Bio: Lynsey Chutel would like nothing more than to cook, garden, read, write and take photographs. But since none of those things pay much, and she can't sit still anyway, she is a freelance journalist and researcher living in Johannesburg
Posts by Lynsey:
Sounds like: 2am on a Saturday night with a drink in the air, with a complexity that intrigues you at 2pm on a Sunday afternoon.
The lowdown: Born Siphelele Mnyande, the Pretoria via Eastern Cape rapper has been growing a steady fan base with the mixtapes ‘Street Novelty’, ‘The BluMurda tape’ and ‘Mind over Matter: The EP’ while appearances on Bongani Fassie’s Rise, L-Tido’s All or Nothing and stablemate BlakLez’s debut Black Beast has only strengthened his presence on South Africa’s hip hop circuit.
The 28-year-old seems hell bent on turning himself into an all-round performer and fans of the pan-African hit series Jacob’s Cross and the South African telenovela iNkaba may recognise PdotO in his guise as an actor. Signed to independent Pretoria label CapCity Records, the rapper is in the process of releasing his much-anticipated debut album, Devilz Playground, with the first single ‘Livin’ doing the rounds on local airwaves since late last year.
The verdict: A trained method actor and a rapper his label describes as deep-thinking and emotionally intelligent, it seems a gamble for PdotO to go from heartfelt rhymes like ‘Dear Pops’ to a club banger like ‘Livin’. And it’s a gamble that has paid off – Who doesn’t like a versatile performer? We sure do, and we’re looking forward to that long-awaited debut.
The take away: PdotO is a rapper chewing at the bit, eager to take off and show us what he can do with his debut album’s release, Devilz Playground. In the meantime, download the single ‘Burn’ featuring Red Button here.
All roads lead to Swaziland this weekend for the MTN Bushfire Festival. This year’s festival has acts ranging from the legends – like Bongo Maffin and Ladysmith Black Mambazo – to freshers like Uhuru and Muzart. AfriPOP! previewed our best picks for the festival here and we’ll be in Swaziland all weekend so share your pictures and memories from the festival via our Twitter, Facebook or Instagram pages.
Check out the line up for the main stage, House on Fire amphitheatre and The Barn below. Go to official MTN Bushfire website for more details. See you there!
Win Tickets For A Heavyweight Line-up at the MTV MAMAs + MiCasa, Flava and DJ Tira talk winning (maybe)May 29th, 2014
MTV Base Africa definitely does not use the term “star studded line-up” lightly. In the past week, MTV announced act after act of international performers who will be descending on Durban on the 7th of June.
First MTV Base Africa announced that R&B it-boy Miguel would be performing alongside Africa’s best. “What I love most about Africa is the people and the spirit there. What makes me most proud to be involved in the MTV African Music Awards is the feeling that my music has reached further than I imagined it could…it’s inspiring,” says Miguel.
That news was soon followed by the announcement that Trey Songz would be joining the line-up too. “I can’t wait to perform at the awards show, especially since it’s live for the first time ever. It’s going to be amazing to feel the energy when I’m on that stage and see some of the best talent that Africa has to offer,” says the singer.
Moroccan-born Bronx-raised rapper French Montana has also joined the line-up. The host of the event is no exception and like his predecessors rappers Eve and Wyclef Jean, MTV Base is flying in comedian and actor Marlon Wayans to host the event.
But our bias is clear – it’s the African acts we can’t wait to see on stage. Nigeria’s Davido, the reigning queen of great music videos Tiwa Savage, rapper Flavour and South Africa’s dance royalty Mafikizolo, Oskido and Uhuru will all share the Durban stage.
Take a look at what some MiCasa’s J-Something, Flavour and Durban’s own DJ Tira had to say about the awards.
We are giving away 5 double tickets for this unmissable Durban spectacular. All you have to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject #MAMAS14 and name one artist performing at the MTV MAMAs this year. Winners will be notified by email.
