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Meeting Themba Mbuyisa: South Africa’s Rising Star

The Incredibles

Themba Mbuyisa is a young brilliant photographer from Soweto who took up photography as a way to keep himself busy because he had the time and a creative eye. Photography was an impulsive decision for him and not having a camera was definitely not going to stop him from being a photographer, so he decided to enrol himself into a photography course. Themba does not believe that photography is set in stone for him. I mean, after 4 years in the industry, he’s still trying to figure himself out while not allowing ‘fame’ to get to his head. He is currently studying for his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at the University of the Witwatersrand.

AFRICA RISING - ELLE SEPTEMBER

After entering Elle Magazine South Africa’s ‘ Elle Style Reporter’ for the second time after his first attempt in 2013, Themba finally won in 2016 and has been working with the magazine ever since. His win only registered in his mind when he did his first photo shoot, which he describes as being a great experience. The photographer’s creative process starts with a collage of images and notes that get revised until a clear picture comes up for the shoot. “I construct images,” he says. “My work has a thought process behind it and I decide what needs to be and how the lights need to shine on it.

StreetStyle for Ezpresso Show

StreetStyle for Ezpresso Show

Themba, who values friendship above most things, enjoys working with people who believed in him when he first started out in his career and works with young people in most of his shoots. Although he says that he does not have favourites, he especially loves working with Sthembiso Mngadi who has helped him transform his initial ideas into great images. 2017 for Themba is all about making connections and exploring other parts of photography that he has not given much attention to in the past while also putting himself out there by applying for exhibitions that he would not normally apply for. In April this year, the photographer is looking forward to being a part of the 32 nd Villa Noailles Hyeres Fashion and Photography Festival in France. 

Travel Issue - ELLE SA December

Travel Issue - ELLE SA December

Accolades:

Youth Excellence Award

Sony World Photographic Awards 3rd Place National Award (South Africa) 2015

Sasol New Signatures finalist 2016

Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans 2016

Prime Obsession for ELLE SA

Prime Obsession for ELLE SA

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Article originally published in Moon-Look Magazine

Originally Kasified Clothing Revealed Art Inspired Women’s Collection

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This year Originally Kasified Clothing has been showing women’s collection starting with the Autumn/Winter collection that they showcased earlier this year at Soweto Fashion Week, which I absolutely loved. but by far this Spring/Summer collection inspired by elements of Art is my favourite.”Not only was it a part of this year’s plans but also because I’ve always wanted to make a womens wear collection since I’ve started showcasing at SFW and other shows. It gives me an ability to tell a story through the style that I’ve created in a more realistic and understandable way” , says Afrika Mabena the designer. He wanted to show his other creative side.


The collection is telling a story of a young woman who loves shopping. A clean example of someone who just got paid, looking all nice and classy, feeling herself and comfortable in her outfit. And all this happens in a mall, heading to her favourite shoe store, to pick up her favourite shoes…the rest of the story is just the imagination of how this fun concept ends. Afrika used lines, shapes and colours. The colour combinations of the outfits was amazing, it was the right amount of black and white and the equally amazing touch of mustard and burnt orange. the stripes and the blocks draw you to the collection and the colours keep you there. I imagine that it was fun for the models to wear these outfits and there is no doubt in my mind that I would have had a blast on the runway. There is nothing more sexy than an outfit that makes a woman looks stylish and still allows her to have fun and I believe that Afrika Mabena achieved style and fun in this collection.

All photos by Eunice Driver

Abantu Book Festival

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Abantu Book Festival kick of in SOWETO from the 6th to 10th of  December 2016. The festival is the first of its kind and magnitude, not just in terms of location but to centre black writers and readers.Organised under the theme – Our Stories – the festival celebrates African stories through written and spoken word, visual arts, music and film. It will explore the ways in which our stories are told, and how these inform, or are informed by, our ways of being.The Soweto Theatre (Jabulani) and Eyethu Lifestyle Centre (Mofolo) are the main venuesand the festival will be hosting hands-on workshops, film screenings, panel discussions, intimate conversations by writers and performing artists.

