Ray Manzana, Beyond Visual Hype.

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Ray Manzana is a photographer and filmmaker who describes his work as being beyond the visual hype, storytelling is at the core of his creative expression. His portfolio boasts amazing photographic work with numerous artists including Frank Casino, Chiano Sky and Reason to name a few. Here’s a little bit on his journey as a creative.

“My environment inspires me, I feed off the energy, people, textures, taste. I like to use all my senses to draw inspiration from my surroundings and create a theme that indulges all the senses.

I try to capture the good and bad of life. I contrast a lot through my photography, for instance I could have a beautiful model captured in a somewhat toxic uninhabitable environment, that speaks to the realities that occur in life. My photography is centered around the ying-yang of life.

I’m not working on a particular big project at the moment, I’m working on various tv projects freelancing but in terms of my own creative projects I’m looking forward to creating a short film.

The next step for the creative industry is for creatives and artists to own their platforms and attain more resources. People need to pay creatives more as well, it can be really hard to survive as a creative off of your craft alone.

I’d encourge upcoming artist to remember that there is no right way or formula to creating art, stick to what feels most genuine to you.” – Ray Manzana

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Follow Ray on:

Twitter: @raymnzn
Instagram: ray_mnzn

Watch Video -> Ray Manzana, Beyond Visual Hype.

 

 

 

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Theto Maleka on her artistic journey and Rata Rata Store.

Theto Maleka is a filmmaker, musician, digital strategist and the founder of the art, fashion, travel agency and ultimate creative hub Rata Rata Store. This creative on the move shares a piece of her artistic journey with us.                                                                                                    
“I started making film while traveling and working in Asia for 3 years. One of my close friends was a skater and he used to get me to film him most times. I worked at a production company and met some really cool creatives. I worked on a couple of big features during pre production like Kong Skull Island, Kick Boxer, Transformers 3, Avengers, Prayer Before Dawn. This exposed me to the entire format of film making even though I wasn’t schooled to do film. I was mentored by Nic and Shawn Simon from Indochina Productions on how to survive the industry. I got chosen as one of the 20 digifiers in Johannesburg in 2016 and got trained by Google x Livity Africa  on how to work smart online.

 

Music is my happy place. I discovered my talent for it at a New Years beach party on at one off my favoirite live music spots Jambay. I jumped on stage and sang for a good 2 hours, people where dancing and singing along and that kind of grew my confidence in my voice. I also sing to some of my producer friends beats, I’m still discovering my sound. Its really difficult to define myself as a creative because I do what I love to be honest. I take my time in my creative process. I always share when I feel like I am ready.

 

My work is super pre-meditated and won’t always make sense to everyone. I share from a broken place and sometimes I just share to inspire the next kid who might be going through a lot.

I’m currently working on a making more video projects, some music and I’m working on running a volunteering program with Hero Holidays.

The arts and culture industry needs to assign proper management teams for upcoming artists and more investments need to be made in order to pay artists well.

I’d encourage upcoming creatives to do what they love and stay debt free. Its ok to be yourself. Take your time perfecting your craft. Fuck Drugs, just kill em with the sauce.

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Follow Theto on:

Twitter: @madintruder |@rataratastore

Instagram: madintruder | rata rata store

Facebook: Rata Rata Store

Wath Video -> Theto Maleka on Rata Rata Store.

 

Hip-Hoper Nation: Workshop in Mautse-Rosendal, Free State 16 June 2018, Youth Day.

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Mautse, Rosendal. Free State.

The concept for Hip-HoperNation, a Hip-Hop Co-Operative dedicated to the promotion, support and excellence in the Art and Culture of South African Hip-Hop, originally took hold and launched its first project in the Eastern Free State village of Mautse-Rosendal. It felt apt that we should return a year later to expand on our Community Outreach and Social Responsibility mandate.

The village hosts an annual Auction, an exciting and fun fund-raising event, in aid of various local upliftment programs. The December 2017 Auction raised money to start a Conservancy, to aid the natural and living environment, focusing on eradicating water intense alien vegetation, planting indigenous trees, picking up and recycling rubbish, and training inhabitants regarding the fragile ecology. The positive outcomes include providing wood to those in need, raising the water table and increasing biodiversity – all crucial given human-made climate change. Residents and visitors are requested to donate an article or service for Auction. Hip-HoperNation donated a ‘Youth Hip-Hop Event-Workshop’, which was purchased by Rosendal Resident, Douglas Mason.

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On Youth Day, the 16th of June 2018, Hip-HoperNation collaborated with the SAPS and the Community Policing Forum in hosting their Youth Day celebrations. We compromised a team of four Hip-Hop Artists, Slabsta, Esam, Prism and Brigid, with the combined skills for writing, creation, production performance, mixing, mastering and filmmaking. The event included live performances of music by Slabsta and Esam, as well as local youth performers, “Mautse Cash-Flow”, and Youth Group Dancers. On Sunday the 17th, The team met with D.J. Lane (Sgt Jacob Mallane), Canada and King ‘Lil Kay. We spent the day discussing Hip-Hop and its creative process. The team worked together in workshopping, writing lyrics, laying beats and instrumentals, singing, rapping and recording a new song entitled, “Sacred Water”.