Seventeen thousand and counting – the Back To The City Festival is set to grow its numbers all for the love
of hip-hop. The festival is a true celebration of hip-hop, hailing every aspect of the global culture with a steady South African fingerprint. Gathered under Johannesburg’s M1 highway in the city’s Newtown district will be graffiti artists, fashion designers, dance crews, BMXers and even entrepreneurs who will participate in a summit that breaks down the business of South African hip-hop.
But it’s the music that ensures that the festival grows by the thousands every year. The main stage boasts a line-up of the cream of SA’s hip hop crop including The Anvils, Reason, Cassper Nyovest, Mizchif and about a dozen more. Pretoria rapper Blaklez, who caught our attention with his reverence to kwaito when he sampled Mdu’s legendary Mazolo on the single “Don’t Be Scared”, is also one of the headliners.
The old J-Sec heads will be thrilled when old favorites who may not command the radio airwaves but sill have a huge underground following make their way onto stage. Back To The City 2014 has resurrected none other than Hymphatic Thabs and organizers dropped this video to prove that the eccentric MC is still around.
Back To The City is also promising a surprise international act but organizers aren’t even dropping hints about who it is. But then again, with such a formidable local line-up, South African hip-hop fans shouldn’t need an import to get down to Back To The City Festival 2014.
Back To The City will take place on April 27th from 10:00 to 23:00.
Go to the official Back To The City website for ticket prices and more details.
“Aw, remember when That’ Isigubhu came out and then we…” – way too many stories have begun like this with lovers of the legendary South African kwaito group Bongo Maffin clinging desperately to the good ol’ days. After years of pleas Thandiswa Mazwai, Stoan, Jahseed and (eight years after he left the collective) Speedy return to the stage at the 2014 MTN Bushfire festival. The quartet have been in studio since late 2013, recording new material and festival audiences in Swaziland will get hear it. Last year the festival attracted more than twenty thousand people to Africa’s last kingdom and organisers hope that lining up big names in the Southern African music scene will bring even more revelers. On the line-up are Bongo Maffin’s fellow Kalawa Jazzmee stable mates Uhuru, whose hit y-tjukutja had us dancing, as well as your parents’ and Oprah’s favourite Grammy winners, the Ladysmith Black Mambazo (do yourself a favour and make a point to watch the group who became a part of South Africa’s history).
Every year the festival tries harder to bring the focus back to Swaziland, featuring a string of local artistes. This year, we’re looking forward to
getting to know songstress Floewe, afro-soul artist Bholoja and hip-hop and spoken word trio Qibho and Sands. Zimbabwe’s Mookoomba also head to Swaziland this year after touring over thirty countries along with Mozambican musicians the Sigauque Project.
From May 30th to June 1st festival goers have the chance to completely immerse themselves in the gorgeous surroundings of the Malkersn Valley and the music and art of Bushfire 2014. Go to the official website to find about tickets, weekend passes, accommodation and more.
It’s here! The official trailer for the Nelson Mandela biopic, Long Walk to Freedom, is out. The film stars the lovely Idris Elba as the towering icon, Nelson Mandela. Naomie Harris takes up the role of the graceful yet fiery Winnie Mandela. The trailer was released just as reports surfaced that the ailing anti-Apartheid icon was slowly recovering after more than a month in hospital.
A British, production, the film attempts to capture the scope of Madiba’s life and is based Mandela’s 630-page autobiography. The casting was met with mixed reviews with some critics wondering if Elba could play a convincing Mandela – frankly any attempt at playing Nelson Mandela is dicey with South African audiences disapproving of everyone from Terrence Howard to Danny Glover playing South Africa’s first democratically elected President (Morgan Freeman got a pass a in Clint Eastwoods Invictus, though).
