Artists who blew us away with their creativity in 2017.


2017 was nothing short of innovation and raw emotion and our fellow creatives on the move gave us a dose of talent displayed through unique art. Here are the creatives who blew us away with their art in 2017:

Ray Manzana

Ray is a photographer, filmmaker and the founder of Beyond Visual Hype, whose visuals are as crisp and dynamic as they come. 2017 saw him work with Redbull, Kandy Koated Music and Terry Pheto.

Sisanda Buthelezi

Sisanda Buthelezi is a visual artist whose paintings shines light on everyday societal ills. She is currently working with a gallery in London, The London Art Merchants on an art dealership.


The vibe goddess herself served us with her rich RnB alternative sounds that you can’t help but move to. She was featured on SABC 1’s Brothers and Sisters of Soul, and recently took to the KFC Soundbite stage to show us that she is a force to be reckoned with.

Odirile Motsiri

Odirile Motsiri is a visual artist whose unique ethnic paintings are highly coveted. He held his 1st solo exhibition named Identity in 2017.


Rapper and Producer I.T.E had us jamming all year long with his 7:30 como EP. He’s worked alongside Rouge and Saddiq Ali M. He’s a rising star about to take over the rap game.

Natalie Paneng

Miss Hello Nice herself kept us tuned to her Youtube channel with her Series “Hello Nice” that explores the everyday life of an alternative, quirky art Queen. We’re looking forward to seeing what she has in store for us next.

Maira Wolfe

Mother of the Wolves had us howling along to her melodic poetry everytime she took to the stage. Not only that but the writer nubbed five publications under her real name Michelle Mooka and currently working on her sixth to add to her author title in 2017.

Lehlogonolo Ntsoko

Jazz Quintet Lehlogono Ntsoko spent the year on the road alongside the biggest names in the South Aftican contemporary Jazz world.

Theto Maleka

The founder of Rata Rata Store found herself adding on to the Rata Rata name with her upcoming launch in Tubatse, South Africa. The creative and her travel and culture hub have been at the forefront of creative spaces.

Woke Arts #WokeExperience.


Hosts Ebenhaezer Dibakwane and Dineo WhereThereIsSmoke.

On the 1st of October 2017 at Railways Cafe in Irene Pretoria, art lovers and enthusiasts gathered for another highly anticpated Woke Arts event #WokeExperience. The art community challenged its new and resident artists to come together to create performance pieces through collaboration of different art forms.

The Woke Arts community snatched us from our seats elevated us to the next level and delivered us back in a higher vibration with a well curated showcase and elaborate performances. A more than memorable moment for alternative culture lead by talented Musicians, Dancers, Poets and Visual Artists.

The line up consisted of Woke resident performers and those familiar with the Woke stage Kat Upendi, STY7EZ, Ruse, Maira Wolfe whose melodic poetry had us howling along, uThandolwethu, Daniel Nthambeleni, Antenim, Lungelo Manzi, Hosi K, Iindirhe, Dipalesa, ToeSessions who’s lyricism can only be described as godly, Kantona music of which I am convinced invented harmonizing, Shaka Shoelu, Sixghost and Skitz. Some new faces to the mix included our very own Slabsta and Hannah Van Tonder. With closing performances by Gyre and a special performance from The Social Markets’ Maitele Wawe. The experience featured visual art displays by NotDarren, Sisanda Art and Pharo T.


uThandolwethu and Ruse.

We’re always thrilled to see artists thrive doing what they love. The Woke Arts community has showed once again that there is power in unity in the arts and that love is indeed the highest vibration. We are definitely looking forward to what the Woke Arts movement has in store for us next.

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Photography by KeGoBellah.

Watch Video -> Woke Arts #WokeExperience.


August House, The Artists Playground.


August House, The Artists Playground is a Light-Industrial building which has been converted to a network of artist and production spaces. It currently houses some of the biggest names in the South African Contemporary Visual Art world.

On the 30th of July 2017, August House hosted an Open Studio group exhibition which allows the audience and art enthusiasts to engage with art in the artists spaces. With four floors of of artist spaces to explore and a showroom for the group exhibition, The Artists Playground is definitely the go to place for an exploration of the South African Art landscape.




Watch Video -> August House, Open Studio’s 30 July 2017.

La Voyage by BlaqnWhyte Pictures.


Levoy ‘Veli’ Dlamini, well known as Paragon Art, is a 23 year old Fine Artist from Soweto, whose life, from birth has been largely influenced by his surroundings and for him it is the reflective nature of his lifestyle that make the concepts behind his art more profound.

La Voyage is a short documentary that gives us a glimpse into the lifestyle and shows us the endeavours one goes through in the pursuit of perfecting their craft. In this film we follow the journey of an artist coming from humble beginnings, who overcomes obstacles in order to break through into the industry.

“His portraits didn’t just become portraits…they became portraits of the type of people he can relate to as an artist…based on what he’s aspiring to be” – Thabiso Phosa

“I think our circle…were the first to see that type of development of an artist.” –Ofentse Seshabela

Words received from close friends and fellow colleagues of Levoy as they describe their first experience/s of Mr Paragon Art. The story also reflects a first time experience for the artist at the Grahamstown Art Festival 2016, which can be described as a captivating moment of enjoyment.

Watch Full Documentary ->  La Voyage by BlaqNWhyte Pictures

Stay Woke!


