African Futures Festival Comes to Joburg in October
Sep14

African Futures Festival Comes to Joburg in October

What might various African futures look like? How do artists and academics imagine this future? And what forms and narratives of science fiction are currently being developed in Africa? From 28 to 31 October 2015, the Goethe-Institut’s African Futures festival will address these and other questions with a wide range of events throughout Johannesburg, as well as at partner festivals in Lagos and Nairobi. More than 50 international guests have been invited to African Futures, including Nnedi Okorafor (Nigeria), Jean-Pierre Bekolo (Cameroon), Spoek Mathambo (SA), Faustin Linyekula (DRC) and Achille Mbembe (Cameroon/SA). They will be exploring visions of the future, following potential narratives and artistic expression in literature, fine arts, performance, music, film and various digital formats. Concurrent interdisciplinary festivals will be taking place in Lagos and Nairobi. The festival in Johannesburg will kick off on 28 October with a conversation between award-winning writers Nnedi Okorafor (Nigeria/USA), Lauren Beukes (South Africa), Leif Randt (Germany) and Binyavanga Wainaina (Kenya). A futuristic concert at Alexander Theatre in Braamfontein marks another highlight of the programme: German-Ghanaian-Portuguese collective Gato Preto will play alongside Nigerian musician Keziah Jones, with Spoek Mathambo presenting a brand new set of music in collaboration with yet to be announced Mozambican musicians. “Much thought-provoking work has been produced when artists engage with ideas around ‘future’”, says Lien Heidenreich-Seleme, Head of Cultural Programmes at the Goethe-Institut South Africa. “We are excited to see our festival guests build bridges between the arts, technology and critical discourse, and reflect on how contemporary realities in Africa potentially provide answers to questions yet to come.” Besides exhibitions, a film series and a virtual reality workshop, the programme will also feature a live video conference connecting Johannesburg with São Paulo and New York – two cities whose cultural production is strongly shaped by African influences. During the run up to the festival, writers Lindokuhle Nkosi (Cape Town) and Percy Zvomuya (Harare/Johannesburg) will explore some of the many facets of African Futures on the Tumblr www.goethe.de/africanfutures, including Black Feminism, Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Knowledge Production in Africa. The Tumblr also features the festival programme, curatorial board and participants of the...

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Kaya FM Presents: Live @ The Bassline  With Thandiswa Mazwai, Afro’traction and Thiwe
Sep10

Kaya FM Presents: Live @ The Bassline With Thandiswa Mazwai, Afro’traction and Thiwe

Kaya FM is on the forefront of bringing audiences the hottest music performances. With the relationship between Kaya FM and the Bassline music venue the new monthly series Kaya FM’s Live @ The Bassline, they are blowing audiences away with sold-out shows featuring the top Afropolitan artists. Following the success of the debut event in August featuring Zamajobe and Maleh, September the 18th sees the follow up event and features South African superstar Thandiswa Mazwai alongside Neo Soul star Afro’traction and newcomer sensation Thiwe, in what promises to be another spectacular evening of great music. Thandiswa needs no introduction, and this soul sister is sure to deliver once again on the Bassline’s big stage. She last appeared at the venue three years ago, and is making a welcome return. The fiercely outspoken artist is one of the most influential musicians in SA and is keeping the flame – lit for the likes of Busi Mhlongo and Miriam Makeba – alive and well. After numerous albums and countless awards as part of Bongo Maffin and as a solo artist, Thandiswa straddles the urban and the cultural, effortlessly melding the traditional with the modern. An absolute star on stage, she is not to be missed in concert.   Joining Thandiswa will be the hugely popular Mzwandile Moya, better known by his stage name Afro’traction. With two acclaimed albums under his belt, this self-taught Neo Soul star from Mpumalanga has quickly developed a loyal following and made a name for himself as an artist to watch. This will be his debut on the Bassline stage, and he’s excited about the challenge. ” Music has a soul, it is my business to keep that soul alive”, he says. Making another Bassline debut will be the stunning Thiwe. Riding high on the back of her recent debut album release entitled Soul Therapy, this Afro Dance star is bound to make an impact on the industry. She first tasted success when Black Coffee remixed her R&B song Crazy and it went on to become a global dance floor hit. A trained Sangoma or traditional healer who hails from a small town in the Free State, Thiwe credits her spiritual side for her live success. “Often I don’t remember my performances, but people rave about them. I can’t take credit for what happens on stage, I just put myself in God’s hands and he supplies the energy.”   This month’s Kaya FM Live @ The Bassline show it not to be missed. Tickets are available at www.webtickets.co.za for R200 or R220 at the door....

