His fresh take on Afro-futurism, which is unlike anything made or heard before, has placed singer, rapper, producer and DJ Spoek Mathambo at the vanguard of a new wave of African artists.
It’s our pleasure to welcome Spoek Mathambo as a speaker to Design Indaba Conference 2013.
Joining Spoek Mathambo on stage is The Smarteez, The Brother Moves On and Bogosi Sekhukhuni, creatives all working at the intersection of fashion-art-music-film-design.
Spoek Mathambo believes these artists, his contemporaries, represent a new form of cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary South African innovation. Its accessibility to the masses is what makes these innovations and collaborations particularly noteworthy.
Here’s a quick look at the artists that will be joining Spoek Mathambo on stage:
A product of the Rainbow Nation, Bogosi Sekhukhuni is a visual artist and writer based in Johannesburg.
Sekhukhuni works with video, installations and performance mediums in constructing and deconstructing various mythologies. Much of his work is also engaged with post-apartheid urban South African experiences.
Currently Sekhukhuni is studying visual art at the University of Johannesburg and developing a body of work that interrogates various Eurocentric manifestations of wealth and success adopted by middle-class and aspiring middle-class black South Africans.
Sekhukhuni has exhibited work alongside the likes of Kudzanai Chiurai and Steven Cohen.
Playful, colourful, edgy, vintage-meets-new, The Smarteez are a “DIY fashion crew” from Soweto, celebrating a new cool.
This new cool, according to designers Kepi Mngomezulu, Sibu Sithole, Floyd Manotana and Thabo Tsatsinyane, is about changing mindsets while reviving the old to make it appeal to a new age.
Driven by free will and principles of individualism, The Smarteez are a South African fashion tribe, not unlike Tokyo’s underground style phenomenon, that have earned and maintained their street cred.
In their own words: “Think about your life without any boundaries. Not trying to be like anyone else.”
The Brother Moves On
Music shapeshifters The Brother Moves On is a Jo’burg-based, site-specific, art and music collective, and self-described “ time and space exercise”. They bend the rules of performance art, fusing a fiercely eclectic mix of musical styles, influences and sounds with costumes and storytelling to create a distinctly South African act.
The group see themselves as an experimental performance art/music/storytelling collective in which members come and go – or "move on”. This “moving on” is reflected in the group’s evolving sounds, ensuring that the energy and momentum of the collective isn't dependent on any one member.
The Brother Moves On members are Nkululeko Mthembu (band founder), Siyabonga Mthembu (lead singer), Raytheon Moorvan (guitarist), Zelizwe Mthembu (guitarist), Simphiwe Tshabalala and Ayanda Zalekile (bassist).