Johannesburg - There’s a new wave of creative minds living and reflecting the story of the South African youth. Whether in the form of music, magazines or through the camera lens, young South Africans are using their work to speak about our society, rather than glorifying the world outside of it. We’ve picked five examples of the best and brightest of South Africa’s youth today.
Bila is one of those artists who not only dabbles across mediums, but does so with the same level of finesse and skill each time. Although he is most widely known for his photographic work, he is also a talented fine artist. Regardless of the platform, Bila’s work reflects a real desire to understand his subjects and their context. His portraits of the nine members of the Boyz n Bucks collective bear testament to his ability to give the subjects of his images a clear, distinctive identity, and his technical ability makes for timeless pieces of work.
While there are thousands of artists trying to find a new sound, unlike anything we’ve heard before, the king of “digital maskandi” has gone back in time to revive and refresh one of South Africa’s best-loved music genres. Pairing up with popular artists such as rapper Okmalumkoolkat and blending the sounds of old with the internet-driven sounds of today, KaMamba speaks from the thin line between tradition and modernity, and blurs it in the same effortless way the South African youth does in their fashion, art and lifestyle choices.
After successfully launching Unlabelled Magazine, Kuta has become synonymous with all things fabulous and futuristic. As the founder and visionary behind the online magazine, she has created a platform for all things weird and wonderful about South African youth. From a Godessa-esque editorial shoot to another called Nice Shandees, she is using the look and speak of urban South African young people to craft something worth devouring.
He’s the man behind megadoccie Future Sounds of Mzansi and the fresh, sci-fi video for Sibot and Okmalumkoolkat’s Nice Shandees. Among a slew of other creatively successful projects, Rasethaba has shown himself to be a dynamic, versatile film maker with an eye for work that resonates with the youth – both at home and abroad. His documentary on legendary struggle hero Andrew Mlangeni has taken him into new territory, but his ability to tell a story in a relatable way acts as inspiration for anyone hoping to tell solid, 21st-century South African stories.
She’s the freshest pop singer on the block and she knows it. Moonchild is an authentic performer, whose music, although not particularly heavy or philosophical, tells the story of young people interacting in the simplest and clearest ways. She is also slowly becoming something of a sex symbol, but not in the way you’d think. Like many young South African women, she embraces her body and the power of it by dressing exactly how she wants to, and being deliberately provocative in her music and performances. She knows how to make young black women feel good about themselves – and that’s a feat in itself