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Mautse Cashflow

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Esam

Hip-HoperNation proudly presents the results of this youth driven, rights-based, musical collaboration, a work of passion, love, talent, hard-work and honest self-expression.

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Watch Video -> Hip-Hoper Nation: Workshop in Mautse-Rosendal, Free State 16 June 2018.

Written by Brigid Schutz.

Photography by Brigid Schutz.

Desperation.

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You reek of desperation, said the worn out image of my once youthful self in the mirror. The same mirror I had picked out with so much enthusiasm had now become my enemy, I cannot recognise the girl staring back at me no matter how hard I try. My hollow eyes desperately seeking to see a bit oh heaven and freedom, my skin barely keeping it together, and my smile, that once lit up the room has become nothing more than a painted red marked smile of a sad clown.

When did I become this person, when did I give up?

Whe shower can’t seem to wash away all the sins I’ve committed I suppose I was warned that only Jesus can wash away sins. Prayer a distant thought and a memory of small child still pure. No matter how much Listerine I use, I can’t seem to wash out the cigarette and alcohol taste of my recent lover sprawled over my bed.

What happened to me?

I crawled back into the sheets, seeking warmth from the motionless heart of my suiter. I knew from the onset he knew not what love is yet my desperate heart accepted the less he offered, I thought I knew better? I guess I was tired, of sleeping alone, not having a date to all my friend’s weddings, always that one friend you couldn’t double date with, and being the one who befriended wine cellars and strip clubs, with a closet full of sex toys to raise stimulation in my heart that doesn’t know how to beat anymore. I guess my career can’t keep me warm at night after all.

I tainted my own aura.
The nightmares that sleep with me seem to be more alive during the day than night. I can’t keep popping pills to kill the voices in my head consuming my sanity, and yet I lie here, every night next to a being whose sole purpose for my life is destruction. Why did I not listen when he said he ain’t no good for me? I tried to change him, but instead I became him and slowly the worms of his deceit have been eating at me from the inside out; all along thinking its time I picked out my casket and my headstone, because behind all this make-up and perfect hair, I’m merely a walking corpse.

You reek of desperation.
I have opened up my legs more times than I have walked this earth simply to fill a void inside me, but the warmth I welcomed still kept me cold. With each orgasm I died further, the thrill of life leaving my soul with every sweat kissing the pillow, my heart out of sync with my spirit. I did this to myself I keep saying. Drink more and numb the pain, my worth has diminished, my sheets will never become clean, tainted by the self-induced miscarriages to keep him by my side.
You reek of desperation.
My worn out body screaming pick me in brothels and drunk yards, my saintly being washed away by the waters of Gomorrah and Sodom, doubt Jesus can save this soul. Redemption is a far cry; I bet you when he took the keys from hell, clearly my soul was already trapped there. The preachers have laid their hands on me casting out the demons of my poor choices, blaming the devil for my actions, blinded by the unknown reality of a non-existing self-love. Dear Jesus, please come down.

You reek of desperation.
Broken virgin vows a constant reminder when he penetrates without my consent, purity a far cry. All I seem to know so well lately is the river of bed of men whose name I can barely pronounce that I have made my comfort. My mother birthed a whore, no use denying it. I guess I could hope a little, that perhaps when the rain stops pouring and the rainbow peaks from the cloud, a bit of the colours will shine upon my 50’s black and white life film, I am exhausted by the desperate need to belong and find peace. Dear Jesus, can you hear me, they said you are real, I’m waiting.

I reek of desperation.

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Written by Amogelang Lekwadu.

Photography by Brigid Schutz.

PBLO Mokwena.

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PBLO Mokwena (21) is a visual and physical Storyteller, her diligence and discipline reflect in her craft through her high quality productions. True to photography, this creative on the move defines herself as a source of light.

“My love for visuals was ushered in by my family, they always had a camera to capture special occasions and holidays. That influenced my passion, I’m inspired by raw emotions, authenticity and music.

I strive to capture moments as they are, naturally beautiful, whether it be Events, Performances or Behind The Scenes of A Set.

I can’t say much about my current upcoming projects because it’s a surprise for the public, but it involves an army of strong women with poms, collaborating with a respected artist.

The visual storytelling industry needs to unite and come back to the rawness of what South African Art is. We should also aim to produce extremely high quality content, and learn to break away from the comfort of working with the same people.

I’d encourage upcoming artists to not depend on others to teach you or put you on, learn as much as you can and build yourself. Make those necessary sacrifices, whatever they are, and always remain positive. Your hard work never goes unnoticed and trust me when I say you are inspiring someone by merely doing what you love and giving it your all.” – PBLO Mokwena

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Follow PBLO on:

Instagram: pblo_lente
Twitter: @pblo_lente

Photography by Bonolo Manoto