Through The Lens

Posted: October 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

Story telling has always played a big role in human kind, over the centuries it has evolved
to greater heights where now folk tales can be shared to a million people with a click of a button.
We caught up with the young and talented Buhle Amali Ndamase who is an urban story teller, to find out more.

Amali

Who is Buhle and where are you from?
Buhle is a film-maker that hails from the Eastern Cape currently based in Cape Town.

Tell us a bit about what you do and how long have you been doing this?
I am a Documentary film-maker mainly focusing on social development films in our communities. I was born a storyteller and my talent developed into documentary film-making. I have been doing documentaries for 4 years.

How did the love of film capture you?
I started as graphic designer due to the interest of motion picture I decided to go and study Documentary film-making at Big Fish School of Digital film-making. I am currently working as a Documentary film-maker.

Amali 2

Who do you look up to in the industry and who would like to work with?
I look up to the following filmmakers Karin Slate, Hein Ungerer. Shelley Barry and Riaan Hendricks
I would like to work with Shelley Barry and Riaan Hendricks

Do you think we have enough talent to compete internationally yet?
Yes. The films that am doing are being screened at international and national film festival. The international market has a great interest for our local films.

Are you interested in leaving the country to be a citizen somewhere, if yes where?
Yes. Nederland’s, Canada and Africa.

What has been your best work so far?
A film I directed about traditional Stick Fighting In 2011 has been travelling to and fro to festivals. The Iziko international art museum in Cape Town it is one of the most treasured objects they play it every years on heritage day.

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Where can people see your craft?
On my YouTube Channel.
This is my YouTube channel my show reel is in here. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG_7sN7HNTrTORJGkMCeCug

This is a film that I directed it’s in Festivals and also the most treasured object at the EZIKO museum. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuyIahswZ2Q
This is also a film I did that is traveling around the world in Film festivals. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f73KFayjJKQ
This is a cellphone film profiling an artist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pm1_o4c2-Cc

Any words of wisdom to aspiring film makers?
Do what you love and love what you do and be the best.

What are currently listening to?
Izithiunwa Zohlanga. Midnite band and Dezarie

Urban Legend

Posted: September 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

It has been a while since Jonathan Butler, the successful international guitarist from Cape Town. From George Benson to Jimmy Dludlu, jazz guitarists are always iconic. That goes for the humble and talented Keenan Chas Ahrends, I met this fellow in 2010 at a friend’s place at Kloof and back then i thought he played a trumpet 🙂

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Who is Keenan Chas Ahrends and where are you from?
Im a 26 year old jazz musician, composer and teacher. I grew up in Kraaifontein, Cape Town

How long have you been playing the guitar and how did this happen?
I got into playing guitar at the age of 14. My dad always used to play and sing all these old songs, so one day he showed me some chords and I started to check the instrument out. I ended up having lessons with this great guitar player Wayne Bosch and he introduced me to the world of jazz. I decided to pursue music at the end of High school and put serious effort into practice and learning the instrument and the music. An on-going process for me 🙂

Who do you play with and how is that?
I play in various bands at the moment, and then I have my own band.
The one group is Mandla Mlangeni’s Tune Recreation Committee (TRC). I love Mandla’s music. Extremely talented composer and musician.
One of the other groups I play in is Buddy Wells Quintet. Buddy’s music is so honest and has rich African music influence. Buddy has been an inspiration to me since I was young. He is a humble honest human being, who tears the horn apart.
Free lancing allows one to meet and play with tons of musicians. So have had the opportunity to play with cats like Shane Cooper, Afrika Mkhize , Mark Fransman, Kevin Gibson etc.

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Who do you look up to in the industry and who would like to work with?
I look up to my friends who are coming up along with the giants in our country. Cats like Louis Moholo, Buddy Wells, Mark Fransman etc. Then there’s also the the giants who have left us, Winston Mankunku , Bheki Mseleku, Robbie Janson , Johnnie Fourie, Zim Ngqawana.
Then there young cats, Sisonke Xonti, Mandla Mlangeni, Nick Williams, Bokani Dyer, Kyle Shepherd, Shane Cooper. The list is actually endless  All these cats inspire me so much. Its very humbling.

Do you think we have enough talent to compete internationally yet?
I do. All the young guys I mentioned are doing amazing things. Original compositions based in jazz to rock to African music. Even if there are only a handful, the well of talent runs deep in our country.

