Bonginkosi Ntiwane

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8min860

“What makes Jim different, is my charisma and charm, made bold by my confidence and self-belief. Lyrically top tier and ready for an international stage. I feel like I’m so different that home feels smaller now,” says Jimmy Wiz.

The artist from Kempton Park comes from a long line of great emcees that have come from the East and he’s very much aware of this, but is certain of what makes him stand-out. “What’s crazy is, the East always breeds the best in the game. I swear there’s something in the water we drink.”

Jimmy Wiz was speaking to Tha Bravado, at the backdrop of releasing the So Into You freestyle music video. The song is a remake 90s R&B classic by Tamia, So Into You.

“The idea actually started off with Ella Mai’s Boo’d up song, which I also recorded on (Available on my Soundcloud titled Butterscotch) and had the ever so beautiful Pharoahfi as the cover of.”

“I then began to realise that people seldom hear this soft side of Jim, and so I decided to start a campaign called the Ladyz Love Cool James the modern day LL Cool J. A more female friendly Jim.”

Jimmy in studio. Photo by Jay Media

The ladies and gentlemen that makeup the Hip Hop community were familiar with the lyrical beast and storyteller that is Jimmy Wiz, during his days as a member of rap clique P.STAT and also his time on Vuzu’s The Hustle.  The So Into You remix features Carol S, Korusbird and Benzo who all served their purpose on the joint.

“This may not be an original as far as instrumentals go, but we owned the song. And it captured that nostalgic feeling with a new twist. Tamia and Fabolous would be proud,” he says.

The song officially came out on Valentine’s Day, with the video shot this month below dark skies, under the direction of Mgeezy. “I remember getting the call from the director like, ‘what you doing on the first? Matter of fact, postpone everything we shooting’ [lol]. Because of the trust I have in Mgeezy, there was no need for me to step into his creative space. He took the reins and I was ready for any and every idea he had.”

On that Hustle stage. Photo by Vuzu,The Hustle

The So Into remix won’t be on Wiz’s debut album, Accordin to Jim. “The Song was made to celebrate love during the month of love, and to emphasise the growth of my artistic value through the Ladyz Love Cool Jim campaign. I went from ashy to classy as B.I.G would say it.”

“My debut album Accordin To Jim is set to take centre stage in 2019. I can safely say the album is complete, all masters have been handed. As far as sound goes, nothing short of great music. Matter of fact, nothing short of classic. If you thought you knew what to expect, then you have another thing coming. Accompanied by the incredible lyricism.”

Jimmy With Tha gods (from L-R): Zubz,Jimmy Wiz and Stogie T. Photo by Jay Media

Jimmy formed lifelong relationships with other emcees during his time on The Hustle, none better than finalist ShabZiMadallion. The two released a collaborative project titled, Look At The Team. But hinted that people shouldn’t expect collabs on Accordin To Jim with some of The Hustle alumni.

Jimmy, alone with tha Wiz. Photo by Vuzu,The Hustle and bustle

“But as far as collaborations go, that’s a question that is extremely hard to answer. Too many factors come into play, and because of that, sometimes things don’t happen the way you’d like them to. It’s all God’s plan.”


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7min921

IT was almost habitual for my friends and I to immediately, after watching a movie, meet at one of our backyards to mimic what we saw on film. The countless spinning-kick attempts after a Jean-Claude Van Damme motion picture, would make the actor blush with pride.

A screenshot from the Kickboxer movie.

For us it was not only limited to film, even after watching the biggest reality TV show the WWE, you’d find one of us, depending on whoever has the most charisma on the day, being The Rock.

I was taken back to my childhood by reports that Refiloe Phoolo, better known as Cassper Nyovest, booked out the entire Mega City cinema in Mafikeng, for kids from his neighbourhood to go watch Matetwe. A great gesture by the rapper, to support local creation and also take these kids on an excursion they’ll probably cherish for the rest of their lives. Much like how Kendrick Lamar did for the kids in Compton last year, with Black Panther.

