Friday, 17 August 2012

Nubiasthetes of days gone by

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Nubiasthete - Janelle Monae

The voice and seemingly boundless creative energy behind Archandroid and Metropolis: the Chase Suite oozes style and grace. Known for her signature pompadour and gender-bending jazzed up androgynous style, Covergirl cosmetics has just selected her as their brand representative, great choice! 

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Thursday, 19 July 2012

Afro-Kamikaze interviews - Mac P

There is a constant progression of technique and variation of styles in Mac P’s work. It is steeped in the classics; his synergies of dope bass lines and crisp soulful voices make for head bopping and foot tapping feel good music. I caught up with him to talk, Inspiration, Aspiration and Perspiration

AK: Tell me about Mac-P, where you were born and raised, and the first tape / record you bought, first musical loves and interests…

MP: I was born in Atteridgeville (Pretoria-West), in the early 80’s. I remember back when I was 8, I used to play with my uncle’s Phillips Turn-Table & his Vinyl’s. I would lock myself in the backyard-garage & listen to his collections all day long. And most of the vinyls were 70’s Soul Music, a little bit of Jazz & Funk. Then as the years progressed, I got into Hip Hop Music through my brother’s friend. The Monster was created right THERE!  Years later, I met a friend in high school, Huge, who was into computer programs & hip hop, so we “clicked”. He taught me more about making beats & I shared my collection of cassette-tapes with him. Then, we started making beats for local-hip hop heads. In 2005, we formed a hip hop crew called “Vice Squad” Two-Man click, Mac-P & Huge. We recorded a single, and that was it. A year later I recorded a 18-track album “Positive Reactions”.  I struggled to put it out there due to financial circumstances, and the project flopped. So that “whole” finance issue never stopped me from doing what I love, 10 years later I’m still “Married to the Game”.
*The 1st tape I bought was Ice-T’s O.G (Original Gangster, 1991 Sire, Warner Bros. Records).

AK:  You use social media to share messages of love, humility and musical throwbacks of by the dozen. At the same time though, you seem to talk discipline, what sources inspire this?

MP:  I was raised by grandmother, may her Soul Rest In Uhuru. She was the most humble being I know, and I remember as a kid I wanted to be like her, she always had a positive way of dealing with things, so I guess she raised me well.

AK: Your mixes are always such a refreshing listen; Funky African and Soulful Joints Vol. 2 have really stuck with me… Tell me about your creative process.

MP: Well, I Have a Huge library of music in my mind, a variety of music I’ve been collecting since 1994, so basically, I know what to put on before I even start mixing, so I blend my “mix” with my everyday-living. 

AK: I peeped a YouTube video which circulated the web of a collaborative effort between you and McOneline (confirmation please). What avenues have been opened up for you and what obstacles do you encounter as an artist in SA?

MP: Oh Yes, McOneline is an Emcee  from  Durham, North Carolina (U.S.A), he’s a member of “Shadowstar Boxing Academy”. 
- I’ve put the name “Mac-P” on the map, that is: Germany, Sweden, London, Japan, United States & I’m aiming at other places too, watch the spaces.  S.A got raw talent, and it’s sad ‘cause a lot of  great artists find it hard to make it out here ‘cause the industry is controlled by CLOWNS that don’t even know a thing about Hip Hop or Creative Music.

AK: Your mixes are tributes to, acknowledge and sow respect to the militancy of days gone by, what do you see as your role in affirming Black youth in our times?

MP:  I have a lot of respect for “old school” artists/composers, so I’m just trying to walk on the ways that they’ve paved.

AK: What’s next for Mac-P?       

MP: 1. I’m currently working on a project with Ays’N’Beez (, a hip hop Duo from  Norrk√∂ping, Sweden. We did a track together last year called “Be Cool” (, so we both felt it would be proper for all the 3 of us to work on a project.
2. I’m also working on a “Vintage-Flick Beat-Series” where I’ll be composing tracks & adding relevant speeches/dialogues. It’s a 13-track series.I was inspired by 60’s-70’s European Action Movies which I’ve been collecting for over 5 years now. I’m done with the opening theme, here’s a link (, and the series will be out SOON...Inshallah.

AK: Where can we find Mac-P?

MP: Ya’ll can find me all over the Universe, I exist everywhere through Music!!!

(Facebook Artist Page)

AK: Thank you for the love, life and music. 

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Nubiasthete - Pat Cleveland

Meet model Pat Cleveland, What a fox!! Her Style is, well...everything. Some of you will recognize her, she's still in the business of fashion. 

