Im fatigué s’il vous plaît faites que ça s’arrête -Yeoville Day 23

“I’m tired, please make it stop”

BROMANCE: The two people that made my project happen in Yeoville. Yes, they are a 'pain in the arse' sometimes but Mkhululi Thabetha (left)and Bukhosi Mncube (right) thank you for your help and your patience. Photo: Lutho Mtongana

BROMANCE: The two people that made my project happen in Yeoville. Yes, they are a ‘pain in the arse’ sometimes but Mkhululi Thabetha (left) and Bukhosi Mncube (right) thank you for your help and your patience. Photo: Lutho Mtongana

Just when you think you are done, your feature mentor has one more round of drafts for you and your multimedia mentor sends you back to the field to re-shoot. Now, the problem with this is not the editing or re-arranging of paragraphs to make your written piece flow better, because that’s pretty much what a journalists life is supposed to be like, nor is it the re-shooting because well, if you want to do TV production for the rest of your life, you just need to suck it up and get on with it (shooting). The problem here is the energy, the patience and the time, the energy you take begging people to stand in front of the camera, the patience you need to have when people can’t stop fidgeting when you ask them to be still and the little time you have to shoot everything keeping in mind that you have to make it all come together, perfectly.  That’s the ‘pain in the arse’ part about this job. Unlike lawyers, we don’t wait for people to come to us to tell their story, unlike doctors, we don’t pray you get sick so you pay a us a visit you need to because its a matter of life and death and we are certainly not like engineers where there a great need for us because we posses a rare skill.

No, we have to run after you, chase you down and when we finally convince you to tell your story, we hope and pray that you will cooperate and not leave us in the cold the moment we turn our backs to adjust the sound in the sound recorder or to pick up our notebooks filled with all the questions we want to ask you.

Today was one of those ‘pain in the arse days’ Percy’s person did not show up, then when my people did, it was hard to keep them still, they were fidgeting, they were taking smoke breaks, they were taking their sweet time, they were just not listening to me. When Percy’s person finally showed up, atleast I was done with my part. Here’s the thing though, Percy’s person was late yet he was the the one threatening us with time, saying he will leave if we don’t get to him in time. Howu…even when it’s not our fault we still have to take the blame and suffer the consequences if we disobey. So Lameez, Percy and I had to run from one end of Yeoville to the other, in the heat, carrying all the equipment and putting up with our tired and swearing personalities, fuck you, fuck this, fuck in-depth, this is torture, I can’t take this shit no more, fuck you for not focusing the first time around, fuck you for not marking the audio, fuck the rain when we are till busy shooting outside, fuck, fuck fuck, fuck and you know its bad when Lameez, calls kids who accidentally and innocently bump into her or the equipment “little shits”, lol.

Wow…These days just keep on getting worse ey.

faites que ça s'arrête
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Last stretch- Yeoville Day 20

Today, Lameez and I went to Berea after our little trip was unproductive yesterday. Everyone got there on time and we got to shoot the last part of my video. Once again I got the honour of spending time with Junior Sokhela, from Boom Shaka. I have to say, the man is one of the most humble people I have ever met in my life. He is not only humble, he is funny and smart too.

I introduced Bee-kay, Bukhosi Mncube, one of the upcoming rnb and hip-hop artists of Yeoville to him and they worked together on a song Bee-kay is currently working on. Junior Sokhela gave Bee-kay great advise on what to look out for as an artist and how to create music and poetry that is timeless.

JUST MIXING: Bee-kay working on his new song loyal with Junior in Junior Sokhela's studio in Berea.

JUST MIXING: Bee-kay working on his new song loyal with Junior in Junior Sokhela’s studio in Berea. Photo: Lutho Mtongana

Phumzile Nqgonde is a musician and a producer. I went to see him a two or three days ago and he made me listen to one of his amazing songs about the history of artists in SA. Basically the song is about when you kill an artist, another one rises.