The lineup includes Angela Makholwa, Bheki Peterson, Bongani Madondo, Bontle Senne, Chika Unigwe, Dikeledi Deekay Sibanda, Duduzile Zamantungwa Mabaso, Don Mattera, Elinor Sisulu, Eusebius McKaiser, Florence Masebe, Fred Khumalo, Gcina Mhlope, HJ Golakai, James Murua, Khadija Patel, Khaya Dlanga, Khosi Xaba, Koleka Putuma, Lebo Mashile, Lesego Rampolokeng, Lidudumalingani Mqombothi, Malaika wa Azania, Mbali Matandela, Mongane Wally Serote, Natalia Molebatsi, Ndumiso Ngcobo, Niq Mhlongo, NoViolet Bulawayo, Nozizwe Jele, Pamela Maseko, Percy Mabandu, Phillippa Yaa De Villiers, Pumla Dineo Gqola, Redi Tlhabi, Rehana Rossouw, Sabata-mpho Mokae, Sandy Ndelu, Sihle Khumalo, Simamkele Dlakavu, Siphiwe Mpye, Siphiwo Mahala, Thabiso Mahlape, Thandiswa Mazwai, Thato Magano, Unathi Kondile, Unathi Magubeni, Vangi Gantsho, Xolisa Guzula, Yewande Omotoso, Zukiswa Wanner, and others 

“In this lineup we find depth and variety,” says the festival’s curator Panashe Chigumadzi, “Some of our authors have been telling stories for as long as others have been alive, while others have just begun but are bringing incredible innovations to the art. Together with our storytellers, we’ll be looking black to the future.” African Flavour Books, will have all your favourite African and diasporan titles on sale at the venues throughout the festival.The significance of this festival for the South African and African literary landscape cannot be overemphasized, particularly at a time when the Fallist movement has centralized decolonization in the South African discourse. The festival organizers see this initiative as part of the decolonization project. So too is the importance of holding it in Soweto -the country’s artistic and cultural melting pot- 40 years after June 16, 1976.

Bulbulia Threads In The Streets Of Johannesburg

I was first introduced to Bulbulia Threads on the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg runway this August and I instantly fell in love with the brand and the amazing work done by Tasleem Bulbulia who has been in the fashion industry for over 20 years (If you ask me she does not look a day over 20). From the fashion week I loved how her show was styled, from headwraps to jackets over evening dresses. It all looked too cool. I was so thrilled when Tasleem granted me a chance to style her collection my way and I must say that I had fun playing a model for the day.

The moment I laid eyes on this pink shirt dress I was sold. For a girl who doesn’t like pink I really had fun wearing it with the colourful and very springy jacket. #ShirtDresses are the in thing and for me what was interesting was how I was gonna style it. I didn’t wanna go with the typical scandal or sneaker so I went for a high heeled ankle boot. The dress is really comfortable and I think Ghandi Square as a location really brought the STREET to my street style.

It made sense for these denim pants to be styled with my favourite printed jacket to make the look pop . I loved how comfy the pants are and the detailed buttons are everything.

Seeing this coat at the Bulbulia Threads studio meant that I just had to have it even though I was not sure how to style it. Thobeka and I decided to go with all black and just let the coat and headwrap stand out. This look made me feel like I was in a movie playing some superhero.

I really love this skirt. It is my second favourite  and wearing it was loads of fun. It is full and it really turned heads in Ghandi Square. It looks like I just walked out of some movie set and I own an upmarket penthouse in Johannesburg. I had fun playing a model and now I truly believe that I can be an actress because of all the roles that I played in this shoot.

These pants are everything. Tight at the bottom but a little loose at the top allowing you to be comfortable while looking stylish.

Now this is my favourite look. I love how the yellow pops and goes so well with my skin tone. I could not wait to get into this show stopper of a dress. We styled it with Maasai beads and a shuka to make it more dramatic.

Photographer: George Lewis

Co-styling: Thobeka Mbane

 

Review: African Crest Guest House

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A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to spent time at African Crest Guest House located in Three Rivers in Vereeniging in the Vaal triangle. My partner and I arrived on Friday night and we were served dinner that was specially prepared by African Crest Ronnie. African Crest Guest house has been around since 2011 and it has hosted a number of people ever since. Weddings, parties, cooperate year end parties and conferences have been held at African Crest Guest House. The second best thing is that should you have an event there, then you can hire catering equipment , as well as sound and visual equipment. The best thing is that the owner makes time for you and he is a great person to have any sort of conversation with.What I loved most about our stay there is that our food was prepared by the boss himself. He is hands on and he drove us around showing us the beautiful Three Rivers and even had a braai specially for us. The rooms have the amazing space, you could swear that we had the honeymoon suite.

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Every room has air conditioner, digital sage box, Plasma TV with some DStv channels, a mini fridge, microwave, electric kettle and a flat iron. The rooms have pretty much everything you need and you have access to the pool if you fancy swimming and skinny dipping ( this you have to do when noone can see you). You can play darts and pool and other interesting games if you like to unwind and chill while sipping on something cold. The guest house could do with News channels on their TVs but it is a great place to stay at.

Should you be in Three Rivers in the Vaal area then you definitely need to check yourself in at African Crest Guest House  . I promise you that you will not regret it.