Playing Winnie Mandela may be even more daunting. The former first lady is on record saying she’d prefer a South African actress and avoids any biopics not produced in South Africa. On hearing that Jennifer Hudson would be playing her in the film Winnie, Madikizela-Mandela suggested a list of local actresses instead. South Africa’s history is just as tricky to capture in film, with local audiences criticising Invictus for everything from incorrect rugby references to turning South Africa’s post-Apartheid tensions into an inaccurate fairytale.
Long Walk to Freedom may have a mountain to climb before it even makes it to cinemas at the end of the year. The film’s producers seem optimistic – they’re releasing in right in time for Oscar consideration. While the American trailer promises more action, the UK trailer seems a little more reflective.
Watch both and tell us what you think!
Who doesn’t love a continental bash?! And the MTV Africa All Stars KwaZulu Natal is turning into exactly that. Organisers love throwing around the phrase “all stars” but this time
they actually mean it. In just a few days Durban’s beachfront Moses Mabhida stadium will put some of the continent’s best stars on the same stage thanks to the MTVBase and the KwaZulu Natal Province.
Headlining act, the man formerly known as D-O-Double-Jizzle, has performed here a few times before but it’s the first time he’s coming in the form of his latest musical reincarnation, Snoop Lion. As excited as we are to see the West Coast rap veteran, we’re glad this won’t be a gig aimed only at the 80s babies.
The cool kids of Africa’s pop scene will be all over this. Nigeria’s international golden boy D’Banj will be on stage in his all his kokomaster swag. Fresh from his first wedding anniversary and the release of his latest album Away and Beyond, Nigerian superstar 2Face will also have the ladies swooning (as he does so well).
Camp Mulla is representing Kenya’s 2-5-Flow while the DRC’s biggest musical export Fally Ipupa is also on stage. Rounding out the southern tip of the continent will be South Africa’s answer to Tracy Chapman and overnight megastar
Zahara, and Durban’s own Professor, Big Nuz and the choirmaster himself Zakes Bantwini.
Doors for MTV Africa All Stars KwaZulu-Natal with Snoop Lion open at 17:00 CAT on Saturday 18 May, and the first performance starts at 18:30 CAT.
To win a set of double tickets to this awesome gig, like our Facebook page and drop us a comment. The winners will be announced on Thursday 16 May. Good luck!
This year’s Bushfire Festival line up is enough reason for any music lover to make their way to the beautiful kingdom of Swaziland. Here are just five of the artists we’re looking forward to seeing.
The international headlining act is Colombian band Bomba Estéreo. Around since 2001, Bomba Estéreo describe their music as ‘electro tropical’, combining traditional Colombian, African and Caribbean rhythms of champeta and cumbia infused with Bogota’s underground electronic
dance beats. The band has already made a name for themselves on the festival circuit – Coachella, South by Southwest, Bonnaroo and Bumbershoot and we’re certain their first African festival debut will be well received.
A live act to look out for is Ghanaian-Swiss Joy Frempong. Under the stage-name OY, Frempong combines hip-hop, jazz, electronica and improvisational art. Her debut album, First Box Then Walk is a collection of 27 tracks based on her own and friends’ childhood memories. The nostalgic narratives tell stories of childhood fears of trolls, witches and kittens.
BFG are three letters dropped by the trendsetters and tastemakers as the band to watch. Big Fkn Gun is a South African outfit that has garnered a large following with alternative music lovers underground and online. Hailing from Durban, BFG defy pop genres by combining Zulu rhymes over deconstructed dub, house and hip-hop beats.
You already know of our fondness for the wildly popular The Soil, the 4-member “Kasi Soul” acapella singing group, or at least you should. We ran a story and photo feature on them last year.
Black Motion is a duo, from Soshanguve made up of Thabo Smol (Percussionist) and DJ Rob Murda. In their short three-year recording career they’ve captured the attention of dance music followers not only in South Africa but also in Angola and Kenya (where they performed last month). On stage Black Motion blends DJ music spinning with live percussions that brings energy to any event.
