BEING one of the last performers last month at the Moshito Music conference has worked to Musa Mashiane’s favour, as that showing landed him a gig in Mauritius, where he performs tonight.
“They[Mauritius Music Expo organisers] discovered me at Moshito, I was the second last act on the day and everyone was blown away. They were so impressed, since then we’ve kept in touch and they had already told me they were gonna have the expo this weekend” says Mashiane exclusively speaking to Tha Bravado from Mauritius about how he landed the gig to represent Southern African countries at the music expo.
You can imagine, an expo with international guests, a line-up had already put together by last month, but Mashiane has forced the organisers to make adjustments for him. “They asked if I’d be keen to come because they are so in love with my music.”
Taking place for the second year, the Mauritius Music Expo (MOMIX)’s aim is to facilitate an exchange of culture and knowledge between local and international musicians, producers, festival organisers and media through conferences, showcases performances and workshops. Mashiane joins a diverse line-up which features France’s Pierre Nesta and local Ziwala among others.
Mashiane landed yesterday, and apart from tonight’s performance he will also take part in a street festival tomorrow while Sunday he’ll be in studio to collaborate with two artists, Mauritian Eric Triton and India’s Lakshman Das Baul. “They are also on the line-up, but I met them e Moshito, we spoke about doing a song together so Sunday that’s what we’re gonna be doing. I’m coming back on Tuesday and before I leave, ngi ngene e studio and maybe do one song.”
Situated 2,000 kilometres off the southeast coast of Africa, Mauritius is one of the continent’s most beautiful countries and the musician from Mpumalanga has enjoyed how he has been received so far on the island. “Hopefully on Monday I get a chance to relax, because the hotel we’re sleeping in is quite beautiful. There’s a beach inside the hotel, but I haven’t been to the beach because I’ve been quite busy. Hopefully I can go there and wash-off all the bad luck,” quips Mashiane.
Since his return is midweek, this rules out his performance at this Sunday’s Action Painting event at 4ROOM. Action Painting is a monthly event which takes place at 4ROOM gallery in Tembisa each month. This weekend’s line-up features vocalist Towela and band, Trio.
Mashiane is one of the organisers together with MK and Bongani Xego. “I won’t be able to attend this weekend but everything is in order. I so wish I was there but I’m having fun here because I’m still representing this side. So it’s a win-win.”
MOABELO Nzimande is like the tyres he works with. He understands that with a bad attitude, he could never get anywhere just as a flat tyre wouldn’t take you far.
He’s the founder of manufacturing company, African Make which specialises in manufacturing furniture, solely using tyres. Sitting in a container big enough to house a fast food outlet, I chat with the energetic young man in his yard, in Tembisa.
“I wanted to communicate to Africans that, we are no longer just consumers of the world, but we’re giving something back,” says Nzimande. He studied Software Engineering and majored in Business Analysis. “I have an eye for spotting marketing opportunities and being a strategist, coming up with ways of creating something out of nothing.”
During his days at Vaal University, as a way of making money he would hire out hookahs at events, while simultaneously doing events management for campus gigs. When he couldn’t afford to hire a table and chair for his hookahs set-up, he turned to his creativity, creating his own using tyres. “I did research on how I could create my own furniture, I saw people using [gasoline] drums and other various material on the internet. Then I came across a simple design where they used tyres and a rope,” Nzimande says.
Seeing that, he bought himself working equipment-mind you, he had never worked with his hands to create anything. “I did my first design I had seen on the internet. The chair came out okay, compared to what I’m doing now. I was so proud, I had an urge to do better” he says.
From there his love affair with tyres grew, his curiosity pushing him to find out what other people in the world are creating with the material. “I looked at what China, Mozambique, Egypt and other places were doing and what level are they own. From there I started coming up with my own ideas by taking a bit of what they’re doing in China and other parts of the world and mixed it with what I want to accomplish.”
The hustler in him has always been art-inclined but was never the artist himself. He is one of the co-founders of a performance movement in the Vaal during his varsity days, called Back of the Kaff, which gave a platform to rappers and poets. “But I had nothing to give back [to the art]. I wished I could rap, be a poet or paint but I can’t. After creating the chairs, I felt like I was giving back to the creative world.”
After graduation in 2014 he joined an IT company as an intern. “During that time while doing training, you have a lot of free time, sometimes you go to work you’re doing nothing. That’s when I started doing research on how to register a company and I started reading books, and attending entrepreneurial seminars” says the lanky Nzimande.
He says the first book he picked up was Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter’s Rich Dad Poor Dad. “I was also inspired by the guy that wrote Goals, Brian Tracy, a friend in fact gave me his book. I met him when he was in South Africa, at one of his seminars. I even cried there when he was speaking because everything he was talking about I read in the book.”