Directed by Kagiso Lediga and produced by Black Coffee, Matetwe is a film about two friends from Atteridgeville who are undecided about their life post high school and their adventures on New Year’s Eve which land them in some trouble. The two main characters Lefa and Papi, played by Sibusiso Khwinana and Tebatso Mashishi respectfully, opt to peddle their special weed called Matwetwe, with hopes of becoming instant millionaires. Nyovest poignantly had a moment of silence for Khwinana before the start of the film. The young actor was murdered at the height of the movie’s success at the box office.

Matwetwe screenshot: Sibusiso and Tebatso

Matetwe is enjoyable as finely rolled up Sativa, but I can’t help but wonder what the kids from Maftown took from the film. That pushing greens is the best alternative, when you’re out of options for life after school or has Matetwe triggered the curiosity to experiment with marijuana? Of course, there’s also the possibility that the bulk of kids who filled those auditoriums are well acquainted with Maryjane.
But when you look at how film has deliberately, placed it in our subconscious, that it’s a cultural necessity for one to consume alcohol for example, you tend to appreciate the nexus between motion picture and how we live. Countless scenes of people at a bar, a dinner table or even at a tavern jump at me, when I think of the consumption of booze on camera.

People’s passiveness while glued to a screen, is one of the main reasons why the film industry is so influential in the lives of many. Added to the fact that the average person isn’t conscious of their mental or even emotional intake.

Wars across Africa were commonplace 60 to 70 years ago, which have trickled to modern times in some states on the Motherland. But one can’t deny the influence Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo series of movies had, on young Africans’ appetite to carry Kalashnikovs in the 80s. Whether you were going over the borders of apartheid Suid-Afrika to join Umkhonto We Sizwe, or wanted to be part of Thomas Sankara’s Revolutionary Defence Committee in Burkina Faso…this selfless act was also fuelled by the desire to be a Rambo, the skilled killer draped in uniform, who could rid us of the bad guys.

Film can also be a great vehicle to inspire good in society; it depends on the underlining message. That films are portraying the impact in which patriarchy, racism, body shamming or any other form of discrimination has on people is a step in the right direction which helps to mitigate hate that some people are at the receiving end of, daily.

A movie can only do so much though. The same way a three minute ditty that lashes at government corruption can also stir you up as a citizen, it ultimately cannot stop the actual rot in public office. After all, not one of us in my group of childhood friends went on to become black belt karate students after watching Kickboxer.


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4min930

“WHAT I fear is that the liberators emerge as elitists, who drive around in Mercedes Benzes and use resources of this country to live in palaces and to gather riches,” said the late Chris Hani.

That quote rushed at me, as I read through the Woza Albert! press release, about the classic play by Mbongeni Ngema and Percy Mtwa showing at the State Theatre.

THE CREATORS: Mbongeni Ngema (L) and Percy Mtwa (R)

Woza Albert! explores how the second coming of Christ (Morena) would affect the lives of poor black people, and how white apartheid authorities would react. Although the play was created over 40 years ago, it still reverberates hard-hitting truth as it did during apartheid.

The play presents a compelling view of a multitude of black and white characters as they explore themes of race and class and expose the power structures of white supremacy. It concludes with a call for Christ (Morena) to raise the dead heroes and leaders who fought against apartheid.

Percy Mtwa. Photo by Sanmari Marais

The likes of Hani, Bantu Biko and Mangaliso Sobukwe would be perplexed by the fact that black people remain impoverished, still grapple with white supremacy and the rise of black elitists.  “Even in the current democratic climate, the question that was asked by Ngema and Mtwa during the days of apartheid is still relevant. There is a lot going on in our maturing democracy which arguably makes those who died with a revolutionary sword to turn in their rested graves,” said State Theatre CEO, Dr Sibongiseni Mkhize in the press release.

“Constant contestation over the meaning and direction of the new South Africa’s socio-economic and political dispensation, the debilitating effects of corruption and relentless economic inequalities, are some of the things that perhaps await the second coming of Morena!”

Mbongeni Ngema.Photo by Sanmari Marais

Woza Albert! made its return to South African theatres late last year, commencing at Durban’s Playhouse Company then headed to the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town. With its original cast and crew- Director John Christopher, lighting Designer Mannie Manim and stage manager Dickson Malele- Woza Albert! has and will be at the State Theatre throughout the month of March.


