Cool cat

Okmalumkoolkat's new music video for "All Black, Black Kat", directed by Chris Saunders, is a dreamlike mash-up of tradition and modernity.

Past, present and future collide in Okmalumkoolkat's latest music video, directed by filmmaker and photographer Chris Saunders. Under Saunders' creative direction, the video for "All Black, Black Kat" by musician Smiso Zwane (aka Okmalumkoolkat) is a wild, dreamlike mash-up of traditional South African and contemporary culture. 

Saunders' vision for the video is based on the lyrics of the song, which refer to Zulu mythology and rituals. He asked Zwane to identify some of the rituals that he had experienced personally. They decided to focus on a Zulu cleansing ceremony, performed before a funeral to a male member of the family, the experience of which left a strong impression on Zwane.

“We juxtaposed this traditional ceremony with contemporary sub-cultures such as the pantsula dancers and the swanker, which influence Smiso’s sound,” explains Saunders.

Because the video was produced during the winter months, they decided to scout for an indoor pool venue and found the ideal location at the Emerald Casino in Vereeniging. The pool contributes to the surreal setting of the video.

With wardrobe by Francois Ferreira and make-up by Liezl Callaghan, the video imagines what a future South African, who assimilates the country's diverse cultures, could look like.

“The video asks the question 'how do South Africans fit into the future?'” says Saunders. “Because the future is not necessarily robots and laser beams. The video renders a possible version of a future modern South African.” 

Okmalumakoolkat reiterates this in the lyrics, invoking the Zulu word for young man ("umfana"): “Past, present and the future. Futuremfana. Super future!”