02nd Oct2017

Call Her By Her Name

by admin

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Redi Tlhabi begins her new book with the poignant statement, “I wanted her to know that I was writing, unapologetically, as a feminist who believed her”. The “her” in question is the late Fezekile Kuzwayo who is the subject of Tlhabi latest offering Khwezi: The Remarkable Story of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo.

Who is Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo? Up until her recent passing, Fezekile was publically known by the moniker Khwezi. This was the name that she had to adopt during one of the most shameful incidences in recent memory: the Jacob Zuma rape trial. Vilified, she had to adopt an alias and veil her face as she entered and exited the Johannesburg High Court. We did not know all that much about who she was other than the fact that  1) she was HIV-positive, 2) she was a self-identified queer womxn, and 3)  Jacob Zuma thought that she wanted to have sex with him on the basis of her wearing only a kanga in his presence. Fezekile’s treatment as Khwezi led one to sometimes wonder as to whether her detractors forgot that she was a human being who was being subjected to people’s sneers, victim-shaming and threats. Following the trial, she left South Africa for her own safety. Her mother’s house was burnt down shortly after the trial concluded. Jacob Zuma was acquitted of rape and yet his daughter, Duduzile Zuma, felt compelled to do interviews that vindicated her father by vilifying Khwezi. Soon enough, the trial became a distant memory for most South Africans. Jacob Zuma became President of South Africa and increasingly came to regard the state coffers as his personal bank account. In the midst of all of the calls for #ZumaMustFall and #PayBacktheMoney, we conveniently forgot that our President is a man who was convicted (although acquitted) of rape. Our President is a man who admitted, on Court stands, to taking a shower to decrease his chances of contracting HIV after having unprotected sex with the daughter of his late comrade. By all intents and purposes, if the judgement had been different, we would be reckoning with the strong possibility of our President being a corrective rapist.

Fezekile Kuzwayo did intend on using Redi’s book as a means for re-entering public life. She was going to attend all of the book launches and show her face to the world. After 12 years of being branded as “Khwezi, Jacob Zuma’s rape accuser”, she was finally going to get the opportunity to reclaim her name and her dignity. There is no doubt that the rape trial did derail her for a few years following the 8 May 2006- show me anyone who would not have been derailed by that experience. However, the fact that she wanted to use literature as a means of re-branding displays strength of character that very few people can attest to having. Tlhabi writes that, for the rest of her life, Kuzwayo feared being followed or watched. She worried about her name becoming public knowledge- the fact that she took the steps to overcome that fear speaks volumes about her constant willingness to speak truth to power. In Tlhabi’s book, Kuzwayo gets a fitting public re-emergence that restores her dignity, her voice, and her name. Lala ngoxolo sis’ Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo.

21st Aug2017

The Hamilton Mixtape

by admin

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The Hamilton mixtape is not only the newest obsession of my friends and I; it is also arguably the most beautiful piece of art I have ever come across.

Some background:

Hamilton is an American musical written by playwright and song-writer Lin-Manuel Miranda, inspired by the 2004 biography of Alexander Hamilton who was one of America’s Founding Fathers. The musical follows Hamilton’s story, from being an orphan in the West Indies and making his way by the age of nineteen to the American colonies as an enthusiastic supporter of American independence. His story leads him to meet fictionalised versions of the Schuyler sisters, have a family, and have an affair, ruining his marriage. The play is unique in how it purposefully depicts the Founding Fathers, Schuyler sisters and most of the characters as people of colour.

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Hamilton is also characterised by its incredible soundtrack, boasting a total of 47 musical numbers from both Act I and II. The soundtrack is where it all gets interesting. Hamilton has spawned a cast album with songs from the musical for all those who’ve seen the musical, and those who will likely never see it because tickets are sold out for the next few years. The cast album features the actual cast from the musical who offer an authentic glimpse into the musical. Moreover, Hamilton has also led to the production of The Hamilton Mixtape, the actual subject of this article.

The Hamilton Mixtape is quite incredible. It is a beautiful piece of art that I would recommend to anyone willing to sit through 23 genre-spanning songs from some of the biggest artists in the world right now, including the writer himself – and a gifted rapper – Lin-Manuel Miranda. According to Miranda, the idea of a Hamilton Mixtape preceded the idea for the musical itself.

