TRUE Africa were media partners with Soweto Street Culture Art Festival last weekend. Emmanuel Mutendji takes us behind the scenes, interviews some of the artists and asks South Africans what exactly street culture means to them.
With the spirit of African Day still running fresh on our minds, Soweto decided to pay homage to Mama Africa – and street culture. There’s clearly no better time to be African and the Soweto Street Culture Art Festival embodies this statement.
The day was filled with film screenings, flea markets, exhibitions and performances by some of South Africa’s most authentic artists like Khonaye, African Rhythm and Urban Village.
We managed to have a quick chat with one of those artists, Khonaye, post-performance. The Nomadic Tribe singer explained the importance of performing here: ‘Soweto is le’ Kasi (township). It feels like home.’
‘The fact that I can step foot in this historical place and perform to people who receive my music in such a beautiful way is humbling and overwhelming.’ I could tell from the look in her eyes that she was speaking from the soul.
I then asked her what song she absolutely adored performing and she immediately hit me with the ‘I love all of them’, grinning gracefully. Each song she performed felt like it held a very unique place in her heart, driven by passion, self-recognition and purpose.
Khonaye is definitely raising the bar high. Her debut album titled Garden of Songs – love that title by the way: very powerful – is available on iTunes and Google Play. Do show her some love on the social media too.
The night was still young and we spotted a couple of interesting looking people that we decided to ask a (not-so) simple question: what does street culture mean to them?
‘Being original. Staying true to yourself.’
‘Street culture is very broad, very different. It’s really undefined. It’s whatever you feel.’
‘Street culture for me is being free in everything you do. It is the ability to feel comfortable.’
Photography by @Alex_MK7
Find out more about the organisers behind the festival.