About Akona



The Levi’s® Vintage Sundays gigs are currently underway in Johannesburg, taking music to the people in the intimate setting of Crazy 88 in Norwood. Now in its 5th season with an incredible line-up of a selection of South Africa’s most recognized artists; these weekly gigs have proven extremely popular due to the close-up and personal feel of the events which offer a wide range of diverse performances. This past Sunday 10th May included the legendary Pops Mohammed, Kwani Experience and Tumi live and unplugged.


Tumi is a speaker of fancy, the vanguard clairvoyant, one of South Africa’s brightest up and coming wordsmiths. He is an honest poet, an intuitive writer and responsible MC. His show on Sunday was such an experience. A collaboration with producer and beat maker – Peach fused an electro funk vibe with poetic lyricism which created a world unknown but exquisite and memorable. 


Kwani Experience brought the house down with tribal rhytms with soul and creativity. They also collaborated with Paps Mohammed (Whom I’d never heard of before). Pops started the night off, but it didn’t quite do it for me. Sounded like something you’d hear to soothe and relax during a spa day somewhere far away. Maybe he is an acquired taste. 

On Sunday 17 May, Levi’s® Vintage Sundays will be in full swing once more featuring a combination of the acoustic local band Apple Ann and traditional vernacular folk musician Bongeziwe. Recent SAMA winners and crowd favourites  340ml, will also join the bill this week.

Mozambican boys 340ml, recent SAMA winners are back on the scene with a brand new album, appropriately entitled “Sorry for the Delay”.  Their music is a mixed formula of various musical genres, from Dub to Jazz, Afro to Rave, Polka to Rock, and the list goes on, but the end product always sounds like 340ml

In the past five years the iconic jeans brand has hosted an incredible 160 shows all over the country and in May 2009; Levi’s® Vintage Sundays will enter its sixth year.  There have been many legendary performances, surprise collaborations; rock ‘n’ roll moments and eye-opening antics.  Our musical royalty, from across genres, has taken this opportunity to give some of their most memorable shows.  And it has always been for free, proving that the Levi’s® brand is committed to keeping Mzansi in touch with its musical icons, and ensuring that these stars connect with their fans.  

www.levi.co.za/MusicMag/

Thanks Levi’s

(Sunday’s are special again)


So Mr. ‘I’m too cool for school’ and I don’t answer questions at press conferences Akon is in town

He’s either on his way to Angola or back from there, but he’s here anyway. The highlight if his visit to South Africa is the sassy Lady Gaga accompanying him (or so they say.) Word on the street is that he’s also supposed to be launching a clothing line. Whatever.

So the convict who likened his ‘grand theft auto’ incarceration to that of struggle icon’s, Nelson Mandela, incarceration on Robben Island attended a party in his honour last night. Yeah right buddy. Unless you were stealing that car to get Obama out of trouble, I don’t think so. 

Anywhoo, The Akon party sans performance required fans to pay R150 to get into the lavish club Inc in Braamfontien to stare at the artist. I’m sure champagne was popped and the star-blinded sheep were dancing and singing along to Akon auto-tuned tracks and hoping to get a whiff of the superstar and hope to be remembered.  He is after all the ‘Prince of Africa’

Here’s the funny part – yesterday afternoon I got an email from MTV at 10am telling me (and many others) that we should rush to Soweto to be a part of Akon’s video shoot and ofcourse get a free concert (Starting at 11am)

Wait one minute folks… did ya’ll find out only yesterday that this would be happening? A source tells me that the shoot only started at 4pm, with fans having waiting all that time for their own shot at fame.

It is said that he’ll be singing the official 2010 Soccer World Cup anthem – cue auto tune. Save our ears!

No that you’ve read the whole Akon bashing saga; the only highlight of this post is that every time I type his name, I mistakenly add an additional ‘a’ which then spells my name. Akon+a= Akona. (even spellcheck wants me to spell my name)

cheerio



As usual, Miss thang has to crown someone with the hottest blog in town (one day I’ll crown myself)


So here it is: Jucy !!
Africa’s premiere celebrity gossip blog is on cyberspace.  With fun, witty, entertaining and informative posts, bringing celebrity news from around the continent and profiling some interesting people we know or should know. 

After perusing this fyne space of Mosaic, I welcome you to scoot over to the pink side of Jucy life.

www.jucy.co.za

This month we celebrate Africa Day. Unlike most special days that I don’t take this too seriously, because some of the things celebrated, if are important to you should be a part of your life everyday. Africa Day is a little different I guess, because it is celebrated in different ways around the world – All things African brought to the forefront and embraced and basically a showcasing of the continent’s history and culture through the arts. Lets just hope someone somewhere is learning a little bit more about ‘this far off place’ as Anderson Cooper calls it.