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The mixtape is genre-bending, incorporating rap, pop and R&B. The most noteworthy thing about the mixtape is the talent that features. Miranda has enlisted the ingenuity and stylings of such artists as The Roots, Busta Rhymes, Usher, Sia, Queen Latifah and Miguel (these three on one song!), Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keys, K’Naan, Jill Scott, Andra Day, John Legend, Chance the Rapper, Jimmy Fallon, and many more I desperately wish I could mention here. It goes without saying, but the album is great.

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More than its impressive star power, it also brings what each one personally and professionally capable of. For instance, the songs sung by Kelly Clarkson and Alicia Keys, titled It’s Quiet Uptown and That Would Be Enough respectively, sound like song that would generally be performed by the artists, however they also heavily feature the musical’s DNA. They share a number of lines, subject matter and even melodies, without echoing each other too much. These resonances really only become apparent after a few listens.

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Songs like those named above would generally have been sung by the same character in the musical. Even songs that happen to be duets or group numbers employ the same strategy so as to help identify who the key players are.

One of my favourite songs on the mixtape (which was tough to decide because I love most of them) is titled Satisfied. This song was sung by the character of Angelica Schuyler (featuring Alexander Hamilton), Renee Elise Goldsberry who portrayed her in the Broadway adaptation and Sia and Queen Latifah (for the rap portion) and Miguel (as Alexander Hamilton) on the mixtape. This song employs time jumps and glimpses into Angelica and Alexander’s relationship, such as how they met, and how it happened that Alexander ended up marrying Angelica’s younger sister Eliza Schuyler. It is wickedly inventive and catchy. Most importantly it finds a way to fit in Sia, Miguel and Queen Latifah’s respective individual DNA, but sounds like it came from the musical, with the inclusion of Miranda’s lyrical genius. With all of these elements, it still sounds like a Sia song- I can’t even.

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 13:  Singer Sia attends The Creators Party presented by Spotify at Cicada on February 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Vincent Sandoval/WireImage)

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Another point of Miranda’s genius is how some songs were already written with well-known artist’s in mind. One such example is a song called Helpless. The song recounts one perspective of how the characters of Eliza and Alexander meet and fall in love. The song was initially written with frequent collaborators Ashanti and Ja Rule in mind, and almost as a blessing, Ashanti and Ja Rule perform it on the mixtape. Helpless and Satisfied can be considered sister songs, as they are two different points of view for the same situation – the complex relationship of Angelica, Alexander and Eliza.

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As if the lord has not blessed us enough, Miranda confirmed on the 14th of February 2017 that a film adaptation of the musical is in the works.

The Hamilton musical, and its accompanying albums, is possibly the most underrated and important pieces of pop culture right now and will likely only get attention once the adaptation hits the big screen; but you heard it here first.

21st Aug2017

The Iceberg Album Review

by admin

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Amir Mohammed el Khalifa, better known by his stage name Oddisee, is a Sudanese- American rapper and producer from Washington DC. He is one third of Diamond District and is also a part of the Low Budget Crew.

After four years of following Oddisee, his latest offering The Iceberg, just went to the top shelf the very moment I got hold of the album. I am a big critic of music and always have a negative view on new albums but this time my mouth was shut for a minute.  Oddisee has always raps about social commentary and draws a lot of his material from everyday life events.

The 32 year old rapper, writes and produces his own music and collaborates with many other artists on his projects. Oddisee is and artist that detests the norms and mainstream culture around the use of sounds; thus, he takes on a different angle and takes risks by releasing unique sounds that no one has heard before. Even though he is a hip hop artist, his music draws from various genres that include jazz, electro and soul music.

Following the release of his six successful projects, The Iceberg is his seventh studio album which was released under Mello Music Group on February 24, 2017. The 12 track offering appears to expose the complexities of individuality and identity. The album is both timely and poetic.

The project is, all round, a well produced body of work and the third track on the album “Built by Pictures” contains a more personal insight into  the artist’s journey as he shares where he draws his inspiration, passion and creativity from.  In “You Grew Up”, Oddisee discusses about his childhood experience, having a white kid as his friend who later changed as he begins to regard black people as being inferior to white people. The other tracks also contain a very powerful message about the government and its power over human beings. However, despite all the deep observations Oddisee makes, the music is easy to dance to that you forget that the album is about the painful history of oppression. Ten years in the music game, Oddisee has done enough for the culture and has nothing to prove as he done it, and continues to do it, multiple times through his music.

