For someone whose life revolves around the party scene, I did not expect to meet an intellectual and highly eloquent gentleman who enjoys reading in his spare time. Tebello Motsaone, also known as Tibz, is the owner of Show Love, which specialises in event management and brand activations. Their client portfolio includes MTVBase and Brutal Fruit. Show Love Music manages a number of Hip Hop DJs and multi-award winning rapper AKA. Tebello also co-owns the successful clothing brand, Head Honcho, with friend and business partner Nick Kaoma. We sat down for drinks and this is what he had to say about his life:
KT: How did you get into hosting events? Tibz: I started planning my own birthday parties and people kept requesting for more. While working with a friend’s company that planned my 21st birthday party, I suggested using hip hop alone for music and they insisted it wouldn’t work. So, I went solo and that’s how Show Love got started.
KT: How did your association with AKA begin? Tibz: AKA was with Kamza, a close friend of mine and another guy in the Ivy League, and as I was setting up my website, Kamza hooked me up with his music. Around the same time Nick and I were starting Head Honcho and we needed people to wear it and we got them to do that and we did a lot of collaboration t-shirts with them.
KT: When and how did you start managing him? Tibz: As we were working together, we grew incredibly close and he became like my little brother. I started advising him on what I thought was missing in his music career. As time passed, he asked me to manage him. Show Love Music started because of AKA and he remains my one and only artist.
KT: Are you looking to manage more artists in the future? Tibz: With AKA I never thought I’d be in the music industry but it just happened. I prefer working with one artist, client or DJ at a time so that I can give them my full attention.
KT: What are the challenges you’ve faced in establishing and growing your business?
Tibz: None of my businesses were started with any capital. I literally had to throw a party so I could throw another one and another one thereafter. We did that so Nick and I could get the clothes manufactured and marketed ourselves through posters. It was hard but it brought a lot of lessons with it too. Being so busy in my everyday (professional) life has subsequently put a strain on my personal relationships.
As we woke up to the shuttering news of the passing of Ms Whitney Elizabeth Houston, born on the 9th of August 1963, daughter to the gospel starlet Cissy Houston and Dion Warwick’s cousin, we look back at the life and times of the legend.
We celebrate the music she will forever live through. Whitney is a true example of what music is about; she redefined the essence of music, gave meaning to soul and reached notes no one could reach. She inspired many who came after her and those who were there long before her. Quincy Jones named her “a true original, a talent beyond compare.”
We take a look at her career, the ups and downs, her peaks and her lows. Her life should not be looked at as unfortunate, or perhaps the mistakes she made should not be frowned upon, but a lesson to us all. Fame, fortune and misfortune are clearly closely related. She lived to tell a story of what happens when one forgets what purpose you are brought here to serve. Realise that she made her mistakes for us all to learn from; remember she was human after all. Many of us cannot understand how she ruined the blessings she received, the incomparable voice she had, and the astonishing talent she possessed. I strongly believe that when it’s written, it is meant to play out like that. If it were meant to be any different, then it would have been.
Whitney lived her life the best way she knew how to. She characterised technique, drama and strength in her vocals and made history when she was named America’s highest earning black female entertainer. She wowed the world in a sterling performance alongside Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard, and serenaded us with impeccable vocals in The Preacher’s Wife starring alongside Denzel Washington. Nineteen years later, the chat topping soundtrack “I Will Always Love you” a timeless classic of note, remains an international anthem for lovers across all races, it continues to blow many away with the effortless tone and strength of what once was, a voice that set the bar very high.
Her life took a direction no one expected after a marriage to bad boy Bobby Brown, who received much blame for the trouble in Whitney’s life. Bobby was believed to have introduced her to drugs. Their toxic love carried them through to over a decade of marriage, in that time saw her endure his abuse with alleged rumours of his jealousy of her accelerated success. After much needed intervention from her mother, Whitney was able to regain her strength, went to rehab and left Bobby Brown. The pair was blessed with a daughter Bobbie Kristina Brown, who has been rumoured to have indulged in drugs herself.
It is very refreshing to hear of someone from ekasi specialising in something different to the norm – like specialising in film scores. Okay, just so we’re on the same page, a film score is the background music composed for different scenes of a film in order to enhance the dramatic narrative and the impact of a certain scene. Zethu Mashika is one of those special, rare and interesting cases.
Born in Benoni in the East Rand, the humble 27 year old Zethu is a music composer specialising in film scores, commercial music, title sequences and adverts. He has been part of the music industry for 8 years and continues to make an impact in the industry. He is one of South Africa’s youngest and first black composers to single-handedly score a feature film. He has written scores mostly for television and documentaries. His work includes the title sequence music for SABC 1’s Mzanzi Insider, Zwahashu, and Channel O’s Mcee Africa season one. He has composed scores for films such as Sky and Minutes to Nine, and has recently completed scoring for the forthcoming local feature film, Zama Zama. He has produced and composed for various artists such as H2O, Flabba, Zulu Mob, and Psyfo. In 2009, he produced and composed SABC 2’s election song performed by RJ Benjamin and Bongo Riot.
