As part of our video collaborations with LURE Media, the Berlin based content agency filmed a behind-the-scenes of our "Young Creatives to Watch" shoot, they captured some of the creatives who have all grown in leaps and bounds since we profiled them in 2017. We caught up with these individuals, capturing their trajectories, growth and evolution, just to find out "ba kae"(where are they now?)
Phendu Kuta is the founder of Unlabelled and a creative director, writer and speaker who has been identified by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of 50 African female entrepreneurs to watch. On her growth since 2017, she says: "I've gained more clarity about my purpose and my growth has been more in terms of finding the core of that, its been about being fearless in starting the journey to pursue my other talents as well as focusing on the core of why I started Unlabelled in the first place and that will unfold and reveal itself in due time."
Having shared her insights and perspective as a speaker on platforms such Boiler Room TV's Music Africa Forum, she is focused on doing more speaking engagements and adds, "I'm excited to continue with the podcasts we launched last year, since we've had time to refine the content and execution." She says 2019 will reveal the ways in which Unlabelled is evolving and how she has personally evolved.
Maya Wegerif commonly known by her stage name Sho Madjozi. This young lady is a rapper, writer and actress. Her early work was mostly spoken word where she was known as Maya the Poet. After her return from the United States, Maya started rapping in her native tongue,Tsonga as well as Swahili. Her music is a combination of Hip-Hop and Gqom, which has proven to be a working formula. Since 2017 she’s released her debut album Limpopo Champions League. Her electrifying performances have seen her grace the stages of not one but two Global citizen festivals, Afropunk and many other internationally recognised music festivals across the world. 2019 sees Sho Madjozi release her clothing line in collaboration with Edgars and make her acting debut on South African national television on SABC 2’s first ever Xistonga language telenovela Giyani – Land of Blood. She is concurrently working on a documentary following the history of Xibelani while teaching us all a little Swahili one song at a time.
Thabang Rabothata also known as “Bangy" is founder of the clothing brand DEAD. DEAD. is a South African streetwear brand which is all about “killing people with style and leaving you dead”. “Bangy" offers unisex athleisure inspired garments with the combination of vintage and modern wear. Since the brand's inception, DEAD. has produced seasonal collections and also collaborated with various brands, the most unique being a collaboration with ice-cream brand Yococo to produce black organic ice-cream.
Langa Mavuso real name Nkosinathi Mavuso, is a soul-jazz singer, songwriter and performer from Johannesburg. The singer's EPs Liminal Sketches(2016) and Home(2018) have taken South African Afro soul music to new heights, so much so that he has gained the attention of music virtuoso DJ Black Coffee and signed to his music label Soulistic. His debut album Liminal Sketches was partly recorded in London, where he has been recording new music due to be released in 2019. When we connect on his personal growth, he says; “I have become more centered and connected with my higher purpose.” Being part of the new wave of unorthodox musicians, Langa is actively invested in honing and mastering his craft. Staying busy performing and featuring on projects by Unarams, Spoekmathambo and Muzi keeping his audience thrilled while we wait for his sophomore album.
Neo Serati is a creative menswear designer who has showcased several collections at South African fashion weeks. He is the brains behind the contemporary fashion brand, Nao Serati which was founded in 2014. The brand is a reflection of Neo Serati personal stories with people. He says, “people's experiences with my brand have influenced how I choose to tell my story.” His clothing specializes in unisex garments that blur the lines between gender and sexuality. His designs are colourful statement pieces which reflect the spirit of rebellion, contributing a meaningful conversation that changes the perception of Africa and has grown to become more practical. “Even though practical can be boring, says Neo. Neo is currently working on a movie, styling and creating the wardrobe for the movie. While building a studio, which he mentions is a work in progress Neo is exploring more of his stylist and creative directing skills. Spreading his personal aesthetic and narrative through his work.
Anthony Bila better known as the Expressionist is an artist, digital copywriter, freelance photographer, creative consultant and videographer. He’s been a member of the world's first Youth Advertising Board and Junior Board of Directors at HDI Youth Marketers. This stylish street photographer is leaving no stone unturned. Anthony has spent the past three years diversifying his storytelling skill-set, working on film projects in collaboration with brands and artists. "My purpose is more focused on telling my story. And not whats to be trending or going to get me likes", he says. His sophomore short film in collaboration with Brand South Africa was won a Loerie award in its category. He says he is building a legacy bigger than him. His work is taken him beyond the borders of South Africa, with the most interesting trip being one he shared with his partner Kenny Jules Morifi-Winslow to New York working with Treseme.
The young creatives shoot was in created in collaboration with Uncultured Club which was formed by Anthony Bila, Chisanga Mubanga and Nicholas Rawhani. Chisanga Mubanga is a street fashion photographer. His photography embodies everyday African stories through African style and creativity and Nicholas Rawhani is a videographer and photographer from Johannesburg currently based in London, both photographers have worked with local as well as internationally renowned brands.
Young South African creatives are on a steady path to growing Africa’s creative economy and its contribution to the world. Now this is what it means to be young, gifted and black, a narrative which shows a continuous evolution of Africa.
Writing: Andile Biyana