Are you interested in leaving the country to be a citizen somewhere, if yes where?
Hm, I would like to leave the country at some point. I spent a year in Norway studying at the conservatory, so at some point I would like to go back there. And I would like to play and stay in the states for some time. New York. At the same time I don’t think I would like to be a citizen in another country at this point in my life. Maybe that will change in the Future.

What have been your best performances?
I’ve had some great performances at places like Mahogany Room, Tagores and Edge of wrong festival. With groups of my own, Mandla Mlangenis TRC group, Buddy Well’s group and Afrika MKhize Quintet.

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Where can people catch you playing?
I play at various place in Town. I have a Trio gig on the 25th of September at The Mahogany Room. The Crypt and various bars in town.

Any words of wisdom to aspiring musicians?
Practice, Patience and Perseverance. Talent is only 1/5 of the battle won, practice is the road to the musician’s Garden of Eden. Listen and respect the music. And always be honest and sincere.

What are currently listening to?
I listen to a lot of South African music. Cats like Zim Ngqawana, Louis Moholo and the Brotherhood of Breath. And I like my jazz a lot. Kurt Rosenwinkel, Jonathan Kreissberg, Brad Meldhau ect. And I still love the classics, John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins, Jim Hall, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker etc.

Funky Dolls

Posted: August 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

From Barbie to Ken, back to the Black Barbie, none of this has worked. We caught up with the director of ShweShwe Poppies to find out more about him and his dolls.

Who is Wandile, where are you from and what do you do ?

Wandile is a humble,down to earth guy who always want to help other people.
Born in Zazulwana village in Butterworth,But grew up in the dusty streets of Mdantsane.
Im the co-founder of a Company called Shwe Shwe Poppis. Currently im the Director of the company.

Tell us about Shweshwe poppies?

Shwe Shwe Poppis is a company which was started in April 2006.Its main aim was to create jobs in my community. What we do is we manufacture dolls created from kids drawing. Each one of our dolls is unique in one thing, its named after each kid who did the drawing that where selected. That is why we got characters like Faith, Hope, Buyisile, Philisiwe and Nozipho. We got 14 ladies working for ShweShwe Poppis and all of them they are from the Community of Soweto. For all these kids who did the drawings we set a Trust Fund for them. A certain percentage of our sales goes to their Trust fund. Each year in January we donate a small amount of money to their parents so that they can buy school uniform, books and pay for school fees.

Why the name Shweshwe poppies and how did the idea come about?

The name ShweShwe coming from the material we using ShweShwe material and Poppis from Afrikaans word Poppies mean Doll. We want a name with an African feel. Mostly Shwe Shwe material is traditional material, so we wanted to hip it up and create something Funky with it.

poppi

What has been the highlight of your efforts so far?

The highlight for our effort is to be able to pay our staff on monthly bases without going to the bank asking for an overdraft since 2006. Also to receive an order of 500 dolls from Anthropology in USA (Company working with Oprah Winfrey), Also working with German Vogue Magazine for 2012 German Fashion week and this year 2013up and coming German fashion week we working with them, we making dolls for them using all the material the Designers where using to create garments for the fashion show. Also we appear in German Vogue last year Sep issue. Since we started in 2006 we never got any complain about the quality of our product from clients.

Where do you want to take your brand and where is it currently available?

I want to take ShweShwe Poppis brand as one of the unique brand to come from the African continent through the World

Who do you look up to as a business mentor?

I look up to Sir Richard Branson, lucky for me I meet him February 2012.His amazing. Also I look up to Thando Mjebeza CEO of Zimele Technologies as we grew together and is my homeboy from Mdantsane. He showed me that with hard work and dedication you can make it regardless of where you coming from.

What words of advice can you give to aspiring entrepreneurs out there?

Follow your dreams and don’t let anything to bring you down.

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Are our SA brands at a stage where they can compete internationally?

I think they doing well, judging with 70% of my sales coming overseas and 30% locally, thing SA brands are doing really well on the World market.

Any chance of you leaving the country to reside somewhere else?

No ways I like South Africa, these no better place like this. Imagine 11 official languages in one country. Shows how diverse we are as a country.

What music are you listening to currently?

Currently im a big Zonke fan.

Thank you for your time and keep up the great work !

Thank you for the interest and keep up the endorsements.