Music vs Expectations
It’s hard to believe that his talent is raw and untrained. His parents didn’t like the idea of him doing music. As a result, he was forced to make a quick decision to study something “solid.” After he matriculated, Zethu enrolled for an electro-mechanical engineering course at TUT. While at university, he struggled to shake off the music bug and this saw him eventually drop out during his first year to pursue his passion.
A friend hooked him up with artists like Flabba, H2O and Zulu Mob, for which he produced beats. His influence within the Hip Hop community was quickly recognized, but his focus was to get into the film industry. His career as producer within the music industry didn’t take off as he had wished – but he was glad it didn’t, because he believes it could’ve been harder to get into the film industry as a Hip Hop producer. He had always wanted to do film, but he thought it was almost impossible as the film industry was quite small at the time.
The first film he scored for was a short film from AFDA. This strengthened his profile and he used Read the full story
Tell us about yourself?
I am Thabo Moloi, originally from kwaMachisiba in Pietermatrizburg. I am a freelance graphic designer and a photographer. I design logos, t-shirt, business cards, and more. And as a photographer, I enjoy pushing the boundaries of creativity. I have a passion for community development, education, and sharing knowledge. I am a radical Christian and a huge fan of Mzansi Hip Hop.
Who inspires you?
Zibusiso Mkhwanazi, founder of CrazyBoyz Digital and the AmaKipKip guys: Nkosana Modise and Siyabonga Ngwekazi. I feel they have changed the game and are now reaping the rewards of their hard work.
How do you define success?
Success is personal. Often we place benchmarks on success based on material things, such as what car you drive and where you live. However, to me, it is about doing what you love and helping others in the process. I’ve seen many people who are said to be successful but have separated themselves from their communities. Your success should open doors for others.
Every now and then I am blessed enough to meet individuals whose lives excite me so much so that I ignore the facts and figures of how unemployment, poverty and crime bring down this country of ours. It is people like Pule EARM Motloung, the founder of Young Minds Productions, who through their lives and passion inspire me to be much more than I am. I love meeting young black men and women from the hood who rise above the stereotypical view that township life is about dust, corrugated iron shacks, “stop nontsontso” fencing and abolova sitting in the corner doing nothing everyday.
Recently the University of Johannesburg Soweto campus successfully hosted a private screening of a film called Soweto Drift. The film was directed by one Mzansi’s most promising and gifted film directors Pule, a young man who refused to be told “You can’t” by experts, professionals and know-it-alls with years of experience in the industry. When money was an issue, when time became a factor and when critics said “No” what kept Pule going during the 3 years it took to make the film was the passion and dedication he has towards his craft. The director, father and dream chaser took the initiative to show, highlight and celebrate the silent yet noisy world of car spinning.
The film was shot in the heart of Soweto and set around realistic everyday characters we can all relate to. The movie introduces us to a young taxi driver and struggling father named Dumisani, nicknamed Damage, who is on a journey towards finding out the truth about what events led to the death of his hero and brother Mzala, who was one of the best car spinners in the hood. After being forced by a gang leader named Chairman as well as a sworn enemy named Ngamla to take part in one of the most prestigious spinning competitions of the season, we watch Damage take a drastic yet necessary turn in his character, career and life as a whole. The twists, turns and secrets are then slowly revealed and force Damage to come out of his comfort zone and become the best that he can be.
The film’s genre is in a class of its own in that it is a combination of comedy, drama and sport fused with raw talent fused from the backbone of ekasi. The film achieved everything it set out to achieve; it showcased and exposed us to unscripted, adrenalin rushing car spinning. The soundtracks were fresh and relevant to each scene, the dialogue kept audiences intrigued and entertained while at the same time schooling us about the world of burning tyres, mags, spinners, speed and BMWs. The film created a much needed awareness about spinning industry and will be released to the public in 2012. Not everyone will be able to identify with the storyline but watching it is definitely worth the thrill! It is through Pule EARM and films such as this that indeed agree and back up the famous saying “Ikasi livukile”.
Introduce yourself to Kasi Times and where, how and why the love of film began for you.
As far back as I can remember I have always loved films. All it takes is for it to dazzle on the silver screen and it will have my complete and total attention. This was also helped by the fact that my father worked for our country’s (Nigeria) national broadcaster, so he was required to preview some films that the establishment had acquired, consequently, when he watched them I was also there watching with him. That was where it all began.