“Bahambile”— Dedicated to all the SA musicians

“Bahambile, Siyobakhumbula, masimanyaneni, ukuthi iindustry izokhula. [They’re gone, we miss them, let’s unite so the industry grows]

Bahambile Siyobakhumbula, masimanyaneni ukuthi iindustry izokhula. [They’re gone, we miss them, let’s unite so the industry grows]

Masibakhapheni balale ngoxolo. [Let’s accompany them to the other side so that they rest in peace]

Umabethath’ uMaBree, uLebo uyakhula, [when they take Brenda Fassie, Lebo Mathosa rises]

ispirithi asipheli omunye uyakhula. [The spirit and the fire does not burn out, another one will grow]

Umabethath’ uTK, uLira uyakhula, [when they take TK, Lira rises]

noma befun’ uthath’ uKelly uTshomi uyakhula, [even when they take Kelly, Tshomi rises]

nabomuntuza abancane, nabo bayakhula... [even the young artists who are still kids are also starting to rise/grow]

Umabethath’ uJabu Khanyile, uRingo uyakhula, [when they take Jabu Khanyile, Ringo Madlingosi rises]

Umabethath’ uMahlathini, uKhemisi uyakhula. [when they take Mahlathini, Phuz’ eKhemisi rises]

Umabethath’ uMfazi Omnyama uHashe uyakhula, [when they take uMfazi Omnyama, Hashe Elimhlophe rises]

Umabethath’ uKhabuzela, uSbu uyakhula.” [when they take DJ Khabuzela, DJ Sbu rises]

All the artists listed in this poem/song have done and produced different kinds of music, from kwaito, to house, to RnB and soul, to traditional music. The song just shows the legends of SA artists and that as much as entertainment and music is seen as a dying industry in SA, new artists will always carry on the legacy and great works of many artists who have passed on.

One distinct thing that I have picked up about Yeoville and the artists there, is that their music is really timeless. I’ve listened to a lot of songs and poems because of this in-depth journey I have embarked on and I have to say, the songs I heard, I definitely see myself listening to it a couple of years from now. In these three weeks of being in and out of Yeoville I found myself listening to old-school local music consisting of jazz, kwaito, afro-pop and traditional music. Really took a break from my american artists and went back to learning about the history of SA and of music.

THE VIEW: Lameez Omarjee enjoying the view from Junior Sokhela's studio. Taking in the air after a long day of shooting. Photo: Lutho Mtongana

THE VIEW: Lameez Omarjee enjoying the view from Junior Sokhela’s studio. Taking in the air after a long day of shooting. Photo: Lutho Mtongana

Now, I’m anxious I need to check all my footage tomorrow just to make sure that nothing is out of focus or nothing needs extra-shooting, because I missed something important. I’m supposed to feel a little relieved, I do, but not entirely. I know that the last stretch, which is putting everything together next week will be a pain. All I want is to be done. It was great but now I know that I’d rather be the editor of the video than the person going out everyday to shoot it.

Bailing out- Yeoville Day 18

Vox pops are one of the easiest things a journalist can do, so I’ve been told. But walking around in the wind in and around the recreational centre looking for people to share their opinions in front of a camera is no child’s play. People have been silenced too much it’s scary to even share a personal view on churches. That was part one of bail-outs we Lameez, Percy and I experienced today. People are not afraid to share their opinions but the minute you mention ‘camera’ it’s like you put a duck-tape on their mouths.

Then the usual happened again, contacts stop picking up their phones, you go and search for them and they give you run-around and appointments you think you’ve secured cancel on you on the exact hour you’re supposed to meet. That was my day today.

The best part of this project for me though is not the in-depth, shooting and journalism part of it, it is the laughter, the venting, the sharing of food, equipment and the growth of friendships, well, those which work, lol.
So after my interview Lameez, Percy and I had to wait for three hours at McDs for a night shoot. We laughed, we vented, we each gained two small fries and vanilla coned ice-cream worth of McDonalds calories. The best part was the conversation, which was filled with future hopes and dreams, and the reflection of past dreams and ridiculous career choices and most importantly the open-eyed prayer we had before walking out in the dark, dusty and windy street of Yeoville.