 

Diva Designs By Brenda Quin Shown At Durban Fashion Fair

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Brenda Quin showcased for the first time at Durban Fashion Fair revealing a collection called ‘The Rhythm of Africa” which featured lots of colours while embracing the African Queen trend in headwraps and beads. Brenda travels through Africa a lot and that is where she drew her inspiration showcasing the vibrancy of Africa and the feel of locally produced fabrics. Having been designing for 18 years, Brenda has no interest in following international trends

Tuelo Nguyuza Collectiv Bridal Range Brings A Spin To Traditional Wedding Dresses

© Jerri Mokgofe Photography-3

Collectiv Culture

Taking inspiration from the multiple cultures in South Africa, TN Collectiv’s bridal range Collectiv Culture caters for the western woman looking for a modern twist on traditional wedding dresses. Instead of creating looks that already exist, Collectiv Culture has taken what is currently available for brides looking for traditional wedding dresses and reinventing them by using different techniques, finishes and embellishments in order to introduce a new class of traditional wedding dresses. Without completely westernising the dresses, the core aesthetic for each culture was kept without compromising the traditional look so that they can be clearly translated, while staying true to the fashion needs for the modern bride. Part one of the range drew inspiration from the Ndebele, Xhosa, Tsonga, Swati, Zulu and Setswana cultures. Besides having a past working experiences with the all of the women in the bridal campaign, they are beautiful, hardworking and successful women in their own right. Making them the perfect embodiment of the brand and the ideal models for the campaign.

I feel like the collection was specifically made for these ladies as I cannot imagine another person wearing the wedding gowns that they are wearing. Before I was drawn to the dresses, I was first drawn to these ladies and felt that they belong in those dresses and nowhere else. I love that these wedding dresses have evolved with time but there are still embracing our cultures. I think it is safe to say that Africans are moving away from “White Wedding” and I love that. We are beautiful and our cultures are too beautiful, it really warms my heart to see fashion designers like Tuelo Nguyuza showing the African bride that they don’t need to walk down in a white wedding gown in order to be considered beautiful.

Photos by According to Jerri

Accessories: by NtoZinhle Accesorise

African Women Awards Nominees Announced

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African Women Awards founded by Carol Nyazika and Lisa Chiriseri will be hosting the second Award ceremony on 3 December in Harare at a venue that will be announced soon.
The awards were launched on the 7th of November 2015 at Meikles Hotel in Harare with the aim of recognizing, celebrating and honoring powerful and inspirational women; and using their achievements to inspire the younger generations of Africans across the globe. The awards serve not only for the upliftment and inspiration of Africans but as an effective tool in educating the world on what African really is; the Africa that has a story different from the overplayed misconceptions, negativity and ill portrayed images associated with the African continent and its people.
The selection process for the awards comprised of the public nomination stage which was open from April 15 to the end of June 2016. Numerous African women were nominated via the AWA website and social media pages. After the nominations closed the names submitted were then given to a select esteemed panel comprising of academics, professionals and industry leaders who made decisions based on the profiles submitted for each woman nominated. The official nominees list is now public and the winner of each category shall be announced at the much anticipated 2nd African Women Awards ceremony this December. AWA deliberately avoids a voting system to ensure that nominees and honorees are selected based on their work portfolios and impact rather than on their popularity and public pull access through a voting system.

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The nominees list for the African Women Awards is available on the African Women Awards website. This year South Africa has the most nominations with 13 nominees across the categories. Zimbabwe follows with 9 nominees and then Nigeria with 6 nominees. Other countries represented on this highly esteemed list are Namibia, Zambia, Kenya, Morocco, Uganda, Ghana, Senegal, Egypt, Cameroon, Rwanda, Gambia and Mauritius.
In the past week the South African media has been abuzz celebrating and congratulating the women nominated for the prestigious African Women Awards. The awards are being reported widely across social media with nominees from the various countries expressing their excitement and anticipation.

The nominees are as follows:

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Business & Enterprise Category
Dynamic Start Up Award
• Kasope Ladipo-Ajai (Nigeria)
• Lucinda Ockhuizen (Namibia)
• Cheurombo Pswarayi (Zimbabwe)

Business Achievement Award
• Dambisa Moyo (Zambia)
• Njeri Rionge (Kenya)
• Isis Nyongo (Kenya)
Living Legacy Award
• Pearl Kupe (South Africa)
• Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch (Morocco)
• Divine Ndhlukula (Zimbabwe)
Industry Excellence Award
• Farah Fortune (South Africa)
• Lynette Magasa (South Africa)
• Koo Govender (South Africa)
Young Entrepreneurial Award
• Brenda Katswesigye (Uganda)
• Dananai Chapunza (Zimbabwe)
• Bayanda Gumede & Buhle Mabanga (South Africa)