 

14th Aug2017

Sipping the Tea of Femininity with a bit of Milk and Honey

by admin

Milk and Honey

Consider this book the K47 of what it is to be a woman. Granted, the journey of womanhood cannot and will not be the same for all women. This book applies to all the different aspects of what it is to be women, good, bad, ugly and funny. Poem after poem the poet allows you into her thoughts, accompanied by simple sketches which relate in your mind, and later on life.

The poems are not long and overly romanticised, for those of us who don’t enjoy reading. Much like life they are fun, sexy and sometimes heart breaking. As clichéd as it may seem there is something in there for everyone whether it be a one liner to help you get your groove back or a short story to remind you to stay and fight for love, this book has it all and if you need it, a short poem for your women’s day selfie.

This book is a testament of the fact that a lot can be said in a few short pages. The poems are put there as a representation of life as a women and its stages. It is in these stages that we find ourselves. It is the K47 of femininity because it does not shy away from emotion, an aspect of womanhood that seems to be looked down upon; however it embraces it. It is through these feelings one finds strength as one rises above one’s demons.

It is in the beauty of life that one learns about oneself and then later teaches others about one. Scars, however big or small are indentations that remind us that we were hurt but we still survived. They are not ugly reminders of pain but light indications that wounds heal and we survive. Pain is hard to feel but only because we don’t want happiness to end. This book is for all people and serves as a how to manual on the fact that life is not always fun but it is indeed beautiful, especially as a women. Who else can brave the pains of this world, only to cure it with a little milk and honey?

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This a perfect read for women’s month because it is the tea about all fifty shades of womanhood. It is sweet, hot and good for the soul. It teaches one to learn, appreciate, respect, and be sure in womanhood. I encourage all to sit back and sip slowly as it is a quick read. On those cold and depressing days, boil water and make a spot of tea and sure to add some Milk and Honey.

07th Aug2017

The Golden Age of Television

by admin

The early 2000s are touted to have ushered in a Golden Age of television. This is proven by how we’re fortunate enough to live in an era where series such as Game of Thrones (GOT) and How to Get Away with Murder (HTGAWM) are two of many pop culture products we’ve looked forward to at some point in each of the past few years.

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One of the above series boasts impressive, and possibly first-of-its-kind production values, as well as career defining roles for many of its actors who emerged largely as unknowns. The other, follows an increasing trend of having powerful women of colour in the starring role, as well as an exploration of queer relationships and identity. The latter is by no means new, as we’ve witnessed with programmes such as Will & Grace, but HTGAWM provides a poignant view into queer issues, and issues faced by powerful women through the lens of a highly diverse cast. Naturally, a series may be subject to cancellation regardless of the diversity of its cast and nuanced storytelling, but on the basis of its ratings HTGAWM seems to be safe for a few more seasons.

Alongside the evolution of the types of television shows we’ve been viewing over the years, has come an evolution in the way we view those very programmes. Netflix has become an increasingly popular way for people to watch their favourite shows, providing streaming media and video-on-demand services. In 2013, Netflix expanded into film and television production, as well as online distribution. A series that boasts Game of Thrones’ exceptional production values and high budget, its own soundtrack, a young and predominantly black cast, as well as an exploration of how New York City at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to hip-hop, punk and disco, queer issues and LGBT+ Ball Culture, is Baz Luhrmann’s The Get Down. The Get Down is also a Netflix production, distributed by the streaming network.

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Moreover, The Get Down is quite unique in that it encompasses all the above, including its cancellation. The series was released in two parts, resulting in 11 episodes, and officially stopped airing on the 7th of April 2017. This has been seen as forming a troubling trend of the cancellation of shows with diverse casts. Another such programme, is Doubt, produced by Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland production company. Aside from decent ratings and a well thought out storyline, the series featured the character of Cameron Wirth, a transgender attorney played by transgender actress Laverne Cox. The series was also ground-breaking in that it showed what was possibly the most nuanced and informed portrayal of a romantic relationship between a transgender and a cisgender person. In addition, Cameron Wirth was shown to interact with friends who also happened to be transgender, and who have also had similar lived experiences.