Apartheid South Africa saw Africans play stereotypical and oppressive roles. After Apartheid passed, SA movies however took a long time to develop and see black people in roles of power and influence. It’s 2011 Where are we now in terms of this?
Well, a bit of background first: every filmmaker is first and foremost a product of his or her own context. It is therefore not surprising for South African filmmakers to make films with themes that revolved around apartheid; this of course, was based on their world view and personal experiences… and make no mistake, these will never be exhaustive. More so, no one can ever tell these stories better than South Africans, it is their legacy and it is therefore their right to explore its socio-political impact. It is still very recent history and in my humble opinion I don’t think enough Justice has been done to apartheid themed films. I think there is still plenty of narrative ground to cover. There is a popular notion that these films have the potential of being depressing and could possibly alienate the audience. Not true, in my opinion, I don’t think a case will ever develop where South African audiences become gatvol of apartheid themed films. The presentation of the films might be tiresome but the stories and ideas will always be appealing to our audiences. Slavery is as old as apartheid and even older, but stories with themes of slavery will never end.
That being said, we are currently in a state of stasis, and if we are to move forward, if anything must change, it is the presentation and the manner in which these stories are told. A filmmaker is someone who knows just how much of everything is enough to tell a story in the most moving way possible. Indigenous films must be engaging as they are entertaining, their relevance will always be just a bonus. We must fine tune the art of telling our stories; this definitely implies that the present approach must change.
The South African films and doccies that do make it abroad are always of a negative nature, why is this? Read the full story
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and for Lebogang Lekwae, better known as Azania Lab Tafari, telling stories through the good eye of a camera lens is a way for him to communicate with the universe and share stories that affect society.
His passion for photography started out when his father used to take him with to weddings and community events to take pictures. Starting off, Lebogang wasn’t so keen on taking pictures but saw it as an opportunity to earn extra pocket money and he took over from his father. He soon realised that there was a lot more he could do with a camera. His works on social documentary started out eKasi in Vosloorus where he captured pictures that showed another side to the township. He took pictures that were thought-provoking, showing the day to day lives of people from informal settlements that surround the township.
Lebogang’s work is influenced by his love for people and conversing with them to find out how they keep up with conditions they live under.
Lebogang’s first exhibition was alongside South Africa’s living legend in photography Mr. Alph Khumalo, the man behind the famous pictures on the historic event of the Soweto uprising in 1976. The exhibition, based at Roots Gallery in Soweto, captured the modern day scholar. The response was great. Lebogang is now currently studying at the Market Photo Workshop in Newtown, Johannesburg. He vows that he will soon be running his own photo studio, where people will be able get pieces of his work on request.
Lebogang would like to freelance with mainstream newspapers and magazines. He also promises that there’s a lot to look out for in the near future from the Azania Lab Photography. Here are a few pieces of his work:
Laduma Ngxokolo is the young talented designer behind the Maxhosa clothing line. His knitwear collection consists of merino wool and kid’s mohair blend knitwear pieces in different styles such as cardigans, waterfall cardigans, v-necks, shawl collar necks, pull-over’s and crew-neck jerseys. Laduma was one of the three South African designers that recently went to showcase their collection at London Fashion Week. I don’t know about you, but he is definitely one of my three favorite designers at the moment. I get to know the humble designer a little better with a series of emails…
You are one of South Africa’s best fashion designers at the moment. How has the experience been for you so far?
Awesome man! It makes me feel more confident about what I do. I must honestly say it puts me under pressure; fortunately, pressure keeps me going. I still look up to a lot of South African designers who have been around in the industry for a long time.
What does fashion and style mean to you?
I consider fashion as an artistic interaction between people; an environment without fashion would have been boring for me. I understand style as distinctive elements that make one unique from other individuals; it’s a character that one Read the full story
22-year-old designer Kelly Esterhuyse is this year’s winner of the Elle New Talent Design Awards. Kelly showcased her designs alongside 7 other hopefuls at this year’s South African Fashion Week recently. Trend analyst and chief judge of the competition Dion Chang had this to say about the show, “The level of entrants was high this year and the judges faced an enormous task to choose one winner.”
What raised Kelly’s work above that of her companion was her visionary use of a rather neglected South African gem – Mohair. Did you know that South African Mohair is some of the most sought-after Mohair in the world? Despite this fact South African designers have remained rather oblivious to it or they have simply shied away from the challenges it presents as a medium for design expression.
Well Kelly has boldly gone where no man has gone before (I was once a Star Trek fan). She tackled this precarious element and came out the victor. Dion Chang added, “Ultimately what made Kelly’s range stand apart was her ingenious use of a much underutilized resource in South Africa – merino wool. Knitwear has not appeared in a major way in this competition before and we liked her use of a local, indigenous textile which needs to be promoted.” Read the full story