Entertainment & Art Category
Creative Visionary Award
• Danai Gurira (Zim/USA)
• Pamela Samasuwo-Nyawiri (Zim/UK)
• Chimamanda Ngozi-Achiche (Nigeria)
Media Excellence Award
• Susan Makore (Zimbabwe)
• Joselyn Dumas (Ghana)
• Pearl Thusi (South Africa)
Star Power Award
• Terry Pheto (South Africa)
• Tiwa Savage (Nigeria)
• Yvonne Nelson (Ghana)
Promising Personality Award
• Nomzamo Mbatha (South Africa)
• Adama Ndiaye (Senegal)
• Menna Shalaby (Egypt)
Living Legend Award
• Connie Ferguson (South Africa)
• Omotola Jalade Ekeinde (Nigeria)
• Basetsana Kumalo (South Africa)

Community & Politics Category
Young Change Maker Award
• Ruth Nabembezi (Uganda)
• Kamdem Magne Roseline (Cameroon)
• Nancy Sibo (Rwanda)
Grass Roots Impact Award
• Nyasha Mugwagwa (Zimbabwe)
• Ndey Mariama Jobe (Gambia)
• Manyathi Hlolweni (South Africa)
Young Activist Award
• Delta Milayo Ndou (Zimbabwe)
• Precious Ropafadzo Chiduku (Zimbabwe)
• Ini Usanga (Nigeria/Ireland)
Social Humanitarian Award
• Stella Dongo (Zimbabwe)
• Nothemba Kula (South Africa)
• Cynthis Adaeze Onwuchuruba (Nigeria)
Living Legend Award
• Saara Kuungongelwa-Amadhila (Namibia)
• Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka (South Africa)
• Ameenah Gurib (Mauritius)

Tickets to the awards ceremony will be sold exclusively starting from Friday the 3rd of September. Designated early bird tickets will receive a discount of 20% for a limited period. Standard Ticket will cost $60 ($550 for a table) and VIP Ticket $80 ($750 for a table). Tickets can be purchased via GetCash.

Couture D’Afrique by #MBFWJ And Puma Select

ADAMA PARIS

My favourite shows at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg was Couture D’Afrique which featured 12 designers from the rest of Africa. I truly enjoyed Senegalise fashion designer Adama Paris‘ show with amazing headwraps and layering like I have never seen before. I loved the patterns and the styling really represents the modern woman that the brand is aimed at. Seeing that collection made me want to get myself a gele and I can safely say that it was one of my favourite collections from the show.

SORAYA DA PIEDADE

Soraya Da Piedade a fashion brand from Angola caters for everyone from women to men to kids. I loved the simple yet sophisticated garments showcased at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg. The kind of woman who wears Soraya Da Piedade is a woman who knows and loves her body, the kind of woman who loves to look great and still feel comfortable and I feel that the collection at MBFWJ16 was comfortable and sophisticated.

SHERIA NGOWI

Tanzanian menswear brand Sheria Ngowi showed the most amazing suits. I loved the cuts and the choice of colours and the way the colours are mixed together to form a great looking suit. A suit doesn’t always have to be one colour, you need to switch it up and a decide on scandals instead of formal shoes. With this collection Sheria Ngowi showed that a tie doesn’t always have to accompany a suit and that sneakers also complements a suit very well.

CISS SAINT MOISE

What caught my attention about Ciss Saint Moise ‘s collection were the details on the suit. It seems details are what makes Ciss Saint Moise stand out and have always been a signature of the brand. The involvement of Puma brought a new perspective on suits and sneakers and I must say that I have always loved suits worn with sneakers and no ties because it does away with the serious look.

HAUTE BASO

Rwandan brand Haute Baso‘s collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg was casual and stylish. The kind of clothes  a woman would wear on a date, a family gathering and practically anywhere chilled. i love that you can play around with the garments til you get the kind of look that you want.

All photos by Simon Deiner for AFI

#MBFWJ: NN Vintage Perfectly Portrays The African Queen Trend

NN Vintage

Last night NN Vintage wowed fashion lovers with a star-studded showcase at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg in Sandton. I was eager to see what NN Vintage had in store for us because I have always been impressed by their previous collections. I really relate to the garments and I am definitely the kind of woman who wears and understands NN Vintage. The African Queen trend has really taken over with women all over Africa embracing headwraps and really taking pride in their cultures. NN Vintage keeps up with the times and the collection is modern and played a lot with stripes, grays and a pop of colour just to brighten it up.

What stood out for me is that the showcasing was more than the fact that the Queens are proud of who they are. African queens love each other, they dance together, the have fun together and they generally encourage each other. African Queens uplift each other and provide opportunities to each other. That is what the African Queen trend is all about and I believe that  the celebrities who walked for Nhlanhla Nciza’s show cemented the fact that African Queens support each other and they are happy for the other’s successes.

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All images by AFI