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This article does not seek to prove that shows such as these have been cancelled because they have diverse casts doing the absolute most in stellar roles. It merely seeks to express concern; with all of these cancelations, who is going to tell our stories? This is particularly alarming when we consider that Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal (starring Kerry Washington) is nearing is final season and How to Get Away with Murder was only meant to last about 6 seasons, nearing its fourth. The fandoms notice and aren’t reluctant to express their derision. The Wachowski’s Sense8 was also recently cancelled, prompting numerous campaigns to bring it back. The show will now return as a two-hour special to give fans closure and allow them to grieve.

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It is most disappointing to witness the death of shows such as American Crime, The Real O’Neals and even Devious Maids – with a talented leading cast of indomitable Latina women. But we can thank the heavens for Black-ish, its spinoff Grown-ish, Fresh Off the Boat and Issa Rae’s Insecure. These shows carry the torch by representing people of colour, complex women and, in some capacity, the queer community as well. We can also be thankful for how amazing South African television is right now. Harvest on etv, starring Vatiswa Ndara and Masasa Mbangeni is a personal favourite right now, displaying impeccable writing, acting and cinematography. There is hope yet. If there was ever any evidence that this is indeed the Golden Age of television, this would be it. As South Africans, we’ve also begun telling our own stories, and we’re doing it impressively.

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07th Aug2017

Truth, Dare and Command

by admin

Is social media truly worth breeching our personal privacy?

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This month I have decided to play a little round of truth, dare or command. This week we shall begin with truth because I doubt that anyone can truly claim to be innocent when one is asked whether one has Facebook stalked their ex for months after a break-up? Raise your hand if you are guilty, because I most certainly am.

In today’s world, there really is no need to call up a friend anymore; all the information we need is just one click away. If you go through a break-up, the greatest fear is not losing the actual person, but rather the embarrassment of changing your relationship status to the dreaded “Single” option. And heaven forbid you spot their Tinder profile whilst casually checking out social media’s most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes. All in all, I think it is safe to say that social media can be rather detrimental to our social lives- how ironic.

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Not to say that technological developments are all bad. In fact there are plenty of amazing benefits such as keeping in touch with old friends and family members who are living abroad. Plus, we have eliminated the anxiety of waiting for those dreaded high school reunions in order to see just how much everyone else has changed. And now we can even find and befriend people on Facebook, whose names we probably don’t even remember. Thanks to technological advances, Facebook can track exactly where we have been throughout the day, people we are likely to meet, and make friend suggestions. Now that’s what I call service!

But then where do we draw the line? What should or shouldn’t we post on social media? What is deemed private and what is suitable for public knowledge? Last week I went to see a newly released film called “The Circle”, starring Emma Watson, that left me with a sense of wonder combined with fear. Every day I find myself in awe of the technological developments that have been made over the past few decades. But as the famous author C. S. Lewis once said “You have to let go at some point in order to move forward”. So then, what are we having to let go of; our right to personal privacy perhaps? The question we should be asking ourselves is whether the benefits of technology are truly worthy of that kind of sacrifice?

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31st Jul2017

ISSA PATIII

by admin

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The June holidays came as a blessing after weeks of submissions, exam preparations and, finally, writing the long-awaited exams that one has had cold sleepless nights for. Waking up for the last exam, one obviously has to think about nothing but finishing the exam. Afterwards, one has to concern oneself with how to celebrate finishing one’s exams and, after the celebrations, how one is going to make good use of the month that is given to freshen  up in preparation for tackling the workload that comes with the second semester. Not forgetting that one will miss the Varsity vibes, the Wi-Fi, the buddies that chill with you on the library lawns during break but most especially the weekday Kara Nicha’s specials.

It is very funny how when you are in Varsity you always have money; that’s if you know how save or use money wisely but when you get home you are super. You cannot even buy airtime over R30 and even if you buy that 200MB bundle it will be gone in “ like 2.1 seconds” just like how Bonang Matheba changes her moods.  Thanks to our “ loyal” service providers they don’t just want our money , they sometimes put themselves in our shoes . If you are on Vodacom you will understand what I am on about, yes that Facebook free mode that lets you login to Facebook free of charge but you cannot view any pictures which are posted.