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WeheartBeat launches a first of its kind concept store
Sep09

WeheartBeat launches a first of its kind concept store

WeheartBeat, an integrated multi-media beat platform launched a unique music concept store at the trendy and newly developed container mall in Melville, 27 Boxes. “The store will cater to a very niche market in a sweet atmosphere that goes beyond selling records but more about a community and a lifestyle, a place to chill and connect with like minded people,” says Dominique Soma WeheartBeat’s co-founder. “Launching this store – a first of its kind record store in South Africa – has been a long term dream for us and to finally see it come to life is a phenomenal feeling, adds Sims Phakisi, WeheartBeat’s co-founder. The store will be the home to a limited and exclusive range of vinyl and merchandise from international music labels and will also serve as a meeting place for WeheartBeat’s core following. Established in 2012, WeheartBeat is an integrated multi-media beat platform consisting of live events, workshops, listening sessions, monthly podcasts, webisode releases, compilations, clothing and exhibitions. The first of its kind in Africa to be based on electro soul and jazzy hip-hop instrumental music. WeheartBeat is the home to a niche collective of creative music makers and followers worldwide. The multimedia company is known for throwing some of the hottest electronic hip-hop parties and thus far have hosted the likes of Eric Lau, Chief & Deheb, OY, Freddie Joachim & Yusai. They have also worked with some of the best local talent including Christian Tiger School, Card On Spokes, Okamalumkoolkat, Micropluto, Bateleur, The Brother Moves On, The Blk Jks, Nonku Phiri, Mashaya, Fever Trails, Zaki Ibrahim, Hlasko, Soulo Starr, Raiko and many others. Their last event featured UK based Mercury Prize Winners, Young Fathers for a 2 city tour in South Africa, an initiative supported by the British Council’s cultural exchange programme Connect ZA [https://www.facebook. com/Weheartbeat/app_142371818162]. As a movement WeheartBeat translates all of their individual experience to provide a South African platform that belongs solely to the beat for both local and international creatives alike and has become the number one ‘go to’ beats platform in the country, attracting beat heads, producers, trendsetters and new experience seekers alike.  ...

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Day in a life of Boeta Phyf, as an artist.
Sep04

Day in a life of Boeta Phyf, as an artist.

On his Facebook page, Boeta Phyf’s bio reads something like this: “I’m a Cape Town artist and I make wood cuts that people like to call 3D graffiti. Sometimes I illustrate on a computer and make letters on walls.” Represent chatted to him about everything art and creativity. Here’s how it went down. Tell us a bit about yourself, your art and how you got into your current genre. Once upon a time I was a graffiti artist, but at the moment I’m making wooden sculptures for galleries, which people have labelled 3D graffiti. I’ve been drawing Ninja Turtles since I was five, and cartoons got me into art. I’ve always drawn characters, monsters and stiffness. The wood is just a new way of showing that.How would you say your style has changed over the years as you have grown into your creativity? My style has become funnier over time. I try take the piss as much as possible. It’s like stand up comedy to me. Life experience, fatherhood and being a husband all affect my work. I’m creative in between managing all those things. How important are your surroundings for creativity and inspiration? If you’re not constantly in a think tank, hot box and awesome sh*t, what’s the point? You could call me an extreme collector, so when I sit down to work in the digital studio, I surround myself with all my action figures, vinyl toys, posters, fan art, stickers, artworks by artists I love and loads of “making of” style books. In the workshop or analogue studio where I make the wooden artworks, it’s just tools, my dad and local music. Who are some of the current artists in SA and abroad that influence your work? It’s funny how, if you say whose work you like or which artist you look up to, people assume you’re biting their style or stealing ideas. It’s like we can’t have any heroes anymore. Locally I love work by Falko, Ginger Bread Boy, Lady Skollie, Montle, Rekso and Kevin Love. Honestly though, there aren’t too many young SA dudes making sculpture work. Internationally, my biggest daily inspiration is Alex Yanes. And I am also a huge fan of AJ Fosik. Google both of them so your eyes can bleed! What makes your style different to anyone else’s? I think nowadays, with the world being so small because of social media, you quickly learn that every style has already been done. And better than you can do it. Mine is influenced by loads of different styles. But the main thing that separates me? I put my personality, nostalgia and gat maak...

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Bassline’s 21st Birthday Pyjama Festa promises to be a hit
Sep03

Bassline’s 21st Birthday Pyjama Festa promises to be a hit

The Bassline music venue in Johannesburg, in association with Goodbye Malaria, will be hosting a Mozambique-inspired pyjama party on the 5th September to celebrate 21 years as a leader in the world of South African live music. The event, fired up by Nandos, TRACE Urban and Kaya FM, will be showcasing some of the finest talent in South Africa and Mozambique including local house sensation Micasa, in what will be their first ever show at the Bassline, the Princess of Africa Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Cape Town’s Hot Water, leading comedian Deep Fried Man as well as some spectacular surprise guests – all under the fun-filled theme of a pyjama party. Goodbye Malaria, leading activists in the eradication of Malaria, aim to bring awareness of the severity of the Malaria situation in Africa, particularly in the Mozambican territory. With bi-annual home spraying, millions of lives can be protected from what is still one of the easiest diseases to prevent. Increased prevention and control measures can lead to a reduction in Malaria mortality rates, yet the poorest countries are still the worst affected. Goodbye Malaria,, aims to make a dent in mortality figures through positive activism – such as the sale of their funky shwe shwe-fabric pyjama trousers available online at www.goodbyemalaria.com as well as on the night of this event. Tickets to this event are on sale at www.webtickets.co.za and will be on sale for R150 for standard tickets and R500 for VIPP (Very Important Pyjama Person) ticket that includes a pair of Goodbye Malaria pyjamas and exclusive access to a hospitality area, where patrons will be able to meet artists and enjoy complimentary food and refreshments. There will also be a Nandos grill area and the famous Mozambican beer 2M will be on sale all night, bringing an authentic Mozambican spirit into the heart of Jozi. Come join us for a star-studded night of music, dancing and food as we say goodbye to Malaria by joining together to make a difference. Bassline will be donating 75% of proceeds to this urgent cause and your contribution will make the world of...

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