Other artists include Senegalese hip-hop pioneer Awadi, Benin’s Gang’be, South Africa’s own Gang of Instrumentals, the Soweto Gospel Choir and The Parlotones as well as some Lusophone flavor provided by Angolan, Yuri da Cunha.

And in other news: In recognition of another monumental African milestone, Africa Day will also serve as a countdown to the upcoming Confederations Cup, which is set to kick off in South Africa on June 14th – 28th. For 9 days during that period, Mary Fitzgerald Square will be transformed into the only official Confederations Cup Public Viewing Site, where soccer lovers can catch the matches on big screens and enjoy performances from local and international artists, for free, courtesy of the City of Joburg. The coincidence is especially meaningful in light of the fact that these soccer events are taking place on the African continent for the first time, and represent an opportunity for Africa’s humanity and intertwined heritage and future to shine. Soccer is a sport that every African nation has in common – it a huge unifier, and South Africa proudly declares ‘Ke Nako!’ It’s our time to host the world most prestigious soccer events! Thanks ArtZone

The Africa Day show on Mary Fitzgerald Square (Saturday, May 23rd) and is free to the public.



I did a shoot on Monday for the upcoming issue of Studio83 – The Travel Issue and this is a sneak peak of what is to come.


Still can’t believe it is me! As Gorgeous George says: Vanity is the new black

The Travel Issue is going to be hotter than hot. Look out for my article and lots more. 
Thanks to:
Photographers: Judd van Rensburg, Daz Tak
Art Director: George Gladwin Matsheke
Stylist: Mpumi Ntintili-Sinxoto
Make-Up: Diana
www.studio83.co.za


Two of my favourite artists will be the subject matter today. Both spiritual beings, who don’t follow the norm, believe in individuality, are well versed and poignant, sometimes go against the grain to challenge mediocrity and well, are just such amazing musicians. 

I love their music and will forever be a fan, but what I’d like to talk about are their coincidentally (dare say otherwise) similar latest album covers.

Both with such deep stories illustrated on them, and in a way, a preview to the mindset and probably what to expect. Clearly got a lot on their mind. Check this:

 

Erykah Badu – The New Amerykah  

This album is part one of four of this series, and her fifth album to

 date. This album was almost titled ‘Kahba’ which is the middle part of her name and surname put together. We love her for her realness, her personal and political lyrical content, how she makes her sounds carry you to far off places in wonder, crash you against sharp cliffs and dive down to deepest darkness places in your soul, blending hip hop and a few soul genres in her quest to express. 

 

and then we have, South Africa’s very own queen of roots.  

Thandiswa Mazwai – Ibokwe

Her second solo album; nine track offering composed and produced almost entirely by Miss Mazwai herself. Thandiswa, to me, is the sound of South Africa and speaks to me even more as a young black Xhosa woman. Ibokwe is a spiritual journey, her voice taking you with her, channeling ancient wisdom and opening her soul up to the world. Even without understanding isiXhosa you can feel in every cell in your body the reverberating passion and love and individuality. 

 

Both albums call you to invest time and explore the journey they take you, in no rush. Feel, they say, live they say, and let us show you the world!

One cover may have been inspired by the other or whatever, either way, on the illustrated cover front, this is my fav! Dudley& Georgia



Got this idea from fellow blogger Miss N-tertainment, who was tagged by someone else to do this. (I’m guessing recalling a memorable celeb meeting)

New York  – October 2008 my girl Hypress and I were out and about on our last Friday night in the the most amazing city in the world. After checking out a cool party held at the Museum of Natural History – apparently where Night at the museum movie was shot – we decided we needed hip hop in our lives. The trance electro vibe with expensive drinks behind a long queue at the bar just would not cut it for us. Our prayers were answered and a tip came our way to experience legend that is Qtip on the decks was our saving grace.

The club was Santos Party House in downtown Manhattan. A place we had heard nothing about before that very night, but I’m so very glad we went anyway. So took the subway, got off somewhere, walked about ten minutes (without fear of anything untoward happening) and were met with a long ass muh fuhking line. 

We reluctantly stood at the back and waited, the weather turning a little nippy and sexy outfits not holding up very well. 

Next thing we see a gorgeous pearl white Bentley pull up further ahead towards the door, followed by a black town car. Gorgeous women with legs that only God created with passion walked out with I’m only guessing here a big shot of some sort. They went straight to the door and disappeared into this place we weren’t even certain was happening. (Yes, we had our doubts)

Anywhoo, Hypress decides we need to do something about this, and we go ahead toward the entrance as if we own the city. To our surprise, the only way in is if the bouncers or whoever decides thinks you’re good enough to get in. Not that you can’t get in at all, just not immediately. Reminiscent of the high class bourgeois clubs of Moscow! In any case the hotness that is Hypress accompanied by little ol me are let in – we pay the $10 and navigate out way through the space. 

