there’s a saying that goes; “the first time you love someone it’s the honeymoon phase and to continue loving them after that it’s a choice cause you’ve seen every part of themselves”

Courtesy of Romeo Dibakwane

Be sure to show some love on Instagram: @romeo.mosa and @made.inrome for more creative content!

South African fashion designers making waves

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Source: Thebe Magugu (Instagram)
  1. Rich Mnisi – “RICH MNISI
Source: Rich Mnisi (Instagram: @therichmnisi)

Founded in 2014, Rich Mnisi launched his eponymous brand ‘RICH MNISI’ – a contemporary and forward-thinking brand aimed at celebrating the rich heritage of South Africa. This is done through a range of prints and silhouettes, as well as the broader fashion sphere by looking at the past, present and future. This LISOF alum kickstarted his career through his win at Africa Fashion International, being named as Young Designer of the Year 2015. In the years following this win, his work has been featured in British Vogue, and Essence – to name a few. Rich has also hosted several fashion shows to showcase his work.

2. Thebe Magugu – “THEBE MAGUGU

Source: Thebe Magugu (Instagram: @thebemagugu)

Another LISOF alum, Thebe Magugu, uses his clothes to make social commentary on issues affecting post-apartheid South Africa, in conjunction with telling stories about his childhood he experienced in Ipopeng. It is fitting that the young designer was born in this small town as its name means “To beautify oneself” in Setswana – this town was one of the earliest influencers in Magugu’s career. In 2019, he was awarded the prestigious LVMH prize – the first African designer to do so. Instead of up and moving to Europe as most expected him to, Thebe has remained in South Africa with production for his brand taking place in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

3. Tshepo Mohlala – “TSHEPO THE JEAN MAKER

Source: Tshepo Mohlala (Instagram: @tshepojeans)

“These jeans will outlive me” says Tshepo, the owner and creative designer of Tshepo Jeans. His motivation for starting this brand was the ability denim has in story telling – the fabric is said to act as a time capsule into life’s greatest moments. Mohlala’s fashion journey is ridden by much struggle and sacrifice – having to work at a call centre to help pay for his tuition as his family could not afford it. Craft is the fundamental principle which underpins his brand and helped keep him motivated when the naysayers said no one would buy his jeans. The negative responses of some consumers actually worked in the brand’s favour – Tshepo Jeans received widespread attention and his work has since been bought in places like Asia and the Netherlands, and been personally picked up by the Duchess of Sussex, Megan Markle.

4. Laduma Ngxokolo – “MAXHOSA

Source: Laduma Ngxokolo (Instagram: @maxhosa)

This internationally recognized brand has had one purpose at the forefront of its operations – to celebrate Xhosa heritage; beit for Xhosa initiates or the ordinary Xhosa individual, Laduma has focused his brand on celebrating all aspects of his culture and has garnered worldwide attention for his dedication. Guided by his late mother’s influence, he has focused on celebrating his identity and bringing global attention towards it. Today his work has been worn by Beyoncé, Alicia Keyes and seen on runways around the world.

5. Sibusiso Malete – “DIGITAL FABRICZ”

Source: Sibusiso Malete (via Yaa Somuah Blog)

Unapologetic is the resounding word that comes to mind when talking about Sibusiso Malete, a young designer still forging his path in the cutthroat fashion industry. Many who have never heard his name are unaware of the fact that Malete was one of the early innovators of skinny jeans; him and his fellow dance crew members used to hand-stitch their jeans tighter before competitions. Since his appearance in the fashion scene, Buda has showcased his work at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and been the receiver of the AFI Young Designer of the Year.

Each of these designers have forged the way for the next young innovators to take the world by storm – what will they do next?

PUMA introduces Mile Rider, worn by Winnie Harlow

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PUMA, Mile Rider, Winnie Harlow, Sneakers, Fashion, Style, Culture, Hype, Kicks

Starting off as one of the first jogging shoes in the 80s, the Rider has a long history in the PUMA family. Influenced by ‘90s branding and jet-ski inspired graphics with retro inspiration, the Mile Rider features bright pops of colour, a synthetic leather look, patent overlays and pink checked print on the base.

PUMA, Mile Rider, Winnie Harlow, Sneakers, Fashion, Style, Culture, Hype, Kicks

Comfortable cushioning makes the Mile Rider the perfect shoe for outdoor adventures and time in the sun, whether safely strolling near the ocean or hanging out in your own back yard.

The shoe is bold and fashion forward, much like PUMA’s newest ambassador Winnie Harlow. “The Mile Rider has become my new favourite sneaker,” says Winnie. “I love the sporty look, the colour combination, and how comfy they are – they are definitely summer ready.”

Available from 25 September 2020, get the Mile Rider in PUMA Black-Elektro Green from PUMA.com, PUMA stores, Superbalist, The Cross Trainer, Side Step, sportscene and selected retailers or pick up a pair in PUMA White-PUMA Black from PUMA.com, PUMA stores, Superbalist, sportscene and selected retailers.

PUMA, Mile Rider, Winnie Harlow, Sneakers, Fashion, Style, Culture, Hype, Kicks

Rand Steam Shopping Centre in partnership with the Expresso Show and One Million Plus = Rise Against Hunger

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Rise Against Hunger is an international hunger relief organisation that aims to irradicate hunger by the year 2030, and is doing so by mobilising necessary resources to those in need across the globe.

Sign up to volunteer an hour of your time at Rand Steam Shopping Centre by visiting www.rahafrica.org. Click on Volunteer and select the event taking place on 24 October to book a suitable timeslot. Walk-in registrations will only be available on a first-come-first-serve basis.

On the day, volunteers will receive gloves, hair nets and all necessary ingredients to help pack meals for those in need. Special guest Graeme Richards from the Expresso Morning Show will brief volunteers on the production line procedures. A large TV screen will showcase the number of completed donation boxes in real time and a bell will be rung to celebrate each one’s completion while members of the Expresso Show keep volunteers and passers-by entertained with interviews and music.

The aim is to pack 50 000 meal boxes by the end of the day, which will then be distributed to the beneficiary, Umpakathi, in Yeoville. Umpakathi’s activities range from hunger relief to crime prevention; their main goal being to restore Yeoville to its former glory.

Rand Steam Shopping Centre thanks those who are willing to partake in this drive to help alleviate hunger in its community. For more information, please contact Jade Sellers on 081 558 1996 or at jade@mseed.co.za.