Nzimande’s passion for his business was reaching boiling point, asking for sick days at work just to attend these and other seminars to better understand the mind of an entrepreneur. “Every time I got back home from work, it would be me and tyres. But it got to a point where I had more to do now at work.”
The pressure of striking a balance between the nine-to-five and the side hustle got to him, added to the pressure of not making as much sales as he would’ve hoped. “I couldn’t get clients and I had the feeling of being a failure. I let go of African Make and told myself I would focus on work.”
A few months during his hiatus from business, a colleague of his came running to him after she had seen an all-tyre furniture set at a company next door, during her lunch break. “She was like ‘woza manje’ and I get there and this company is having a braai, everyone sitting on the chairs. I asked who made them [the furniture] and they said some guy from the street. I was like ‘you’re a company and you bought this?'”
It felt like hell on earth for Nzimande, seeing someone being successful with something he thought wasn’t do-able. “That day, I got home put on my overall and started working on my tyres. I started planning and strategizing.”
He formally registered his company and created his website. He’d leave work late, sometimes sleeping there to print flyers when there was no one around. He was in super saiyan mode now, jotting down ideas of potential clients on his notebook en route to work and people would hire them for a day or two. Which brought in the some money and the needed confidence.
In that time, he built a relationship with the Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (REDISA) who are a tyre depot. He managed to get a 100 tyres from REDISA. “With the number of tyres I got there, I took some of my salary and invested it into getting more material.”
In 2015 his application for the South African Innovative Summit was accepted and Nzimande got to display his work there. “I took everything I had and displayed it there. We created a sitting area at the summit, where people could chill and I got the opportunity to talk about the business.”
As they always say, you never know who’s watching so do your best. Lo behold, someone from First National Bank picked one of the flyers at the summit. “Next thing I got a call from FNB, they wanted to buy two double-seater for their rooftop. That’s when I roped in some of the guys from the hood, who painted Ndebele patterns on the tyres. They loved them,” Nzimande says.
Six months later the bank came knocking at his door again, this time they wanted more chairs for their event but asked Nzimande to donate them since they had already built some rapport with the first deal. They needed the 25 chairs and some tables for the weekend and were supposed to bring them back that Monday but whoever that was supposed to deliver them back got sick on the day.
“So the chairs were chilling there at bank city in Joburg. The employees sat on them during lunch and they were enjoying them. Management was like, ‘everyone’s liking these chairs, can’t we buy them?’ from just giving them for free, I sent them a quote of about 18K and they were like, ‘okay’ ” with his raspy voice, he says in laughter.
This made things simple for African Make to communicate better with corporates this while Nzimande was still holding down his job, but it was different. He became a sponge absorbing the knowledge of running a business from his boss as though he knew, in the back of his mind that he would leave the company at some point. “I made so many mistakes at work. I ended up feeling verbally abused by colleagues and work just became a toxic environment.”
Then a year ago, he did a mistake on a software they were doing for a big client. “When my bosses saw that, I was just tired. Tired of being wrong and just tired of being victimized. I just broke into tears in front of everyone in the office, I said to them ‘If it’s me, this is my exit’ I just took my stuff and left the office.”
Immediately after leaving the building, he felt liberated and at peace. “I remember I got home, I looked at the tyres and said ‘I’m home baby. I worked the whole night. Woke up the next morning and continued working-because I wasn’t going to work anymore.”
It took him a week to make his first chair, five years later and more skilled in the craft of making these, it only takes him just three hours to assemble one. “If we as entrepreneurs masinga qala ama business wethu ekasi, so our employees don’t have to climb taxies and trains to go to work-without the frustration of traffic, trains and waking up too early, we would go far. That’s why abo ngamla ba performa ka ngaka espanin.”
You’d be forgiven for thinking Captain Planet was about to be summoned at the launch of Petite Noir’s screening of visuals from his La Maison Noir album.
Inspired by each song on the album, the visuals tell Noir’s story through the four elements; Earth, Water, Air and Fire. The album, together with the short film come out this Friday. The launch took place in Rosebank at the Keys Gallery last Thursday evening.
One of the songs Beach, which he features Danny Brown and Nkubi Nkubi premiered by Zane Lowe on Beats 1 radio. “Beach‘ is a song about being reborn and how it took for me to fall to rise back up. In life we are constantly reborn. Every stage of our lives, from being a baby to adulthood,” said Noir.
Noir’s first single, Blame Fire was released a few months ago. The chant-inspired Blame Fire is the opening track on the film which sees Noir going through rebirth in the fire.