The first area was all things reggae – now there I have nothing against that, but that night I wasn’t looking to get down and diiiiirty like that. Reggae / Ragga can get a little crazy. 

After looking around  for a bit and finding the right door, we stepped right into heaven!!

Hip Hop heaven that is – and as promised QTIP was on the decks. 

I’d love to go on about everything, but must keep the story moving. I’ll skip meeting all the great DJ’s of the 90’s and 80’s we met like Bobbito, taking a pic with Q himself, seeing Busta double my usual size Rhymes, us sneaking into the VIP section and having the time of our lives!

What I will say though is bathroom breaks are essential kids – not for the obvious reason though.

During one of the bathroom visits, things changed a bit; people were moved off the VIP area for a special VIP’s arrival. We ofcourse had no idea this had happened, so returned to our cushy dancing area, barely noticing the change of faces around us. 

After 45 minutes of dancing with my back to the most gorgeous woman alive, I turned around and saw the claws. Yep, the infamous claw tats on her chest!! Eve!!!!!
Now whatever you, as a fan, imagine you would do when this moment happened, I did! Subtly though! We got our picture with her and she went on about how much she loved Cape Town, Joburg and Cape Town once we told her we were from South Africa, she gave us hugs and was very very nice. But I realise, even though I remember this day so well, she doesn’t even know my name. It doesn’t take away from the fact that  love Santos, love Eve and love New York for experiences such as that!






Holding it down with an arrogant yet honest slogan, they are too cool for school!

We’re Black, We’re Nerds, We’re a Network 


I found BNN twitter profile and immediately fell in love with the idea. (Love Twitter)

According to their site they are inspired by the premise of African people being known to celebrate ‘a ghetto lifestyle’ therefore for BNN as a form of liberation decided to celebrate ‘Nerddom’, and even taking it as far asking people to question their understanding or perception of being black and being a nerd.  It really is one of the coolest ways yet – by throwing negative conceptions back at society without ‘adapting to the negative stereotypical behaviour’ themselves.

BNN grew their pride and created ‘nerd gear’ which can be found and purchased on their website. From Tees to Totebags, you too can join the movement.










And it all began with two guys who had an idea and followed through with it. Awesome stuff, fantastic concept and just ultra coolness.

What inspired me mostly is the fact that The BLACK NERDS NETWORK is ‘far more than just a political orator, it has a sense of humour that encapsulates everything it is to be a NERD irrespective of colour, with a keen sense of fashion, arts, music, style, current and future trends.’

This is definitely a brand to keep an eye out for.

Now, how do I get them into South Africa…. Hmmm…. Business partners??

You can also follow the Black Nerds Network blog; filled with fashion, music, art and all things creative.

 



SAMA nomination event

Last night SAMA hosted the event to announce the official nominees for the 2009 MTN South African Music Awards to be held in May in Sun City.


Mind you, because I am only a socialite in my head for now, I didn’t crack an invite, but the Internet tells one a lot.

For example I find out that they didn’t announce all nominees – why I couldn’t tell you. My twitter friend didn’t know either. She did however disclose that Bad Boy is a smooth host and his presence was very well received. The food was delicious and the drinks were flowing, the venue comfortable and everthing very well coordinated – or so they tell me.

Now just imagine how much more I could have told you had I been cordially invited (an sms to come through would have done ha ha ha) 

Anywhoo….Today the full nominee list was released; a bit fluffy to say the least and not as comprehensive as I would imagine it should have been – but then again that would defeat the purpose of awarding the ‘crème de la crème’.

As with all awards though everyone and their cat has an opinion on how things should have been done, and who should have been chosen. On the MTN SA music awards facebook group there are mixed reactions plastered on the wall and discussion forums, mostly leaning toward the negative side on the nomination list. Call it jealousy, call it rubbish, or call it  ‘I know it all’ mentality. Whatever, it is what it is. Most people just like to hear themselves talk or read what they write (excl me ofcourse)

All I say is – This too shall pass. The awards will happen, Miss Fabuloso’s such as myself will write about it,  TV and radio stations will report on it, artists will gloat or bitch and life will go on. So here is to another reminder that time keeps moving! My award is in the shape of a martini glass!

Cheers!

Here is the phototstream from last night

MTN South African Music Awards will be held on 2 May 09 at Sun City

Broadcast Live on SABC 1 at 20:00