We’re Original Kreatif Enlightened (WOKE)

“Being an artist is disrupting the system or compromising your art to submit to the system in this country.”

On a Sunday afternoon we headed out to the cosmopolitan area of Johannesburg to the Firehouse Gallery to experience a disruption of system through the conscious art movement, Woke Arts; a movement that originated from Pretoria.

A platform that enables creatives to interact and showcase their talent and craft, but further more collaborate and network. The tour to Jozi was to highlight the purpose of a movement being to stay moving and to pay homage to artists and art lovers of Jozi, who for the first year of Woke Arts travelled to Pretoria to support the initiative.

Sunday, the 30th of April revealed the energy and forces that erupt when artists gather for a cause, that is to enliven and feed souls.The entrance area was draped in artworks from the finest photographers to painters, and illustrators​, all of which aligned with the show that was sectioned in three; The Mind, being a poetry sessions that gave us mostly strong and proud Black Women who were fearless in delivering their words, their thoughts, strengths and sorrows without a hint of fear. The Body, that featured banging mixes from the likes of Nouvaux, and The Soul, powerful performances by musicians who’s souls bare passions and fluidity among many things.

“Woke arts is the reviving of our own identity within the arts, a career path for the African artists and the development of an identity, a style and united movement that is truly African in its identity.” – STY7ES, founder of WOKE Arts.

Unity among the artists and audience is the note that we witnessed at #WokeJozi, that alone was art to behold.

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Watch Video -> Stay Woke!

Written by Maira Wolfe

The gospel with Sipho Mbatha.


Ismanya Productions is a production company and art house that strives to showcase and places true value in artist’s talent as opposed to their background and social standing. Ismanya Productions was founded in Kwa-Zulu Natal and has now expanded to Johannesburg. Our first encounter with the art house was when we were introduced to their hip-hop artist Sequence. The company has since set out to further explore the arts scene and searched for deep raw talent in their founding home town.

Ismanya Productions took Pongola by storm by hosting their very first event to launch the gospel artist Sipho Mbatha’s debut album Izulu Livuliwe. This initiative was a first step to restore the value of arts and culture in Pongola.

Sipho Mbatha was born and raised in uPongola, Kwa-Zulu Natal and is currently based in Durban. He started singing in the 1980’s, drawing inspiration from the likes of Vuyo Mokoena. The gospel artist is a local favorite in Pongola and is still on the rise to spread the gospel and showcase his talent.

“We decided to work with Sipho and help him in his journey, we saw his talent and looking at Pongola as a whole, the people and artists don’t have access to many resources and facilities and the infrastructure isn’t too great either. According to our research we also found that there is no Gospel artists in Pongola.” – Bongs, one of the co-founders of Ismanya Productions.

In an effort to further enhance the quality of album launch. Ismanya reached out to two radio DJ’s Mas J and Thembekile from Umkhondo FM. Bringing together two provinces in the name of art.

We are looking forward to Sipho Mbatha’s next album and more from Ismanya Productions.

Watch Video -> Sipho Mbatha Album Launch

For more info:

071 765 7733 (Bongs)

The Heavy Drum King – Thabzen Bibo.


To be a producer you must have an imagination vivid enough to create something from nothing, and that is exactly what Thabo Mashego did, he is better know as Thabzen Bibo the DJ and Producer. He has worked alongside big names in the house music scene, including the likes of DJ Qness, Cuba and Demor to name a few. We had the chance to meet The Heavy Drum king himself and got to know a little more about how he pioneered and broke into the South African house music scene.

When did you start making music and when did the journey start, and what made you start making music? “I started making music in 2010, what made me start making music is my love and passion for music, and I’ve always wanted to be in the entertainment industry.”

What have you learned along the journey about what it takes to be a successful musician? “I have learned that dedication and hard work is the way to make it in the music business.”

What would you say about the current state of house music in SA? “I feel like South African house music talent is growing and is quite impressive, but people lack in the business side of the work, which is also something that should be taken seriously, but other than that I think on the production side we improving every year.”

What advice would you give an up and coming house musician in South Africa? “I would advise them to go to school, get educated and find a proper job then follow music as a hobby.”

What’s next for Thabzen Bibo, what can we expect next in the journey, any upcoming projects? “I’m currently working on my album that’s dropping in 2017, my documentary is already available on the net, on youtube. My first single from the album is titled “Nguwe ft Lihle” will be out soon on Itunes so be on the look out!”

We definitely will be on the lookout to catch the hits the The Heavy Drum King will keep us on our feet next.

Watch the Thabzen Bibo story documentary here -> Thabzen Bibo – The Heavy Drum King.

Follow Thabzen Bibo on:

Facebook: Thabzen Bibo

Youtube: Thabo Mashego

Written by Kea Mooka.

Ambassador on the move.

Grace Mudyazhezha is a Law Student and former Artizens of Joburg ambassador. She is passionate about modelling and fashion. Her sense of style and go getter personality pushes her to create her own world where fashion and law collide.

“I do what I do because I believe in capturing moments and creating a legacy of memories. Pictures speak to me because they portray my mood and character. In my journey as a creative I’ve learnt that people lose a lot of time trying to be what they are not, at the expense of being themselves. One should never neglect what they can be. To all up and coming creatives remember to be original, bring something new to the table and don’t always follow trends.”

Find Grace on :

Facebook: Fafie Graciey

Twitter: @tineygracey

Instagram: tineygracey