Okay Wasabi

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MOST people get into thrifting because they honestly can’t afford the day’s fashion, so they take some vintage garments and tweak them here and there to get that drip. It’s a similar formula that Ntokozo Dladla used for his Queen Moraka T-shirts, but instead of using vintage attire he opted for a vintage character.

“Most of my friends had the vintage Rap Tour T-shirts and I really wanted one of my own but things on the financial side of my life were and are still all types of shaky,” Dladla tells me. So out of his need to fit in while simultaneously standing out, he came up with the idea to make his own T-shirt which would be more affordable than purchasing one.

Ntokozo posing with Queen on tha T. Photo by Frans Malesela Kekana

“…I thought about making it about South African musicians, but there are already other street wear lines that have done this. It hit whilst I was thinking about gangster rap, that most of the rappers that told us stories of shoot outs, robberies, gang culture, etc. never even participated in such and all they were presenting to us as listeners was a character!!”

To Dladla, who’s also known as Danger, there’s no difference between Dr. Dre and Queen Moroka because they’re both fictional characters that he connected to while growing up in the streets of Vosloorus.

But like most darkies who grew up in the 90s traditionally watching Generations at 20:00 on Simunye We Are 1, you’d ask yourself why he chose to use Sophie Lichaba’s (formerly known as Ndaba) character, he could’ve gone for a Karabo Moroka, Julia Motene or Ntsiki Lukhele.

Ntokozo with Generation’s Queen. Photo Frans Malesela Kekana

“I won’t lie, I found Karabo Moroka’s character too easy. Like she is definitely a crowd favourite and that comes with automatic success but even though Queen holds the same level of legendary stature, I feel like at the end of the original Generations run she became comic relief and her character could go weeks without showing up and it wouldn’t even effect the storyline. So I chose Queen because I have a warm place in my heart for the under dogs. Plus her whole vibe was about being glamorous which goes well with certain themes I want to play around with especially with clothing.”

The T’s have received good reception from people, with the likes of comedian Okay Wasabi and performer Fella Gucci spotted rocking one. They’re a limited edition. “My problem with most T-shirt brands is that they get one design that works and they just abuse it until we see Small Street put the final nail in the coffin, and I don’t want that I want to always have new ideas and let the old stay in the past,” the illustrator says.

Okay Wasabi rocking Queen. Photo by Daluthando Monageng

The T’s are not under any fashion line, but him as a graphic designer. He sees the work as an addition to his portfolio work and merchandise. “My mentality now, is if I don’t have clients I’ll be my own client.”

Fella Gucci wearing Queen Moroka T. From Facebook
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JUST FOUR DAYS before he was to headline Rocking The Daises and In the City festivals, it was announced that US artist GoldLink won’t be performing in the country this weekend.

“Due to unforeseen personal health reasons, Goldlink will not be performing at this year’s Rocking the Daisies and In the City festivals in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Goldlink is extremely disappointed that he won’t be playing to his South African fans this weekend but promises to return soon,” read the statement from event organisers yesterday.

Last year Solange gave a similar reason for cancelling her performance at the inaugural Afro Punk Johannesburg just days before she was to headline the festival. But unlike Afro Punk, Rocking The Daises and In the City festivals were swift at finding a suitable replacement for the Washington D.C rap singer.

The statement included that Aminé will be GoldLink’s replacement at both events. Aminé is a suitable substitute, as the two do comparable music and have a similar fan base, although GoldLink’s music has more body than Caroline rap singer Aminé.

“I was sad but I mean with GoldLink after he plays Crew, what else are we finna listen to. Most of his songs are feel music anyways. Aminé at least we got both albums with sufficient amount of jams. We have Majid Jordan to put us in our feels, please I’m not there to cry,” said Clownish Gambino on Twitter.

But as much as the announcement that Aminé would be the plan B was welcomed by some, others weren’t happy at the news. “Bathong, GoldLink just cancelled on us??? Wow,” Okay Wasabi Tweeted. “Solange and GoldLink are the reasons I have trust issues,” said Szechuan.

Rocking the Daisies takes place this weekend where the likes of 6Lack, Soulection and Mura Masa will be present in Cape Town while In the City takes place on Sunday at Emmarentia Dam in Joburg with the same artists who will perform in the Western Cape.


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