Other exciting acts to look out for include
the experimental artistic force The Brother Moves On, super DJ Euphonik, Cameroonian singer Erik Aliana and his band Koronga Jam. Stay tuned to Afripopmag as we introduce you to more acts at the 2013 MTN Bushfire Festival.
The festival takes place May 31 to June 2.
From the hilarious wit to that
megawatt smile and of course those guitar strings, Tats Nkonzo has very quickly become one of South Africa’s favourite comedians.
Nkonzo has come from being a contestant to hosting one of the country’s biggest rea
lity shows. He first made an appearance as a top 24 finalist on South African Idol, then showed his funny side as a finalist on the first season of So You Think You’re a Comic. This year Nkonzo became the loveable host of South Africa’s Got Talent. Nkonzo has since carved a niche for himself as a singing comedian. Every week he sings South Africa’s political and social ups and downs in a regular feature called the morale index on the hit news satire show Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola.
And now he’s headlining his first Comedy Central Africa gig. This week, Nkonzo will see his name in lights with Comedy Central Presents Tats Nkonzo Live at Parker’s. Nkonzo and his guitar will be flanked by some of South African comedy’s stars. The man known as the Flying Dutchman, Afrikaans comedian Hannes Brümmer has been a member of Joe Parker’s Improv Express since 2005 and will be one of the acts on stage. Actor and radio presenter Darren Maule will reprise his stand-up mic on the night along with the rising comedy star who is fast becoming known for his one liners, Eureka Nkese.
To celebrate with the singing comedian, we asked Nkonzo to compile a playlist of the five songs that have become the soundtrack of his life.
Casanova – Celsius
I was in a duo at school, Celsius. My friend played guitar, I sang. We wrote this song and it was really good. Everybody loved it. I still have friends who sing it back to me to this day.
Mr. Wendal – Arrested Development
The first rap song I ever memorized. This song got me into hip-hop, which got me my street cred throughout primary and high school.
The theme song from The Terminator
Best soundtrack ever. Forget Mufasa dying in Lion King, I cried when Arnold went down into the hot larva in Terminator 2.
In This Moment – We Will Worship
I was listening to this song when I decided to resign from my job and become a full-time comedian.
The theme song from Martin
Martin Lawrence was the guy who introduced me to funny. I loved the show and the song made me happy. Before the show aired in South Africa, I’d never laughed that hard in my life, ever.
See Comedy Central Presents Tats Nkonzo viagra 100mg Live at Parker’s at Parker’s Comedy Club in Johannesburg on Wednesday November 27 at
Want to be part of the live audience? To win tickets to the gig, just leave a comment on our wall telling us just one of the songs from your life’s soundtrack!
The Brickfields Musical Festival steers clear of mainstream sounds. The left-of-centre line-up showcases alternative South African talent is a refreshing change from what has become the city’s standard Saturday night scene.
Multiple stages mean S
outh Africa’s musical innovators will be in one spot for one night: the notorious Carfax in downtown Johannesburg. Afrikaans punk rock band Van Coke Kartel, rapper Tumi and the afro-futurist himself Spoek Mathambo will share the Live Stage.
the Brickfields festival so exciting is that you move from amazing acoustic acts to getting lost in the electronic sounds of acts like Das Kapital on the Red Bull Sound System.
Deep house and techno lovers will certainly gravitate toward the TOY TOY stage. Electronica heavyweight Felix Laband headlines this stage with vocalist Monique Pascal and DJ Ivan Turanjanin get together to assume their Space Time Continuum guise.
The Mielie Beat Bar promises to unite beat slingers, hip hop turntablists and a solid line-up of drum ‘n bass DJs. Capetonian trio Mix ‘n Blend will share the stage with a trio of Jo’burg’s Tha Cutt, DJ Soosh and DJ Hamma. Brickfields is a chance for artistes to express their creativity outside of the norm but we think it’s the audience who will have an extraordinary Saturday night.
Stop by our comments section and tell us who you’re looking forward to seeing at the festival and we’ll give
you a set of double of tickets!
you a set of double of tickets!
