04 October 2013. Heita!Happy Friday Everyone! Wow it’s a beautiful summers’ day in Johannesburg Maboneng and I have been out and about. Today I think we all deserve some lightness of being. So with the generous help of Johannesburg’s young and inspiring photographer/entrepreneur Bheki Dube: my brother from another mother, I decided to have a mini–fashion shoot to answer some of your pressing questions: Where do I get my clothes?
Okay you might think I’m fashion obsessed if you see me walking down the street but I have come a very long, long way to “defining” my sense of style (ask those who knew me in college, I used to wear my father’s blue overalls to lectures, much to his chagrin). Basically, I am influenced by many people, places, spaces, but most importantly how I feel. I don’t really enjoy elaborate shopping sprees nor do I have the time for them but I will definitely buy what I like when I see it and if the pocket allows. So my shopping is often sporadic, as in any day can be a shopping day. Most of the time though I don’t set out to go clothes shopping – clothes come to me.
So today, and it’s high time I do. I want to celebrate and thank some of the city’s wonderfully talented people and amazing friends who have contributed to my sense of “style” over the years; especially those who have “Dressed” me today.
The HAT: By the General. This is a recent acquisition, a generous donation from one of Johannesburg city’s finest minds Sibusiso Nxumalo. My home-boy (Sowetan). To say he is passionate about music would be an understatement would be an understatement. He can out-play -out-rap many of the city’s DJ’s when the spirit takes him, which is almost all the time. He can be found playing his African mixes at the Lucky Bean restaurant in Melville Johannesburg. He is a talented writer, analyst, and voracious consumer of arts and culture, media and entertainment. He has commissioned a number of thought-provoking programs for SABC1 – a hip African centric channel with a focus on South African youth Culture. He is featured in the documentary on South African Struggle music Amandla! with his other twin brother Bra S’fiso Ntuli, with whom he ran the much-loved and sorely missed Cultural (Dance) Venue and political institution a home to many: ” The House of Nsako” – Nuff Said Kollective, in Brixton Johannesburg. He has been my protector in so many ways that I cannot describe in this here post. A brother, a gift, an angel and shining light in many of my darkest days. He feeds me and anyone who walks into his lovely home. He can fix just about anything well almost anything You can identify him by the sound of his voice, no-one else has it, and high laugh and his dance. But I won’t rob you of the opportunity to get to know him, he is amazing! Dankie! Siyabonga. PRICE: More than money can buy!
Visit him @ the Lucky Bean on Fridays/Sundays or sit just down for great food, atmosphere and people.
Location: No 16 7th Street Melville
Contact: 011 482 4472
SUNGLASSES: by Street Trader. This quite frankly was a shocking bargain, I stumbled on this guy shouting – 10rand, 10rand, and I asked just to be sure, he said “ yebo Sisi, sunglasses for 10 bucks, Kuse Jozi lapha” PRICE: R10.00. Love this city! Dankie! Siyabonga!
Location: Jeppe Street Johannesburg.
Contact: Walk the pavements.
THE SCARF: By Mahlatse Gallens. This is a VERY special scarf bought for me by my friend MG after a visit to Paris France; knowing my love for scarves and the many things French, she chose this special piece for me. She said, “you need more colour in your wardrobe” when she gave it to me.
This is my favourite scarf of all time. It has opened so many doors and it has travelled with me from SA to Senegal where someone offered to give me an Aldo scarf in exchange – I said no. This one is mine. It works for summer and winter – perfect for any season. Each time I wear it I feel closer and more in awe of the power of love and friendship. Mahlatse Gallens is well-known to our TV Screens and on our radio dials, her voice is distinctly hers. She is an accomplished South African senior political journalist who has travelled the world reporting on Health, Natural Disasters, Politics and more. She has lived in Nairobi Kenya and Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a Foreign correspondent for the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). She is a well-connected journalist with a wide network of contacts throughout out the continent. Politics is her Passion. Watching the Fixer (Scandal) is her chosen form of relaxation. She has paved the way for me in my own career in more ways than I can mention. She’s beautiful, loving and caring as a friend. She is passionate about politics, about the continent and its people. Her latest assignment was in Zimbabwe during the country’s recent national elections, for which she delivered in-depth reporting which for me was more compelling than what the traditional western media broadcasters were delivering under less than ideal conditions. She inspires me. PRICE: More than money can Buy.
