Soweto’s left-of-centre youth culture is alive and gathering… Banele Rewo and photographer Tiko Ngobeni hung out this past weekend with Soweto’s brightest young exceptions to the rule. (See our Alter Route Soweto photostory here):
We love you….We love you…We love you sang Mothusi Thusi the vocalist, guitarist, flautist …actually, everythingist for the The Layders. This was after the 10 hour concoction of music, visuals, food in a cultural blend that can only be prepared in Soweto. There’s a pile of information available on Soweto for those interested, however nothing can articulate the tingling of senses experienced when Soweto’s multiple subcultures collide in art and expression.
On the surface Alter Route Soweto is a gig meant to foster artistic expression within the young urbanites in the city and the peripherals. However one could not avoid noticing the dominance of subtle nuances – such as the drive for success through art, the importance of independence of thought and the buzzing entrepreneurship that defines an “Alter Route individual”. This is a person who believes in creating magic through design and clothing such as Thesis Clothing situated in Dube, Soweto, Thesis is the first choice of wear for an “alter Route individual”. Thesis had a “pop up” shop in one of the rooms of the Burnt House where the event took place and I am eagerly anticipating the next “pop up” anywhere.
OB the Vegetarian Chef chopped up ingredients that stuck true to the theme of alter routing from the normal diet of cardboard meat served up at you favourite fast food restaurant. Veggies were served in everything even in the garage turned stage where the“Meat the Veggies” band heated us up to boiling point with their locally produced lounge music served with simmering smooth vocals. Alter Route Soweto is not a gig…it’s more than what the organizers describe as a “ multi-genre, multi-cultural and mix-flavoured brew of celebration for all”. It is more than appreciating a young black operated skateboarding label and apparel design from Krooked. It’s a movement that in the literal sense alters perceptions of Soweto, The City and ultimately the individual.
See our Alter Route Soweto photostory here.
Words: Banele Rewo
Images: Tiko Ngobeni