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5min3400

“Yes a lot! It has also encouraged other females to go and have themselves checked as endometriosis is often misdiagnosed,” says Merushka Aroonslam.

The 17 year-old was talking about how her fundraising for an operation she has to do this Thursday, has opened the eyes of other women who might be living with the condition.

Merushka Aroonslam. Photo supplied

Endometriosis results from the appearance of endometrial tissue outside the uterus, which causes pelvic pain. Although the Lawson Brown High School pupil was diagnosed last October, she has been lived with the disease for three years now. She has been fundraising for her surgery since January, managing to draw a small crowd of people who are actively helping her raise the funds, under the hashtag #EndoTreatment4Merushka. Her supporters sell food, stickers, t-shirts and wash cars.

Endometriosis. Mayo-clinic

The hashtag has built much steam thanks to her fame as a car spinner. Aroonslam was on the verge of selling her pink and black new era Nissan Skyline with a 2.8 (L28) motor, to raise funds for her operation but fortunately she didn’t.

“Spinning, motorsports and cars has been part of my life since a young age and I’ve always had a passion for it as my dad use to do it back in his days when it was still illegal.  Spinning is a sport that once the bug bites, there’s no turning back.”

The girl from Port Elizabeth wants the operation done so that she can go back to her life of spinning, which has become a catharsis for her.  “A rush of emotions and adrenaline, you feel completely free and it’s a way for me to de-stress and just leave all my problems on the pitch,” she says describing the feeling she gets from spinning.

She regularly does her thing at Wheelz n Smoke events, under the SPINderella female banner. She began spinning in 2017.

Merushka in motion. Photo supplied

The surgery is set to take place at St. George’s Hospital, at the cost of R55 000 for a 2-hour treatment. But could cost more if the procedure takes longer. “We close to our target but we haven’t quite reached it yet.”

Aroonslam is currently in matric and she sometimes misses school due to the severity of the pain. “It’s my second operation but I’m still very scared and nervous. I don’t think you can ever get used to it.”


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5min490

YOU remember how impeccable J.Cole’s 2014 Forest Hill’s Drive was. I think he was also shocked with how good that album came out. I think Solange Knowles felt the same way after making A Seat At The Table.

But the difference between the two artists, is that Cole tried by all means to steer away from anything remotely similar to like F.H.D when he made 4 Your Eyez Only. Beyoncé’s younger sister on the other hand, attempted to make another Seat At The Table-or at least a more esoteric version, with When I Get Home-but failed.

The album lands on the ear as an incomplete project because of the annoying number of interludes. As soon as I tried to engage with a track, it abruptly ended. It’s like she made the album based on research by scientists, about the short attention span of today’s youth. Over 10 tracks are less than three minutes, not to suggest a great song is defined by its duration, but one gets a sense that Solange didn’t have an idea of what to do. Instead, she horrendously used Seat At The Table as a template.

This album lacks direction and makes me wonder how much of a contribution she had in her previous album. The legendary Raphael Saadiq was the executive producer of the project, along other producers and musicians who’ve been in the game for decades.
When I Get Home seems like Solange’s way of being young and hip, to be more appealing to the youth. Some of this album’s producers include Metro Boomin, Dev Hynes and has contributions from Tyler the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt.

Sonically this album isn’t far off Seat At The Table, but it’s short of a solid theme and cohesiveness. It’s the kinda project that makes the producer look bad. But having shat on the album, I admit there are some enjoyable ditties on the project like Way to The Show and Down with the Clique. True to its name, Dreamy was quite dreamy and airy, I didn’t mind repeating the song. These are tracks that didn’t hit me at first go, but with time, I got into their vibe-if the album was a stand-up comedy special, I’d have to watch it again for those few jokes I had to nit-pick for laughs.

Time (Is) is the only track that hit, from the word go. I enjoyed it, especially the switch of the beat later in the song, where Sampha’s backing vocals give it so much body.
Most artists have a bad album in their career, but I didn’t expect Solange to deliver it right after A Seat At The Table. That I’ve mentioned her previous album countless times on this review tells you that When I Get Home ain’t that ayoba.



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