Contact: Your TV/Radio
GREEN HEART NECKLACE By Jenna Desfontein. This was an amazing gift from a sister whose unconditional love continues to floor me. It has made out of the prized Original Nguni Cowhide, and dyed green. She presented the gift to me before my journey to Senegal, so that I remember who I am always. This beautiful soul hails from Durban KwaZulu Natal, a gifted singer whose voice continues to melt my heart. She is also a formidable storyteller and a natural caregiver. She recently released her solo Album UnEarthed – which is just beautiful. She is also lead singer a Johannesburg based gospel group with whom she recently performed on SABC1’s gospel music program, Gospel Gold. A talented musician who plays her chords with the strings of her soul, a lover of children, surfing and a creator of beautiful moments (events) full of love for everyone she meets. Love you, my sister. The Price: More than money can buy! Dankie.Siyabonga. KAKHULU!
Here’s a link to her album check it out:
GREY TANK TOP: By Real South African designs from Pick’n Pay Clothing department. I love grey, it’s awesome. Tank tops show off my skinny arms. I often wear sleaveless tops when I go to meet people at restuarants. I get real sympathy when people see them, and they often offer me food for free.. “poor thing –she must be hungry” so sweet. Price: R30 bucks.
Location: Most Pick ‘n Pays
Contact: In almost all malls.
GREY PANTS: By EllA Buter from Superella. A very quirky Afrikaans Woman. She’s lovely. Now these must count as the most “enviable” trousers I have ever owned. I am asked about them each time I wear them by both men and women and there have been many attempts to separate us. These pants were originally a dress, but Ella who pays attention to her customers was willing to modify them to fit my style making. They are still the most fashionable item of clothing I own 4 years later. I have bought a number of items from Ella’s shop in Melville, but this is the only piece I have managed to hold on to, the rest I have given way. I have travelled to Senegal with these pants which have attracted admiration of the city of Dakar’s Bifal (Rastafarians) who ably looked after me in the most trying times, particularly during my pilgrimage to the MAGAL of TOUBA in 2012. I love these pants because I can dress them up or down, they are comfortable and provide ample room for free movement. PRICE: R800. Dankie. Siyabonga.
Location: Cnr Rustenburg Road
8th & 9th Street
Contact: best to walk in.
THE BAG: by Urban ZULU. I love these guys; it’s always such a pleasure walking into their shop. I always find something I love even though I cannot always afford it. They have personalized sales people who pay attention to you and your needs until you are satisfied with a garment. They can be found near the Carlton Center in Johannesburg’s CBD. On my last visit they bought me coffee – as a thank you gift for making their day! How awesome is that? They always make one feel special and I love the brand because I am an Urban Zulu myself. PRICE: R45.
Location: Cnr Fox&Kruis Opp Carlton Centre
Contact: 011 354 2139
Ghetto: 076 482 7789
Nthabi: 084 321 0221
THE BELT: by Newtown Market. Now Newtown is well-known to many for its theater and jazz culture: Standard Bank Joy of Jazz festivals, Johannesburg Fashion Week, are just some of the annual events that bring life to this part of town. The African Museum and the Market Theater are mainstays which offer a delicious dish of the countries’ best actors, directors and creative Minds. It’s also the city’s dance hub, home to a number of dance companies, The Dance Factory and Moving into Dance. The photo market workshop has offered training to many of the city’s celebrated photographers. When I saw this leather stud belt I fell in love, but the traders (who have since been moved due to ongoing development of the area) where patient with me, the belt was too big, but they took their time until the belt could fit my waist. Awesome service. PRICE: R40.00 bucks. Dankie. Siyabonga
SHOES By Nelisiwe Xaba. I love BirkenStocks because though they might look ugly to some, they are a really great buy, good for your feet as they are designed to fit your foot for walking which I love and do a lot of. They keep me rooted to the ground. They were also a generous gift by South Africa’s most gifted, talented and hardworking Dancer-Choreographers– Nelisiwe Xaba. I have written about her a couple of times in this blog. She is one in a million! She is the A-in awesome, the most stylish and kindest woman I have met yet. Dankie. Siyabonga! PRICE: More than Money can BUY.
If you want a pair, the sales ladies at the Birkenstock shop in Hyde Park, were absolutely awesome – we laughed a lot. They were patient with me and entertaining and even got us a discount. Very Kind. We had fun in the shop!
Location: Hyde Park Corner (Mall)
Corner Jan Smuts Avenue and William Nicol Drive, Sandton, Gauteng
Contact: (011) 325 5893
So as you can see, I have only bought 4 items of clothing – mostly accessories – on my body right now – the rest have been gifts from Johannesburg’s’ Beautiful People. This is what makes Johannesburg amazing: not the infrastructure which is good, nor the buildings which are great, or its history which is amazing, or its wealth which is enormous. It is the city’s people whose hearts are made of solid GOLD that make Johannesburg Great! Heita da! Nowhere else in the world will you find such LOVE. Honestly, I am truly blessed, enormously, to be dressed by Johannesburg’s FINEST.
Dankie. NGIYABONGA! KAKHULU