Speaking of Facebook- this reminds me of the hilarious yet creative trends that cooked up a storm of laughs. Starting with the naughty trend; if you have been up and about, you will remember the inseparable  peach emoji which looks like butt  and the eggplant emoji  used to represent male genitalia. A combo that has taken up way before winter introduced itself. These emojis have been trusted to save time and make the message clear as the spirit of lust takes over. I’m sure that they will still be making waves on our interwebs years to come. Now onto the creative side of things; plastics and packaging of various products, including condoms, have turned the fashion industry upside down. People have replaced clothes with these seemingly useless props and turned them into a fashion statement. Plastic has been used to create crop tops, head wraps, skirts, earrings and various other accessories. I guess this is a good way of making use of what has been known as rubbish which pollutes the earth. Pollution is one of the major problems facing our country. With this trend, we are able to see recycling as being both creative and eco-friendly. I hope that fashion designers recognise the new trend because I would like to wear an outfit designed from plastic and, thus, become part of this great initiative.

Ask me about the National Patii songs and I will be able to create a playlist that will last for quite a few days. Starting with Nigerian songs which have made a name for themselves in our local clubs. I’m talking about Davido’s If and the recent Fall which have taken the youth’s playlist by storm. Not forgetting Pana by Tekno, you cannot argue that these African jams have not made an impact on the charts. And the recent kasi songs that will get you of that chair and even remind you of home like Memeza  Gqom by Benny Maverick which when translated to English means “shout” can be called a song of activisim yet hearing that one word “hayi” will get your touching your body like you have been stung by bees . Then we have Ko Mkokotlong by Biblos ft. Fiesta Black which will leave you hitting your back as if you have unbearable pain. However, you cannot publically respond to what the song asks you “Oe batla kae/Ko Mkokotlong” (“Where do you Want it?/ On my back?” ) . As to what the song refers to- it really does not matter ;-). Whether these songs will still be flaming in summer only time will tell.

Become active on social media and you will never get bored of or miss out on any important updates like news, parties, performances and even exhibitions. With a wide range of funny pages such as Wits Crush and Wits Confessions you can never go wrong . As the first week of the second semester passes, I just hope we will all make it out alive because the struggle is real.

 

31st Jul2017

Fashion’s Great Robin

by admin

Whenever you think of superstar journalists, we often think of the ones who cover current affair and international politics. Anderson Cooper, Christiane Amanpour, and others of their ilk are often who we think of whenever we think of great journalists who continuously break ground with their controversial insights into all that is happening in our information-heavy age. But what about fashion journalists? Why would I ask such an insidious question? These are the (mostly) womxn who write about shoes, clothes, fashion shows, and everything else about fashion. In an age where there is increasing geopolitical insecurity and further evidence that we are on the brink of experiencing (man-made) environmental calamities that we are not ready for, it seems incredibly vacuous to write an article praising the craft of fashion journalism.

One womxn has changed that perception for me. Robin Givhan. Born in 11 September 1964 in Detroit, Michigan, Ms. Givhan is a celebrated fashion journalism who is currently the fashion editor for The Washington Post. She is the first fashion journalist to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2006. A self-admitted non-fashion insider, she uses fashion as the lens through which she critiques the political game, race, gender, and societal power relations. As an outsider, Robin Givhan has been able to direct some pointed and poignant criticism at the lack of diversity within the fashion industry. Having 10 models of colour out of 200 models may not seem like a big deal but Ms. Givhan does point out that because the fashion industry does determine ideal versions of masculinity and femininity, a lack of representation leaves out a large portion of the world’s population.

Writing for The Washington Post means that her fashion critiques have a pronounced political bent in them. During Barack Obama’s two-term stint as the President of the United States, Givhan did spend a considerable amount of time analyzing former First Lady, Michelle Obama’s fashion choices. In 2009, she criticized Michelle Obama for wearing shorts during a family vacation. Her critical stance has not been permanent as she has spoken about how Michelle Obama, as FLOTUS, was good for fashion as she was “adventurous in her choices and willing to embrace Hollywood glamour” and used fashion in order to tell a complex story about her role in history as the first African-American FLOTUS. In addition to her articles, Robin Givhan has written the book The Battle of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled into the Spotlight and Made History, a volume that chronicles how the famous Battle of Versailles fashion show made America a global fashion superpower and yet, did nothing for the industry’s dismal record in fostering greater diversity.