Pretty Primitiv

Posted: July 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

Every now and again will come a brand that changes everything in the market. Primitiv Vodka is one of those iconic brands that are changing the scope of the SA vodka scene. I took a couple of bottles of Primitv Chilli Vodka, a few friends from C.Town to the humble Eastern Cape to share with urbanites and primitives, compliments of Jorgensen’s Distillery (http://www.jd7.co.za/product.php?sku=JDPrimitiv&product=Primitiv%20Vodka&num-1) & Oh Mi!(http://www.ohmi.co.za/) Cocktail Bar. The journey was priceless and the experience was phenomenal.

PrimitivTrip

PrimitivTrip

Primitiv Vodka is an authentic, sophisticated and lovingly hand crafted Vodka from organic Spelt grown in the high Cedarberg, Western Cape. There is also a chilli version of Primitiv Vodka which causes a party in your mouth when the chilli vodka and your chaser (lemon zest, strawberries or redbull ) hit your pallet or as the Incidental Tourist [Dawn Jorgensen, brand manager & boss lady] suggested to me after a few mixed ones, “you can just take it as a shooter “. Refreshing hot stuff if you ask me.

Primitiv Food

Primitiv Food

The packaging is to be jealous of, the huge transparent bottle with a set of dog-tags (outside) alternatively two organic red chillies (inside) that stand out, the bottle can be reused as a water, vinegar or oil container in and around the kitchen, the silver cap is champion here. Keep the bottle and get 10% discount on your next purchase of Primitiv, now that’s primitive.

Primitiv Chef

Primitiv Chef

As an add-on to being organic, Primitiv Vodka is about exclusivity as a certain number of bottles are distilled per certain period, thanks to the craftsman, the master distiller himself, the wise and humble Roger Jorgensen, great man indeed. With primitive Vodka being in its infancy stage, the availability is still limited but with the wonders of the internet you can make your online order of a bottle to enjoy with friends or a box to throw a party with Primitiv Vodka.

Primitiv Moments

Primitiv Moments

Besides me doing my job, Primitiv Vodka is a new exciting brand and product from a range of spirits that are distilled by the Jorgensen’s family based in Wellington, W. Cape. Everything is about being innovative, being relevant and being a market leader and Primitiv Vodka has all those qualities, follow us on twitter (https://twitter.com/PrimitivVodka) like our facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/PrimitivVodka?ref=br_tf) and you might have a bottle of Primitiv Vodka delivered to your door-step. Cheers !!

Primitiv Vodka

Primitiv Vodka

Social Entrepreneur

Posted: May 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

There is Richard Branson, Luvuyo Rani then Melilizwe Gqobo. Out of an army of entrepreneurs there will be those who will lead in breaking barriers with innovation to and beyond what was averagely normal. We took time to chat to the mogul in the making, son to a single mother, brother to a fashion student, a business partner to me and a the dude next door to many.

Who is Melilizwe and where are you from?
Melilizwe Gqobo is a humbly-brave individual. I was born in Jo’burg, grew up in East London but I have spent most of my life in Cape Town.

How did you become a Social Entrepreneur?
I’ve always been, but stumbled upon the term and the vastly growing industry of ‘social entrepreneurship’ through one of my mentors Joe Cook from Building Bridges Nationwide BBN.

What is Hubspace Khayelitsha?
Hubspace Khayelitsha is a shared office space for entrepreneurs in the community. We offer entrepreneurs at limited resourced communities a place to work, create, network, and develop ideas, internet access, telephony and a home-away-from-home office space.

hubspacelaunch

How did the concept come about & what inspired the idea?
I came across the business model through my research about social enterprises. During my time at the Raymond Ackerman Academy RAA, I had to do a ten week internship program within a field of my interest and mine was of course social entrepreneurship. I found out about Hubspace in Wood stock at the Old Castle Brewery Building and decided to approach them for internship. I was introduced to Peter by a friend of mine from Holland Tom Rovers, who I was working on a project with at Hubspace. Too cut to the money, instead of getting an internship … I walked out of the meeting with an offer to be partner on the next Hubspace, in Khayelitsha. The moment was just surreal.


How long has the facility been operating & how has the experience been?

We had our community launch on the 16 April and we are now well over a month in operations and we’re just touching up on the finer details of the office beautification of the space. We recently closed entries to the Khayelitsha Entrepreneurship Competition on the 08 May 2013. The response has been great and we are sure to host deserving entrepreneurs by the 1 June. Within entrepreneurs, community forums and any and everyone keen on developing the community of Khayelitsha.