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The marquees are down and the ramps folded up, but for four days the Mercedes Benz African Fashion Week created a whirlwind of fabrics, textures, prints and beautiful people. With dozens of African designers converging on Johannesburg it’s hard to pi
ck a favourite, but then again fashionistas
didn’t have to because they were spoiled for choice.
Every designer certainly owned this season’s African print trend. The continents rich fabrics have been splashed all over European and American collections for at least three seasons. Back in Johannesburg it was exciting and heartening to see African designers own their heritage and repurpose it for Africans of a next generation.
Mozambican designer Taibo Bacar was singled out by Vanity Fair’s style and fashion editor Michael Roberts for his collection. “The clothes were beautifully made and had a modern take on Africanism. Print was used with restraint,” said Roberts. Dismayed by the endless cocktail parties, the American critic was less than enthused by South African fashion’s love of bling. With a quick sashay, South African designer David Tlale brushed aside Roberts’ criticism saying international critics just didn’t get Africa. Fresh from New York Fashion Week, Tlale relied on his love of black to bring the drama.
As Tlale and his contemporaries prove, African designers don’t only have prints to offer the world. Ivorian designer Elie Kuame also brought his elegant artistry. The young designer has made his mark in Paris in only a few years and his clever use of prints, from dramatic skirts to leotards, maintains a dedication to his Ivorian and Lebanese roots. Congolese Tina Lobondi was equally elegant – her prints were daring in tulip and peplum skirts while her white shift dresses were clean with a bold applique.
Still, younger designers played with prints. Tanzania-born Johannesburg based designer Anisa Mpungwe’s use of prints was fun in shorts and dresses, but it was her simple blacks and whites that really caught the eye. Cameroonian designer Kibenon also made a splash with prints. The New York City-based designer came to Johannesburg with the mission to corner the South African market. Ever the smart businesswoman, Kibenon hooked slots on local television and newspapers.
Established designers didn’t pass on the chance to showcase their work at the still fledgling African Fashion Week. Veteran Zimbabwean designer Joyce Chimanye also brought her eco-friendly label Zuvva to Johannesburg. Chimanye created Zuvva, meaning “Sun” in Shona in 1994 and continues to export her countries print to the world in a contemporary cut.
South Africa’s grand dame of fashion, Marianne Fassler has been doing leopard print long before the animal print made its return a few seasons ago. This time she added trendy neon’s to her signature spots. Fassler’s plastic and wool crochet was a striking nod to a traditional local method.
With two decades of design of under her trendy belt, Nigerian Deola Sagoe told her African story through cuts rather than prints. With bold metallic, Sagoe recreated the traditional Nigerian silhouette with billowing sleeves and narrow
Feel free to drool over their collections here…
Taking us along on the journey to his third album, K’Naan has released a mini-documentary. The Somali-born rapper and musician’s latest offering Country, God or the Girl features verified Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Famers, Keith Richards and Bono
but it seems K’Naan is still coming to terms with his own super stardom.
In the seven minute documentary, K’Naan shares that once he moved to Toronto, Canada he learned English by absorbing Nas’ legendary album Illmatic verse by verse. Nas also makes an appearance on Country, God or the Girl, as does fellow Canadian pop star Nelly Furtado. The real moment that the impact of his success dawns on him is when K’Naan waves the Somali flag while performing his hit Waving Flag at the 2010 World Cup Opening Ceremony in South Africa. (Although the folk at This Is Africa pour cold water over the rapper’s current album, blaming this exact song for his effectively, falling off…)
The documentary’s most poignant moments come when the rapper also shares his first return to Mogadishu in nearly twenty years. He lands in the country of his birth during Somalia’s second worst famine since the 1980s but K’Naan draws on the hope of people struggling to survive and that’s ultimayely what he hopes the Country, God or the Girl will deliver.
The mini-documentary, produced in collaboration with Rolling Stone magazine is worth watching. We first learned about K’Naan’s short film via The Root.