Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is diverse multi-media curated blog with a Pan-African outlook that seeks to create an expressive platform for African experiences, stories and African cultures.

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Posts tagged "south africa"

In Photos: “Family Album” by Mamaki Rakotsoana.

This series of images by South African photographer Mamaki Rakotsoana is a project in which she took her deceased father’s photographs and reproduced them in a manner that investigates her relationship to him, as well as his relationship to the women in his life.

Recipe of the day: Rooibos tea and honey ice cream.

Rooibos is a herbal South African tea said to have great nutritional benefits due to its high level of antioxidants. Using honey as a natural sweetener, here, blogger Drizzle and Drip combines the two to make a delicious ice cream recipe.

Find it here.

South African directs viral Skrillex music video set in apocalyptic Johannesburg.

LA-born electronic music DJ Skrillex’ latest music video for his single ‘Ragga Bomb’, a collaboration with the Ragga Twins, is close to hitting 3 million views on YouTube just days after being released.

Shot in December in Johannesburg’s densely-populated Hillbrow neighborhood notoriously known for its high crime rates, the video was directed by South African directer Terence Neale of Egg Films - the Cannes Award-winning number one production house in South Africa. Amidst wreckage and ruin, set in a dystopian futuristic setting that includes dancers of all kinds, the video builds up to a lightsaber battle between two different groups in this all-black cast clad in tattered oversized clothing.

According to producer Rozanne Rocha-Gray, the original brief for te video was rather vague containing only the words ‘dark and dancey’. “Everything you see is Terence’s imagination”, she says.

Neale has previously directed music videos for Die Antwoord (Fatty Boom Boom, Baby’s On Fire) as well as commercials for some of the country’s top local brands (Nedbank, Chicken Licken, Nandos, Engen).

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New record deal and European tour dates for Shangaan Electro pioneer Richard “Nozinja” Mthetwa.

Considered to be the driving force behind the fast-paced Shangaan-inspired electronic dance music genre, the Limpopo based musician and entrepreneur has officially signed British record label Warp. His song Nwa Gezani My Love’ received a lot of attention online after being featured on Honest Jon’s compilation New Wave Dance Music from South Africa.

Nojinza is also the founder of Nozinja Music Productions, his Shangaan focused music label in Limpopo. About this style of music, Nozinja says:

"It’s similar to the Zulus, but faster and we put a lot of style inside. There’s disco in there, we use Pantsula moves…We don’t use the sounds of the hip-hop guys, or the afro-pop, or whatever, we’re using Shangaan sounds. The traditional Shangaan music is fast. You play it slow, they won’t dance."

He’ll be touring in Europe during the coming months.

Tour dates:

Tue 29 Bristol, Start The Bus
Wed 30 Brighton, Bermuda Triangle

Thu 1 Liverpool, Sound City
Fri 2 Paris, La Machine du Moulin Rouge
Sat 3 Krems, Donau Festival
Sun 4 London, Electrowerkz
Mon 5 Sheffield, The Harley
Thu 8 Gent, Vooruit
Fri 9 Berlin, Urban Spree
Sat 10 Utrecht, Spiegelbar

Fri 22 Katowice, Tauron Nowa Muzyka Festival.

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Xhosa Names & Meanings: The “ABC’s of Xhosa Names” by Thandiwe Tshabalala.

South African Illustrator and incredibly talented young creative Thandiwe Tshabalala recently sent me these awesome gifs highlighting and celebrating beautiful names in her mother tongue of Xhosa.

Here’s what she had to say about her series:

"Way back, when apartheid was taking place in South Africa, parents used to give their kids English names so that white people wouldn’t have to struggle pronouncing African names. Most people born during the times of apartheid were given names like: Knowledge, Margaret, Mavis (which has negative connotations), Innocentia, Innocent, Jeffrey, Gloria…eek..Let me just stop there. However, when black folks got their ‘freedom’ back, they went back to naming their children African/South African names."

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Cape Town’s version of Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy’ is here!

I think it’s safe to say that Pharrell Williams’ jovial anthem is quite possibly the most globally infectious song of the decade.

Thanks to social media, people in cities all over the world have been creating and uploading videos of themselves dancing joyously to his Despicable Me 2 theme song. Africans are no exception. Cities like Cotonou, Tunis, Yaounde and Libreville have all participated in this trend.

Now, it’s Cape Town’s turn and as a dweller of the Mother City for the past three years, I absolutely love this video. The creators touched down in multiple areas of the city and its outskirts (not just the city bowl, thankfully) and the cast are an incredibly diverse array of individuals - a pretty darn good reflection of the city.

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LONDON EVENT: FILM SCREENING - ‘Nelson Mandela: The Myth and Me’.

Film Summary: South African filmmaker Khalo Matabane was an idealistic teenager with fanciful ideas about a post-apartheid era of freedom and justice when the great icon of liberation Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990.

In a personal odyssey encompassing an imaginary letter to Mandela and conversations with politicians, activists, intellectuals, and artists, Matabane questions the meaning of freedom, reconciliation and forgiveness—and challenges Mandela’s legacy in today’s world of conflict and inequality.