What other projects have you been involved in besides the Hubspace?
I am the other guy at SiviSa Marketing Concepts, a silently growing melting pot of creativity. We develop concepts for the sake of seeking to create better workable solutions. This means, developing a brand strategy for any brand to bridging the digital divide in Africa through ICT development and now recently, generating creative, sustainable and scalable social enterprises. We are not your conventional creative house. E.g. Graffiti Boards, it’s a social enterprise that aims to assist artists and government to make graffiti / street art a workable solution. To find out more visit https://www.facebook.com/GraffitiBoards?ref=hl. It is also an out of the box creative experiential marketing communication channel.


How do you see the future of Social Entrepreneurship in this country?

Well it depends on the country, whether we have the right capacity to deal with the social issues at hand or look into climbing on the wave of “social entrepreneurship” and introduce it a early stages of learning. We have a bright future in South Africa, we have a lot of social issues in South Africa and Africa … that is a candy store to a mind of a person who identify the problem/socio-economic issue and address it with a sustainable solution, that is what social entrepreneurs do!

melz1

What should we expect from Melilizwe in the near future?
I have some documents to complete … going to be a late night for many nights for me at the office. On the real, I take each day as it comes man … I’m trying to live in the now.

What are you listening to on your headphones?
a bit of everything, the new Talib, Jazz, the new Timberlake, Flying Lotus, the new Ryan Lesley, the new J.Cole, some Miles and ya Cafe Del Mar and stuff.

Apple Express

Posted: February 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

In my domestic travelings met this guy a couple of years back, he heard my phone conversation and we started talking about music for about 3 hours, every time i get to engage with this fellow i learn a lot about modern jazz. We caught up with Siviwe Madiba to find out more, and ya we later discovered that we met earlier in 2008 at Umtata working on a poster but that is another blog for another time 🙂

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What is AE Music and how did the concept come about?
AE means anything and everything (as later defined by the mighty Dj Bubbles) exquisite in the context of the beautiful less travelled music. It was first concieved(as ApplExpresso) by Tholo, Edwin (music genius by ear) & me. The objective at the time was more of a mix club or breakfast mix club if you will but later defined by Dj Bubble when it converged into a virtual recording house.
 
Who is behind AE Music and who do you manage this with?
Behind the label is me and L.I. Stayfly (known for his beautiful flows over dope beats, also the “captain” of the 1stTEAM). Predomantly its purpose now is to furnish Touch Is A Move & 1stTEAM music into the world. So he & i manage it.
Where / how can people access your music?
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Which artists have you worked with and how was it?
Well the 1stTEAM & Touch Is A Move has worked with a whole range of artist from MXO, Professor Bluetooth, NKQO, Ringo, Driemanskaap, Ntsikie Mazwai, Sizwe Vena, MAGGZ , Nothende etc and our head producer Top Shayela has also release a remix album called Electric MELT under the MELT2000 record label of which he was commissioned to remix some of their music ranging from Moses Molekwa to Busi Mhlongo but it was released officially in Europe, though it can be found on MELT2000 digitally. As for the environment during the times with these artist, i can gracefully say it was bliss and an eye-opener on some aspects.
 
What is your connection with Lousy Living & Silly Summer? [if any]
Louzy Living is a brainchild of our path into music. It gave birth to our eager spirits to get into the music industry, back when we were still students at the university in Port Elizabeth. It was conceived by me, Shakes(RIP), Rubz, Ace, Mthax, NKQO, Sbu & L.I. Stayfly. But it has since diminished due to individual goals in life but it still remains deep in our hearts, perhaps some day it might surface. As for the Silly Summer, well it’s not part of us it’s a completely different brand, with different owners but when the need arises kuyasetyenziswana.
Which music musos inspire you and who would you like to work with?
Well there’s too many to mention even one due to the diverse music generes the ear posesses. Perhaps it wouldn’t be a bad idea to work with Hugh Masikela, Thandiswa Mazwai, Stimela music etc.
 
