As society we often label a sexually liberated damsel isifebe, a whore with no sense of moral standing. While men’s carnal desires are acknowledged and wickedly perceived as a prerequisite to proper manhood. But things is changing, albeit gradually.
Women, especially black women are beginning to be recognised as the diamonds they are, largely because they’ve taken it upon themselves to own their womanhood, in all ways. Photographer Dineo Mnyanga and her partner Shirley Mtombeni are celebrating women this weekend, through an exhibition, Makaziwe, a collaborative project with other lenswomen and female artists.
Hosted at Yes 4Youth, adjacent Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa, the two day exhibition is themed, Her Desires. “It’s work of art, work of expression,” says Mnyanga.
“We feature different women from across the country and we were honoured when women from Black View Finder foundation, women in photography showed interest in our exhibition. We also feature young upcoming photographers locally. ”
The list of exhibitors include Charmain Carrol, Phumzile Nkosi, Matheko Malebana, Lebogang Molota, Mosa Seleke, Sinethemba Mthembu and Cleopatra Matuwane. “Each photographer brings uniqueness, that’s what we loved the most, their work is different yet they all share the same thoughts and feelings.”
Mnyanga and Mtombeni made sure to strike a balance with regards to the age difference of the exhibitors, managing to capture the feelings of various women in their dissimilar phases in life.
Makaziwe is originally a play written by Mtombeni about a woman, who two years into marriage, grows sexual dissatisfaction with her hubby who doesn’t understand her body. The play showed at the Moses Molelekwa Art Centre and was produced by Mnyanga last year.
“Initially when Makaziwe started, it was more than a play, it was a movement! The movement inspired us to create different platforms within the arts and culture industry to express what women feel, think and want through their work. The first platform was Makaziwe the play,” Mnyanga tells me. The play will return to stage later this year.
While the exhibition is scheduled to take place this weekend, there are talks of it moving to other galleries. “So we can safely say the work won’t end here.”
· 30&31 MARCH 2019 TIME:16:00-20:00 AT YES 4YOUTH (MAKHULONG STADIUM, TEMBISA)
PREVIOUSLY the local wine industry had its focus on the export market, but has in recent times recognised the local market as a significant player. The attitude towards wine and its consumption has drastically changed in South Africa in the last decade, especially among urban black people.
My supposition is backed by Dr. Carla Weightman’s 2018 research which focused on the perceptions of local consumers towards wine. The PhD graduate (in wine biotechnology) focused on two specific wine-consuming groups, urban black and white wine drinkers. In years gone by, the latter made up the majority of wine consumers in the urban jungles of the country, but thina abantu have become the leading consumers-accounting for 80% according to Weightman’s research.
But nothing demonstrates the urban black’s newfound relationship with the beautifully aging drink, like a 22 year-old African owning a brand of wine, purely from passion. He’s 26 years-old now, but Prince Moeng was that 22 year-old when he found Moeng Wines in 2015. “My first encounter was at corporate events and it was love at first sip. I started having wine with all my meals and trying different varietals with it. Then I would do food pairings. It got to a point where I tried a different bottle of wine every day. That is how I grew my love for wine and eventually had the idea of owning my own wine brand. That is when I started researching about the wine industry and the making of wine. I can’t say I grew up drinking wine as my parents were strict and them being pastors didn’t make my decision any easy,” says Moeng.
Four years in business now, the Moeng Wines is a self-distributed brand which has found its place at selected restaurants around Gauteng, while increasing its market presence through events and collaborations with corporates. “This means that people that want our wine can visit our website and order directly from there and the wine will be delivered. We also hand pick restaurants and wine bars that meet our standards to distribute our products,” shares Moeng.
Moeng didn’t want to disclose Moeng Wines’ demographics but his hosting of Wine Masterclasses at Mambisa’s monthly entrepreneurs gathering Startup Grind Tembisa, indicates that his brand grows in tandem with urban black people’s appreciation for wines.
The business was found in Mahikeng but is now based in Centurion. “Some of the challenges about running a winery include distribution, particularly with the high competition in the country. Being based in Gauteng also has its own challenges, with some of the key resources being based in Cape Town.”
Despite the adversities of business, Moeng has had the Deputy Minister of Small Business Department as a guest at their annual gala dinner and Moeng Wines has enjoyed the perks of product placement in the film She Is King.
He runs the brand with a small group of six but like any entrepreneur, he envisions expansion for his business. “We aim at being the premium wine of choice across the continent. We also look into introducing more young wine makers into the industry.”
KABELO TSOAKO is convinced his neighbours hate him. Nothing screams conviction like two EPs, unambiguously titled My Neighbours Hate Me.
“I make a lot of noise wherever I live. I can imagine how my neighbours feel,” Tsoako tells me. I can’t imagine the annoyance one would have to live through, having a music producer right next door constantly making music, often in ungodly times.
But I doubt the same “loathing” neighbours imagine that, their noisemaking makhi is one of the country’s most slept on musicians.
Being slept on is,when not a lot of people have heard your material but once they do, they’ll admit that you’re dope. Being underrated on the other hand, is when your material is out there and everybody sees you, but no one considers you dope enough to be in the top five or whatever, said a friend of mine differentiating the two.
Young, gifted artists who put in the work, are rarely celebrated which can trigger mental issues in some creatives. But it’s fruitful for one’s mental state, to learn to define self, outside of their art. “I’m probably depressed three or four times a week [laughs]…but you gotta soldier on bro. I also think this mental health thing affects every artist differently.I know I make nicer music when I’m down and it’s all about trusting the process,” the producer also known as KaeB tells me.