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, her mother, Ladybird Cleveland, renowned New York artist.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

We've been having it - Vintage lifestyle

A 1971 Maybelline advert, can't miss the Twiggy and Foxxy Brown overkill, dig it!

Madmoiselle Selika Lovzeski who was photographed by Felix Nadar i 1891, this spread was featured in a Surrealist art magazine, Documents 4 published in Paris in 1929.

more beach ballet, Josephine Baker and Serge Lifar (Russian ballet dancer)

Friday, 15 June 2012

Outfit post

Taking my fave wedges from summer to winter. Love these Hemp jeans!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Real talk: Reproductive health in 21st century SA

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A few weeks ago I attended the annual Helen Kanzira memorial lecture. The key note address was given by the very capable Judge Navi Pillay, co-author of the constitution and now UN High Commissioner for  Human Rights. She reminded us of a few depressing realities, that Sub-Saharan Africa still has the world's highest maternal mortality rates and women still have little power over their own sexual welfare. This is not the fate of some stereotypical story told by an international news network where we are introduced to a woman, possibly a child bride who walks kilometers to fetch water even in pregnancy. Reproductive health is not just a 'Millennium Development Goal,' the preserve of 'backward' third world nations. Helen Kanzira, a graduate of UP's Center for Human Rights "died in 2007 at the very early age of 39 as a result of complications arising from [childbirth.] During her short life, she had gained the admiration of many. In the legal profession she was a  force to reckon with and a person known for her honesty and compassion." Judge Pillay described Helen as "a shining light extinguished too soon."
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Dozens if not hundreds of women are faced with reproductive dilemmas on a daily basis.Not to mention the tragic outcomes of inadequate facilities for prevention of pregnancy and child-birth. This got me thinking, there is a need to open up discussion about reproductive health. As usual I have a plethora of questions. To what extent are young women empowered to make informed choices about their sexuality? Does the structure of our society permit women sexual and socio-political autonomy? Does the constitution truly recognize the collective and individual value of women's well-being? Does the state's health care provision facilities meet public demand? Is the state and civil society intellectually equipped to grapple these matters? There are many questions and not enough answers. What I do know is that recently a 20 year old varsity student died in her room after an illegal abortion, this is only one reported incident out of hundreds of young vulnerable women's misfortunes. Women whose exposure to frightening rape rates, transactional sex, poor health-care facilities and social stigma in matters of fertility is allocated 16 Days on the Gregorian calendar.

There is a need for decisive and open discourse about the "value of women as autonomous beings." This is not the role of government or the UN or someone else, it's our job to campaign relentless for freedom to come to fruition, in parliament or our pants.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

On the Democratic Alliance's Separatist politics

Looking at images of the DA march on COSATU house gone violent, I am horrified  to say least.

image by Alexaner Joe of AFP taken from

Hellen  and co. have been harping on about COSATU's decision not to support the idea of a Youth wage subsidy for a while now. They argue approximately 423 000 South Africans stand to gain employment if the subsidy comes into being. Might I add, they do not have any concrete proof or stats of where these jobs will come from or ideas as to  how the subsidy should be spent. It sounds so simple doesn't it, give the private sector money and they give young people jobs. Well, it isn't. Chances are the subsidy would be accepted, youth employed and the old mules fired. If and when the subsidy is withdrawn, mass dismissals will follow.

Clearly Hellen didn't have a grandmother who told her tsuro no gudo (or the hare and the baboon) folk tales which ended with a moral lesson of some sort about taking short cuts and other deceitful behaviour. Why support the idea of a subsidy when we have so many resources we're not manufacturing? When we're importing so many goods we can make ourselves, when we're running a primarily import economy as opposed to an exporting one? Perhaps some COSATU members are right that the DA's interests are in youth exploitation. The majority of the unemployed youth are Black, perhaps making them feel that their employement makes them indebted to the DA (as opposed to their nation's vast resources) must be somewhat empowering. Who knows....

Never in my life have I heard or read of a political party marching on a civil society organization, it is confrontational and myopic to say the least. Their decision to ignore the police's warnings not to march to COSATU house ended in violence and further portrayals of Black people as violent and irrational. I am deeply saddened that a seemingly serious oppositional political party would bypass other platforms which democracy provides, including press mudslinging and biased TV shows, to make a vacuous statement. It's a damn shame.

 I had almost forgiven the DA for that reducing SA oppositional politics to that embarrassing and childish 'Stop Zuma' campaign of 2007 but now i'm more certain than ever that the DA is COMPLETELY out of touch with working class concerns. Where were they when COSATU was contesting Walmart and where will they be when COSATU is fighting for those workers to get their jobs back? Nowhere to be found I bet you.