Robin Givhan’s great journalism lies in her not being afraid of using fashion as the means through which she may speak truth to power. Earlier this year, Givhan wrote an article explaining why she was in favour of certain fashion designers’ decision to refuse to dress the current FLOTUS, Melania Trump. Robin Givhan is the best ambassador for her particular brand of journalism as she explains that her duty is to make her readers less skeptical about fashion. Thus, what she hopes to achieve is to get her readers to understand how fashion is about more than clothing; fashion is a great reflection of how people regard themselves vis-à-vis others in our increasingly globalized world.

Robin Givhan Interview Magazine

15th May2017

YouTube is the Future

by admin

YouTube

In our current age of millennials and freedom of speech where online resources are easily accessible and everyone is obsessed about documenting their lives online, it does not come as a shock that the next big thing that everyone is raving about after Snap Chat and Instagram is vlogging. Vlogging is the act of taking video blogs where creators upload content on YouTube about an array of topics including tutorials about literally anything under the sun, music video reactions, entertainment, lifestyle, politics, food, fashion and updates or short clips of their lives. In sum, vlogging includes basically anything that can have someone’s eyes glued to their laptop or phone screens for days. This act is quite popular and profitable for most creators giving rise to a space called the vlogosphere where all it takes is simply a camera and a burning topic you want to address or your simply enjoy taking pictures and videos. If you feel that you have a story to tell- the platform is yours.

I would not consider this as the latest trend because vlogging has been around for some time with many people slowly embracing it. Particularly in South Africa, it is considered relatively new in comparison to America or Europe. Vlogging has some benefits such as profitability and everyone can participate there are no rules, it is easy for everyone to be connected since YouTube is accessible worldwide. But the most interesting part is that one can make profit by just having a camera.      If you already enjoy recording yourself doing something interesting and getting a certain number of views and subscribers, Google Adsense or Adprogram (a special program by google that permits publishers and content creators to serve media texts or interactive advertisements along their channels and vlogs which are targeted to a certain audience) which allows vloggers to generate revenue. There it is guys, another way to be a millionaire without slaving away in university. It is not as easy it seems anyways most people have ridden this wave and are slowly getting onto the money train that is YouTube and creating content whilst working with brand advertisers and becoming the voices and faces for the issues directed to an array of audiences.

In South Africa, I have my own list of vloggers and their YouTube channels that are totally worth checking out, firstly Ich Bin Siv by Siv Greyson, she is in her second- year at the University of Cape Town. She is queer and vocal about the issues that affect queer people in spaces such as UCT. There is series of poems in her vlogs known as vloetry and I am absolutely in love with them. She is fun loving and documents her life as she artistically documents her daily experiences of what it means to be black and queer. I am constantly in awe of her creativity in terms aesthetic and the different elements that re visually pleasing on her vlogs.

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Next is Cynthia Gwebu with her self- titled channel. This lady specializes in make-up tutorials and I attribute my newfound make up face to her.  Her tutorials are always so informative and she has knowledge on the latest makeup tricks and buys that are affordable yet magical. I suggest you do yourself a favour and check her channel out as you will no longer be excused for walking around with bad eyebrows.

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The next vlogger is a creative in the truest sense of the word. With a graphic design background and an eye for visual aesthetic, he has a series of vlogs on his channel which feature a group of his friends called “broke niggaz”, “confessions of my Instagram”, and the most recent and quite successful in terms of viewership, “microwave boys” which, to be honest, is my favourite. It features Vuzu entertainment presenter Larryngitis, radio DJ Sipho and event MC and host Sphaka who tackle trending weekly stories from social media and give them a fun twist filled with laughs, shade and just random boy foolery nice after a hectic long day on campus.

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Sibu Mpanza is a vlogger who has been trending quite recently on twitter after being involved in a public spat with another South African vlogger Renaldo Gouws. Gouws accused Sibu Mpanza of being a fraud and fake but that did not seem to knock Mpanza down. After announcing that he dropped out of UCT to pursue his YouTube career and build his channel as a fulltime job, Sibu Mpanza serves as a reminder of how passionate and determined one needs to be in pursuing the things they love. I enjoy watching Sibu’s vlogs as he is vocal about social injustice, racism etc. He, much like Siv, has been actively taking a firm stance on issues that continuously affect the youth of South Africa post- apartheid. And trust me nothing is more interesting than a serving of shade and sarcasm occasionally, so I suggest that you grab a chair and let this brother teach you on how to generate revenue from YouTube.

