South African (and worldwide) icon Nelson Mandela's words and actions have always been about love, and peace and forgiveness. So it makes sense that we look back on his words on Valentine's Day 1995 when a young person asked him if he celebrated Valentine's Day. Mandela explains his lack of knowledge about the holiday due to his upbringing and his ‘tight programe does not allow’ him ‘to find time [...]
We gave these beautiful images a series title, but here is a word from the mixed media South African artist herself: Artist Statement My work is a visual play between beauty and tragedy, rhythm and interruption – searching for a sense of order in the overwhelming chaos of life. Two main metaphors I use are those of disguise and pattern. Apart from the obvious masks, I play games of hide and [...]
Creating waves in the genre of ballet and contemporary dance, South Africa's Dada Masilo upturns ideas of African masculinity, sexuality, and traditional ballet form with her revolutionary dance pieces. Most known for her take on perhaps the most renowned ballet productions "Swan Lake", Masilo took the classic Tchaikovsky ballet and had Odile, one of the female leads, played by Boyside Diko[...]
South African electronica group BIG FKN GUN releases their much anticipated video for Pop Models. The wild synth, vibrant visuals filled with images of gorgeous models is the perfect accompaniment to the hints of kwaito style production and bass, overlaid with soft rapping vocals. Africlectists, is this going to be on the playlist?
MY BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL FEATURE MODEL   Full name: Portia Moemedi Age: 21 Nationality: Black South African Profession: Student Hobbies: Sport, scrapbooking,wine touring and surfing the net   I'm currently studying at the University of Stellenbosch doing a Bsc in Sport Sciences, and hoping to do honours in Biokinetics. I was born in the Kalahari - Kuruman- but we moved a lot[...]
Zwelethu Mthethwa, born in 1960, famously makes medium-to-large-scale portraits of migrant workers and their living quarters on the borders of Cape Town and Johannesburg. However this is a sample of his breadth of work; capturing the interior walls of the workers in South Africa, the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and the honest laborer.
From Lomas' website: A project documenting the use of leopards and other animals for traditional, cultural and religious purposes. These images are captured often in the field whilst working on a documentary To Skin a Cat, a film I am making addressing the loss of leopard populations to an illegal skin trade.
In an exhibition at Goodman Gallery Cape titled Between Darkness and Light, award-winning photographer Jodi Bieber explores the twilight that she experienced in the decade following the advent of democracy in South Africa. Curated by Liza Essers and Storm Janse Van Rensburg, the show is a selection of work from 1993 to 2004, primarily revealing Bieber’s more rarely shown independent series, as wel[...]
In a country where black workers earn six times less than their white counterparts (today!), it might seem pretty obvious that the advantages of skin color still subtly live on in South Africa. However when Roger Young decided to literally spell it out for his fellow white citizens with a T-shirt, a fierce debate about racial relations and the role of apartheid today broke out that has South Afric[...]
Young Champions is a photo series by Juan Stockenstroom that features amateur boxers between the ages of 12 and 17 from various parts of Cape Town. Juan says that the aim of the project is to raise awareness around boxing as a positive sport and a portal to success for many South African youth and to spread the message that the discipline, hard work and dedication required for boxing can be carri[...]
Nothing is more beautiful than love, except the celebration of love through dance. And we Africans definitely know how to thrown down and deliver the best wedding entrances. Through hundreds of videos on YouTube (that we were more than happy to look through!), we have selected for your viewing pleasure our top four. Which one is your favorite? Malawian Wedding 20th Wedding Anniversary Mr Austin [...]
"….the lovely South African film "Otelo Burning" is a coming-of-age story with the grand sweep of history as its background" - The New York Times The award winning South African movie Otelo Burning is finally coming to the United States on November 30th 2012 in New York City, premiering as the first movie to be shown in state of the art cinematic luxury of Afro-Latino diaspora theater Mist Harl[...]
It’s the end of the year and as most of the northern hemisphere is celebrating under a heavy coat of snow, in other parts of the world, summer has just started! While popular destinations in Africa like Mauritius or Seychelles are getting jam-packed, discerning honeymooners should look out for more discreet but stimulating locations. Forget those overdone, overbooked destinations; Africlectic brin[...]
Playgirls is a new photo series shot for issue #22 of A Fashion Friend. It was shot in and around Sophiatown and Westdene in Johannesburg, and follows Neo and Cleo from boss models in sporty looks inspired by M.I.A  and Die Antwoord's Yolandi Visser. - Jessica Lupton
A gorgeous editorial with a beautiful message: "This fashion story plays on the bloody past of South Africa and highlights the new society that came into being after the country became a democracy in 1994. The title, The 33rd Ray, refers to the architectural feature of the Voortrekker monument where sunlight passes through an opening of the roof on the 16th of December each year. This ray of li[...]
Cry Freedom centers around the real-life events involving black activist Steve Biko and his friend Donald Woods, who initially finds him destructive, and attempts to understand his way of life. Denzel Washington stars as Biko, while actor Kevin Kline portrays Woods. Cry Freedom delves into the ideas of discrimination, political corruption, and the repercussions of violence. The film was primari[...]
Sarafina! is a South African musical by Mbongeni Ngema depicting students involved in the Soweto Riots, in opposition to apartheid. It was also adapted into a 1992 film starring Whoopi Goldberg and Leleti Khumalo. Sarafina! premiered on Broadway on 28 January 1988, at the Cort Theatre, and closed on 2 July 1989, after 597 performances and 11 previews and won many prestigious awards including a Ton[...]