With material that can sit well on most urban radio stations around the world, KaeB has consistently released music, under the radar for a couple of years now. The young man from Tembisa is currently pushing his single, Crown featuring Parley Wang also from the 1632. Crown is on KaeB’s six track EP My Neighbours Hate Me II that came out earlier this year.
He’s been making music since high school days, but ever since his #Cozyfridays where he dropped a track, at the end of each working week, he’s shown growth in his music and consistency.
“…I used these releases to challenge myself to make a song in a week, come up with an artwork and drop it on Friday sort of like a drill. This helped me understand how to rollout a release. The record label/agency transition happened when I had to release a compilation tape for all the #CozyFridays and I kinda just setup my own label/agency,” says KaeB.
The Stay Cozy Group is his brainchild, but he has an external management agency for bookings and his day to day management.
Slept one as the fella is, KaeB is beginning to reap the rewards of his sweat and consistency. His bouncy track Right Now with ECHLN and EMAMKAY has been receiving warm reception from those who’ve been fortunate to hear the re-released song which he first posted on his Soundcloud in Feb this year . While just over a year ago, a track he produced C&L by Melo B Jones, was on the Kaya FM playlist-still is.
“People do like what I’m putting out; I run into people who always have positive feedback about the music. I also think being more visible on social media this year helped a lot and that’s how I connected with ECHLN to redo Right Now and put it out.”
To date he’s released three projects since his first output, the Ruh Tape in 2012. His sound has grown with the pace of pubic hair in adolescence and with the graceful evolution of a caterpillar to a butterfly. When I first came across his music, he was a Hip Hop head who cut samples that would give Boom Bap rappers wet dreams. That was in 2012. In 2016 he produced a song that warranted him airplay on Joe Kay’s show on Soulection. It was a remix of Justine Bieber’s All That Matters. They also play his music on electro music label based in Singapore, Dakerthanwax.
The evolution of his sound is a result of his maturity as a listener of music, who constantly forces himself out of any box.
The Beat Makers Market took place last month in Joburg, which KaeB didn’t attend nor participate in. He never competes in beat making/producer competitions. “[Laughs] I peeped the ‘line-up’ and it was not my type of music. I’ve outgrown that style of music. I wouldn’t even enter such an event I’ll probably lose to someone who is currently making that type of style,” says KaeB.
Melodies and harmonies are a mainstay in all his music. Listening to the first My Neighbours Hate Me EP, I couldn’t shake off the feeling that dope lyrical rappers or any other artist could richly benefit from working with a producer like KaeB. Such collaborations would also dispel notions around beat making competitions which seem to be focus on just Boom-Bab beat makers.
On the same note, you will find that artists who get on these rich soulful, futuristic bouncy beats, do not do the music justice. The feeling of the song is often prioritised over its lyrical content. A balance is needed.
On his music making, KaeB says “The process varies with the mood but I always start with my drums and then I’ll add the melodies and harmonies. I’ve also made it a habit to add a hook, mostly me singing as an idea that I can build on later on.”
Hearing beautiful music come together is a joy. That’s the reason I don’t think KaeB’s neighbours hate him. In fact, the EPs probably should’ve been called I Think My Neighbours Hate Me, because quite frankly, no one from next door has complained to his face about the noise he makes.
· Apart from him, KaeB says these are some of the producers to keep an eye on in the near future. Sheeesh. Skinniez, Tsukudu, Ctea, Tweezy, Trust B1, Benny, Wichi1080 , Enkei, Sptmbr Yngstr, Daev Martian , ECHLN, Hi-Lux, Gina Jeanz, Ben Rasco, Broken Transient, Muzi, Vthevowel and Zuks.
LIKE properly stored muffins in the fridge, The Muffinz band hasn’t lost its freshness despite not having released an album in nearly four years now.
2015’s Do What You Love was their last project, which was akin to their rebellious stage in how they experimented with their sound by simply doing what they love. “We’re growing and learning, but that comes from understanding you don’t know something until you’ve gone in and impacted a change in it…and we’re in making our change, but not as imagined, the force of being rebellious needs to be balanced out with wisdom to create love,” says the Muffinz’s Sifiso ‘Atomza’ Buthelezi.
The band released a single earlier this year, Where You Are, which is a love ditty with strong elements of Naija’s afro beat, together with the Muffinz’s soul carrying it. When the song came out, fans expected a project to follow it. “We’ve been working with younger artists and publishing their songs, we plan on releasing that mixtape before our own album, that’ll come whenever we decide,” Atomza tells me. The Muffinz now have their own publishing and entertainment company, Aural Sense.
They had the Where You Are tour this year which saw them hit various places. “Swaziland and KZN are always great, with us having four sold out shows in a single weekend. This shows the hunger for live music and change from the doof doof on the airwaves.” They also played at Wolf and Co in Tsakane.
Today they’ll be in Tembisa’s Lekaneng Lifestyle Market. This isn’t part of the tour, since that was wrapped up in Nelspruit at the Casambo lodge. This will be the Muffinz’s first performance in Tembisa, despite Atomza saying they played Busy Corner in the past- the latter is technically not in Tembisa, but falls under Midrand.
“Hosting the Muffinz for the first time in Tembisa is part of a pioneering ideas that we have,” says co-owner of Tembisa’s Lekaneng Lifestyle Market, Shibombi Baloyi. “The Muffinz have a fresh perspective on life through their music. We believe they are a breath of fresh air Tembisa needs right now.”
About a year ago the band held a farewell ceremony for their bassist, Karabo ‘Skabz’ Moeketse who decided to leave the group. They’ve had to adjust to life without the quiet Skabz, but have roped in a bassist for their recordings and performances, not a replacement. “The integrity of the music is what concerns us most. Our current bassist received lessons from Skabz and thus in a way, the mantle and power was transferred in the esoteric sense,” Atomza.
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.”