Set in the desert, the visuals take you through somewhat of a pilgrimage with Noir- with each track bringing you closer to where he is in life right now, from the burning and destroying to the healing waters and rising above all adversity.
“We hope that it sparks something in you that just raises the vibrations and the consciousness and helps us to keep going,” said Creative Director Rochelle RhaRha Nembhard.
Manthe Ribane handles all the choreography in the film. “Team work always makes everything work and this was such a dream, to be part of this iconic movement and thank you so much for having me on board- this is a beginning of a new birth, so I hope we feel re-birthed and recharged to take on the next step,” said Ribane at the launch.
There were a number of artists a famous faces in attendance, the likes of Okmalumkoolkat, brothers Loyiso and Lazola Gola, producer Vez and the BLK JKS’s Mpumelelo Mcata.
WHAT started out as a simple live performance sessions on the internet just over a year ago, has now become a staple on South African television. Last night saw the television debut of JR’s Feel Good Live Sessions on MTV Base.
Feel Live Good Sessions is a live performance platform founded by artist JR. The first episode was released last year in April, with JR himself as the first performer on the stage. He started the sessions to create a bridge between the studio and the stage.
Busiswa was the featured artist on the TV debut last night. The Fell Good Live Sessions have broadcast over 20 artists on their YouTube channel, including Reason, Samthing Soweto, Shekhinah and A-Reece among the long list of performers.
JR received a lot of love from industry persons on the big move. “Congrats Papito,” said Refiloe Ramogase, who is the GM and Director at Sony Music Entertainment. Even narcissistic beast AKA showed JR love in a Tweet saying “Congratulation @JRafrika on the debut of #FeelGoodLiveSessions on TV…I know you and your team work extremely hard to make this a reality. Proud of you bro.”
While some people thought the move could’ve been better at the public broadcaster. “I have a feeling #FeelGoodLiveSessions was gonna do well on @SABC_2,”said one Cyegolicious. Poor girl probably just wants Afro Café canned.
The show will be broadcast every Thursday evening on MTV Base.
A MUSIC video is to a song, what an image with a good caption is to an article. It takes the story forward.
Just five months ago Riky Rick said he was taking a break from the spotlight in the music, but last Friday he surprised most with the release of a spirited track, I Can’t Believe It (Macoins) with gripping visuals.
The song and the video presentation is currently being slept on in the country. According to Riky Rick, some television channels won’t air the video because of the content. He said this while thanking MTV Base on Twitter, for playing the video on their platform.
The ill-judgement of some of our broadcasters is perplexing. Local broadcasters aren’t proactive in their presentation; they always prefer to follow a trend instead of being the ones to initiate the conversation. This is just one of the reasons why television lags behind the net, but not everybody in South Africa can afford to watch videos on YouTube due to exorbitant prices of data.
I can imagine an ocean of people chanting the chorus, when Riky Rick performs this joint live. He repeatedly says he wants more money, then sounds in disbelief in the hook, not because he has gotten what he wants, but at what it cost him it seems. That’s what the visuals relayed.
But instead of money, a group of eccentric individuals seem to desire freedom more than anything- to be themselves within an uncomplimentary society. The freedom comes at a cost though, as one of them commits suicide, which then sparks the revolt. The interesting part is that, everyone fighting for something is part of the riot, not only the small group of friends who lost a comrade.
Directed by Adriaan Louw, the video took the conversation stared by Riky Rick in his rhymes, to another level. They chose the perfect time to shoot this, managing to capture beautiful light under Joburg skies, while Marco Filby’s Art Direction was complimented by the cast’s believability and wardrobe.
With the abrasive, in-your face beat Riky Rick reminds everybody who he is in the music and creative space. Steeped in Hip Hop braggadocio, from the first verse he states why 10 years in the game, he still manages to remain relevant throughout the country. But it’s his second verse on which he bluntly raps
I’m in my element, my regiment
Taking over is imminent,
Drop one song per year, and stay prevalent
Old niggers say my name to stay relevant
I couldn’t help but think of Stogie T when I heard those lines, despite the fact that the two recently settled their feud, which was sparked by Cassper Nyovest saying Stogie did nothing for him, during an acceptance speech at the South African Hip Hop Awards last year. iVenda LaKwaMashu, as Riky Rick is known on Twitter, was in Nyovest’s corner and also slammed Stogie for claiming other artists’ success.
The song has a similar refrain as Pick You Up, which came out earlier this year but unlike that joint, he raps in vernac on I Can’t Believe It (Macoins) and sounds original, rejuvenated and grimier. iVenda LaKwaMashu isn’t the lyrical-miracle typa rapper who will get battle kats like Kriss AntiB and Don Veedo salivating at his every line. But his hooks are catchy and he speaks his truth and a lot of people can relate to that shit.