For a big Hollywood movie, Blood Diamond is surprisingly gritty and real, even Leonardo DiCaprio's South African accent is spot on. The movie is set in Sierra Leone during the chaotic 1990's when the country was in the midst of a civil war. Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a South African mercenary who teams up with Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou) a local fisherman looking for his son who has be[...]
The Smarteez are a DIY fashion crew from Soweto. Together, they are made up of four young designers; Kepi Mngomezulu, Sibu Sithole, Floyd Manotana and Thabo Tsatsinyane. They have been called, a fashion tribe from South Africa and compared to Tokyo’s underground style phenomenon. Aside from all the hype, I like them because they are young, smart and bold – in terms of their design and their thi[...]
A selection of portraits shot on medium format film on my trusty Hasselblad.   Greg Lomas is a photographer, filmmaker and graphic designer, working out of Durban, South Africa. His days are generally filled running To Skin a Cat, a documentary addressing the loss of leopard populations to a rampant skin trade, after having established the successful companies Greg Lomas Designs and Greente[...]
The-frown-metallic-kiss mix describes a South Africa blooming and bursting at the seams with youth energy and talent. The youth of South Africa have come a long way from that generation of brave June 16 1976 kids, who mobilised their entire communities and started a tide of change that would result in a free South Africa. That was one very special kind of youth energy…one that’s allowed us (the yo[...]
An unflinching look at life in a South African township. Filmed on a handheld camera, we follow John (the compelling Pethro Themba Mole), an unemployed young man, over a couple of days. The camera stays on him the whole time, with peripheral characters barely coming in to view. Spending his time roaming the neighbourhood and engaging in loveless sex with a number of local women, John learns from o[...]
We absolutely loved Justin Polkey's recent work with Solange's vibrant and amazing cover with ELLE South Africa that we had to revisit his recent September editorial for G&W magazine called "Town Chic." The spread juxtaposes high fashion with a back drop of ordinary Xhosa life, resulting is a very beautiful and visually stunning editorial. Look out for more on Justin's work on Africl[...]
American cosmetic household brand Avon, has not had much to celebrate lately with plunging share prices,  however the brand is finding hope in a new consumer niche in none other than South Africa. In 2011 Avon's sales in South Africa increased by a whopping 29%, whereas its global sales grew only a marginal 1%.The beauty giant has been in the cosmetic business for 126 years, positioning itself a[...]
Stylist and fashion editor Asanda Sizani had this to say of  Solange “She walked in dressed in a tangerine blazer, fuchsia wide-leg pants and bright lips. She was warm, open and friendly. After a meeting with Jackie(editor), she quickly selected the pieces she loved the most. My highlight was Solange picking out and putting on the Loin Cloth & Ashes shorts, Tart top and Pichulik rope bracele[...]
The Muffinz is an up-and-coming five-piece ensemble from Johannesburg, South Africa. They describe themselves as “an urban indie jazz band, mixing up the beautiful sounds of light afro jazz, soul, pop and a lil’ touch of genius to create a new type of band.” ‘Ghetto’ is the catchy first single from the group’s debut LP Have You Heard? and is a fantastic video with a great message. -- OkayAfri[...]
Captivating audiences worldwide, this Oscar winning compelling story of crime and redemption has earned countless other awards around the globe. On the edges of Johannesburg, Tsotsi's life has no meaning beyond survival. One night, in desperation, Tsotsi steals a woman's car. But as he is driving off, he makes a shocking discovery in the backseat. In one moment his life takes a sharp turn and lead[...]
Kalahari bushman Xi (played by genuine bushman N!xau) is as surprised as the rest of his tibe when a Coke bottle, thrown from a passing plane, lands in the middle of their village. This "gift from the gods" proves to be a mixed blessing when the tribesmen fight over it and eventually use it for a weapon. To keep peace in the village, Xi is assigned to take the bottle to "the end of the earth" (act[...]
It's a life accomplishment many would be proud of - singer Khaya Mthethwa became South Africa's eight season winner of the country's version of American Idol. What makes it historic? Mthethwa (25) is South Africa's first black contestant to win in the show's eight season run, in a country where the population is 80 percent black and white people make up less than one in 10 of South Africa's popula[...]
When Barack Obama became President of the United States of America in 2008, the entire world rejoiced with  a packed world tour for Obama that made his foreign tour seem more like a rock concert than a Presidential address. However no continent has held on and loved more fiercely the President of the United States than the people of Africa, who embraced him with open and proud arms. November 5[...]
South African Architecture company Elmo Swat, show that traditional thatched roofs  very popular in rural Africa will always be in style and are here to stay. In remodelling this three bedroom thatched cottage in Durban, the designers added a new bedroom, two studies and an entertainment space with an art gallery topping it off with a design aesthetic that is as visually stunning as it is practica[...]
The saying goes "behind every great man, is a great woman" - but now we are seeing African women step out of the shadows and show the world that their strength, intelligence, and power belongs just as much in the business world as it does within the home. There is no denying the long tradition of firm gender roles many African cultures and countries have had which often delegated the woman to stay[...]
From producer/director Yanick Letourneau comes the feature documentary, United States of Africa: Beyond Hip Hop. Released in Canada, the USA, and South Africa, the film follows rapper Didier Awadi as he tours 40 countries, outlining the tragic defeats of various African leaders who were thwarted in their progressive aims, often by Western powers. This documentary gives us a picture of the past a[...]
International décor company West Elm teamed up with sixteen South African artisans to create a colorful and vibrant design collection grounded in traditional arts and timeless in motif. Speaking to Elle Décor, creative director Vanessa Holden said: “There are influences from so many different backgrounds layered on the foundational African culture. I love the idea of those multiple points of [...]