Sibu Mpanza

This last group of vloggers is one of my all-time favourites. They are the true embodiment of black girl magic and it is pleasing to see young, black females taking a stance on a myriad of issues affecting girls all over. These three are such a chatty bunch, bubbly, and forever silly with well thought-out and laid out vlogs that are stimulating and force someone to take a stand on something. Recently, they have managed to go on a “ride along” with one of this country’s talented musician Thandiswa Mazwai and they have been able to showcase a side of celebrities that only a few television shows have been able to depict. These girls are going places. Watch this space.

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These are among a few of the vloggers and channels I keep up with. There are plenty more and it would be an absolute pleasure if more people were to create their own content and happily share it like these vloggers are successfully doing. Vlogging does not many have requirements and rules; it is all about passion and having fun, and hopefully the South African vlogosphere grows in leaps and bounds.

Vlogging is Lit Fam

 

08th May2017

Report Card: 2017 Met Gala

by admin

Rei Kawakubo

This year’s Met Gala had one of the toughest dress codes for the attendees. Paying tribute to the avant-garde fashion designer, Rei Kawakubo, the Met Gala attendees had to bring their avant-garde/glamour A-game to the Oscars of fashion. Rihanna stole the show by wearing a Rei Kawakubo/Comme Des Garçons creation that defied definition. Considering that Kawakubo uses design to challenge conventional notions of beauty, Rihanna was arguably the best-dressed guest with a deconstructed Swan Lake number that was paired with a pair of red sandals that were laced all the way up her legs.

Rihanna

Co-host Pharrell William’s wife, Helen Lasichanh, wore a bright-red off-the-runway piece from the design house’s most recent show. The piece had no sleeves or armholes which demonstrated the designer’s avant-garde sensibility. Jaden Smith embraced the spirit of the dress codes whilst remaining loyal to Louis Vuitton by carrying a clutch of his recently shorn dreadlocks. Katy Perry, not to be outdone by Rihanna and company, wore a scarlet red costume by John Galliano for Maison Margiela that was elaborate. Priyanka Chopra wore a Ralph Lauren trenchcoat-dress that brought to mind Rihanna’s bright yellow train dress from the 2015 Met Gala. Met Gala favourite, Solange Knowles, did not disappoint with her Thom Browne shiny puffer jacket- that was complete with a train. Cara Delevingne, dressed by Chanel, painted her bald head with a feathered silver paint that was studded with crystals.

Katy PerryPriyanka Chopra

On the other hand, Kim Kardashian-West was resplendent in a white Vivienne Westwood gown. Her gown had remnants of the white gown that opened Comme Des Garçons show in March. The dress could be seen as part of a performance art project relating to fame, wealth, and femininity in the 21st century. Kardashian-West, in an Ellen DeGeneres interview, recently renounced materialism. The peasant stylings of the dress and lack of over-the-top jewellery was a fantastic accompaniment to her recent denunciation.

Kim Kardashian-West

When I first heard about this year’s theme for the Met Gala, I was really excited as it marks the beginning of Rei Kawakubo receiving the recognition she deserves. Kawakubo is a publicity-shy figure who never takes a bow at the finale of her Paris-set fashion shows. At the beginning of her career, Kawakubo’s work was dismissed as being post-atomic. Kawakubo has succeeded in radically challenging everyday ideas in a manner that has been commercially and creatively successful. Kawakubo’s work has evolved over the years. The brand has 230 storefronts and franchise outlets outside of Japan, 17 brands under the Comme Des Garçons brand, three flagship locations in New York, Paris and Tokyo, and an annual turnover of $250m. She has a loyal fanbase among customers and designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Nicolas Ghesquière, Phoebe Philo, and Marc Jacobs . She has demonstrated her genius through starting the pop-up shop trend, and collaborating with famed architects (Future Systems) to collaborate on the New York flagship store in 1998. All of her creative and commercial decisions prove that Kawakubo is a visionary who deserves credit for greatly influencing the modern fashion industry.

 

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