The film juxtaposes Matabane’s inner quest for coherence with the opinions of people who both knew Mandela and those whose political perspectives were shaped by him. Matabane weighs equally the words of his subjects, leading us to question these concepts as well.

Awards: Special Jury Award, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam 2013.

Event Details:

March 21, 2014
6:30 PM / Ritzy Brixton
Screening followed by discussion with filmmaker Khalo Matabane
Presented with: Sheffield Doc/Fest, sheffdocfest.com
March 22, 2014
4:00 PM / Curzon Soho
Screening followed by discussion with filmmaker Khalo Matabane
Presented with: Sheffield Doc/Fest, sheffdocfest.com

Bongiwe Walaza’s 2013 Collection Re-Fashions A New Image for Shweshwe Fabric.

Not sure why it’s taken me so long to come across the work of South African designer Bongiwe Walaza but I recently did and subsequently fell in love with her latest collection that was showcased at the Mercedes Benz Africa Fashion Week 2013.

The award winner designer founded her eponymous label in 2003 and describes her line as ‘Afro inspired haute couture’. Using western feminine silhouettes, Walaza makes use of Shweshwe textiles - a printed dyed cotton used by various Southern African ethnic groups believed to be named after Lesotho’s King Moshoeshoe I who was gifted with the fabric by the French missionaries in the 1840s.

It is also known as “German print”,sejeremane in Sotho, and ujamani in Xhosa, after 19th century German and Swiss settlers who imported the blaudruck (“blue print”) fabric for their clothing and helped entrench it in South African culture. [x]

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As South Africa marks its annual commemoration of the tragic Sharpeville Massacre that occurred on March 21st, 1960, as Human Rights Day, we remember a more recent event that shocked the nation and has caused a series of uproar and protests as a result.

The Marikana miners’ strike took place at a mine owned by Lonmin in the Marikana area, close to Rustenburg, in August 2012.

What resulted was a series of violent incidents between the South African Police Service, Lonmin security, the leadership of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and strikers themselves, which resulted in the deaths of 44 people, the majority of whom were striking mineworkers killed on 16 August. At least 78 additional workers were also injured on 16 August. The total number of injuries during the strike remains unknown. In addition to the Lonmin strikers, there has been a wave of wildcat strikes across the South African mining sector. [x]

Above is a clip from the recently released ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ that partially demonstrates what took place in Sharpeville on this day in 1960.

In this video, Archbishop Desmond Tutu discusses his reaction to the heinous event that took place 54 years ago at one point saying, “I remember it as a moment where you realized that black life was cheap”.

Further reading & viewing: Robert Sobukwe - founder & leader of the Pan-African Congress in South Africa that led the march against Pass Laws in Sharpeville.

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South African ultra-customiser, illustrator and graphic designer Atang Tshikare.

Longboard decks and sneakers customised by Bloemfontein-born South Africa graphic designer, illustrator, graffiti artist, customiser and founder of Zabalazaa, Atang Tshikare.

Atang has customised and illustrated on various mediums and items, from canvas boards and furniture, to sneakers and bicycles. 

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This is how Team Brazil deals with (tiny) pitch invaders, Johannesburg, 2014.03.05



The Oscar Pistorius trial for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp has begun. 

This morning in Pretoria, Oscar Pistorius’ trial for the murder of his then girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, who was killed by Pistorius on 14th February, 2013, began at the North Gauteng high court.

Pistorius has plead not guilty to all charges, including that of premeditated murder, and claims he mistook the 29-year-old model for an intruder.

Parts of the trial, which can be livestreamed here and here, will be televised live - a first for South Africa, and the entire audio will be made available for the public to hear. According to the BBC, “The testimony of the accused and his witnesses is exempt.”

Media interest is high as both local and international news and information agencies gathered outside the court buildings this morning. Protesters from the ANC Women’s League were seen outside the court were they called for harsher sentences for men who commit crimes against women. 

There are no jurors at South African trials. His fate will ultimately be decided by Judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa, which, according to the Guardian could pan out like this:

Criminal law experts believe that if the prosecution fails to prove premeditated murder, firing several shots through a closed door could bring a conviction for the lesser charge of culpable homicide, a South African equivalent of manslaughter covering unintentional deaths through negligence. Sentences in such cases range from fines to prison. They are left to courts to determine and are not set by fixed guidelines.

So far, testimony from the state’s first witness Michelle Burger, who lives about 177m away from Pistorius’ home but did not know him personally, has been given in court. Burger stated that she heard screams from a woman followed by four gun shots. Her witness testimony was not televised.

Court has adjourned and will be back later this afternoon but the streams are broadcasting recaps of today’s opening trial session.

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Campaign and catwalk: MaXhosa by Laduma.

Inspired by creator Laduma Ngxokolo's Xhosa heritage, MAXHOSA BY LADUMA is an innovative knitwear line that seeks to preserve culture through contemporary fashion.

Traditional Xhosa aesthetics are merged with tailoring and garments from other parts of the world, all made with South African mohair and merino wool, to create items ranging from cardigans to cushion covers. Laduma’s designs are more specifically inspired and guided by the Xhosa Ulwaluko (male circumcision and initiation) ceremony, one of the most important events in the life of a young man as he graduates into manhood.

Undoubtedly one of my favourite local designers.

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All Africa, All the time.