What can we expect from AE Music?
More “Incangati” music is under way from a range of producers around the country plus we might throw in some of the music(classics) we did back then in the early 2000’s which was not properly channeled but recieved airplay then.
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Any wise words to aspiring beat-makers?
Stay true to the heart, perhaps some day they might wake up.
Are we yet at a position where we can compete internationally in music composition?
We are already there, it’s just that the RSA music money must just realise how compatible we are and stop duplicating what’s already been done on the international market. They must cease the opportunity of the RSA niche like Thokolo has-By the way he’s the only artist who’s true to Kwaito and everyone else is just on some bubble gum pop shit. One of our producer/artist Ahmir Soul, his tribute to the great JDilla joint was included in a mix release by www.bamalovesoul.com as a tribute to Dilla. So the international market has and has always been appreciative of our music, sad that South Africa hasn’t, even Kev Brown has release, digital-CD & on vinyl, a South African dedication EP late last year.
What are you currently listening to in your headphones?
As I’m responding to this VISIONEERS (Come Play In The Milky Night) is on the background.

Bantam Lounges

Posted: February 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

As we move from the conventional way of doing things, we break down barriers and we infuse everything together to be in sync. Now we have Social Business [Social Network + Business] and mostly this is influenced by lifestyle trends and leaders who have their ear on the ground. We caught up with Bantam Lounge, a brilliant concept slowly emerging as a cutting edge, innovative and creative entity in East London. http://bantamlounge.tumblr.com/

Bantam Lounge Images (3)

What is Bantam Lounge and how did the concept come about?

Bantam Lounge serves as a major platform to aspiring local talents. What we offer is management, branding, promoting, marketing and distribution to raw talents in Music, Fashion, Media, Arts, Film & Industry and other majors as well. The concept was merely inspired by the talent East London captures and the fact that in most cases, it all goes unrecognised. And that was the brainchild to Bantam Lounge.

Who is behind Bantam Lounge and where are they from?

Bantam Lounge was founded by Lavusi Mthethwa, who hails from Plettenberg Bay (Western Cape) and Terror Msuthu, from Queenstown.  Kgunza Hlongwane, from Johannesburg, also joined the team three years back. There is also a number of people who work behind the closed curtains with Bantam Lounge. And that is why we always refer to Bantam Lounge as a team structure.

What is Dream Chasers?

Dream Chasers is Bantam Lounge’s rudimentary outreach devoted at ensuring that long-term goals and plans are accordingly monitored, implemented and reached. The outreach sustains Bantam Lounge talents to work even harder and remain steadfast to their dreams. More like fuel to a potentially powerful car.

Bantam Lounge Images

What are some of the events have you been involved in and what were the highlights?

Bantam Lounge has been involved in numerous projects that have seen the brand grow into what it is today. Every project that we have worked on has been a highlight to Bantam Lounge entirely. From Soulful Oh! Deep Sundays, SABC 1 TV appearance, Lights.HipHop.Stage Concert, Radio features, Prelude Sundays to all the events we’ve been involved in. They have all been successful endeavors that we take pride in.

How has the public received the Bantam Lounge concept?

It’s overwhelming how everyone is amused with the whole Bantam Lounge idea. Although the name kind of initially confuses people, once they look attentively at what we really do, they just smile and show so much impression. It’s really been a positive result. We are very grateful for the support and love we’ve been getting from the loungers all over the province and beyond.

Our research shows that you guys are so diverse you are even into fashion.  Any Bantam Lounge range out yet?

Fashion is one the primary aspects of Bantam Lounge and is growing so tremendously that we’d be silly to say we have just a range. We work with different designers, boutiques and models; this allows Bantam Lounge Fashion to be more of a host house to many different lines than just a range. Ashley Howards, Bantam Lounge Head of Fashion, describes Bantam Lounge Fashion is a ‘trend’ than just a ‘brand’. Do look out of ranges from eXplain Clothing, Eleanor 24, Walk In Love, Millesime, MJ Clothing, Unico and Sisanda Mbali Designs.Bantam Lounge Images (4)

What can we expect from Bantam Lounge next?

All we can say is that the drawing board has never looked this good. It can only mean one thing.

Any words of wisdom to aspiring loungers?

We are all meant for something to achieve one day, it’s just how you get there that matters most. Focus just on that, you’ll be surprised how close you really are.

What are you listening to on your earphones?

Traze, Mobi Dixon, Mr Native,  Transkie Republik, Khuli Chana, Hasty, The Dirty Skirts, Blaqphamas, Prime Circle, Blk Jks, Number, Linkin Park, Glenn Underground and more Traze.

Thank you and all the best !

you know this !