PRE-SUPPER: Waiting to shoot at 19:00 at night in cornerstone church we decided to indulge in unhealthy supper.  Photo: Lutho Mtongana

PRE-SUPPER: Waiting to shoot at 19:00 at the cornerstone church we decided to indulge in an unhealthy supper option at McDs. Photo: Lutho Mtongana

BOREDOM RESULTS: When the conversation went try, serveittes and a pin did the trick. Photo: Lutho Mtongana

BOREDOM RESULTS: When the conversation went dry, serviettes and a pin did the trick, so I draw this. Photo: Lutho Mtongana

That is the best part of this course I’ll miss after all of this chaos… The warm and genuine friendships.

The wrong side of the bed- Yeoville Day 17

It’s 19:30 o’clock Lameez, Anazi and Tendai  and I are busy blogging and moving a days work of footage from the cameras to the computers.

Tendai Dube: “What was the first wrong thing we did today?”

Robyn Kirk: “We woke up!” 

I totally agree with that response because from the minute I got out of bed, everything went wrong. I hurt my finger trying to close the shower door.And my index finger was ruined for the whole day. Anyway, so I check up on Lameez and Percy because because they were going to help me out with my video. Percy had to cancel with me and apologise for not coming to help. This was not  because she had other commitments, this was solely because she was so broke she could not leave the house. Because of the lack of equipment, people are being inconsiderate and inconveniencing others.Relationships are getting tense and its getting ugly quickly. I have to negotiate with myself on whether I should buy bread for my eggs and bread supper or save cash for going to Yeoville. Then it hit me, this in-depth thing is just not working out for me. Relationships are getting tense unnecessarily, I’m getting mad at people when its not even their fault. And I know the fights and arguments are only getting started, seventeen of us (my class) still have to share five Mac computers next week. I think this is all just unnecessary stress all packed in one month. I just want it all to stop now.

Anyway, apart from all the administrative glitches. Lameez and I had a great day with Yeoville artists. It was my day to shoot and yes, a lot of things went wrong, it rained, people were late, others were refusing to be on camera and others were just not corp-orating. But I guess I did all I could in a day.

Calm as a cucumber- Yeoville Day 14

 HOLY BIBLE: Lameez and I were shooting a video of her character at the Cornerstone church in Yeoville. Photo: Lutho Mtongana

HOLY BIBLE: Lameez and I were shooting a video of her character at the Cornerstone church in Yeoville. Photo: Lutho Mtongana

Waking up at 07:00 am in the morning is a bitch especially when you slept at 4:30 am because you were helping your little sister with her last minute math assignment. But it all becomes worth it when you see your work (Well, in this case Lameez’s work) come together. Today, I went to Yeoville with Lameez and Luke (Thank you Luke for driving us so early in the morning) to shoot a video for Lameez’s multimedia project. It went well. And of cause I got to enjoy Hillsong music and a chilled cornerstone church service. I haven’t been to church in a while.

Something hilarious happened while we were interviewing her people after the service. So church is over and Lameez finds an interesting guy to interview. His name is Amos and he has quite the wife. Now they were in a rush to go home because apparently Amos’s sister was coming over for lunch. Lameez has a long list of questions to ask Amos yet he needed to rush home. Now it gets interesting because you would expect Lameez to rush through the questions so that Amos rushes to his wife and home to his sister. But Lameez takes her sweet time asking the questions, she was calm as ever. It was the calmest I have seen her for the first time, at the wrong time actually. She usually panics a lot, unnecessarily most of the time. But this time, she was necessarily supposed to have panicked, but she was calm as a cucumber.

Now Amos’s wife can see all of this because she was sitting at the back of the car watching the interview and how (the stupid Wits students couldn’t care less about her impatience). Lameez couldn’t care less about how late they were running, all she wanted was her interview. So Amos’s wife starts shouting; “Amos Amos, we need to go, your sister is waiting for us!” What was worse was that Amos was enthusiastic about the interview and he too was in the same chilled and calm element Lameez was in.

Amos’s wife started screaming; “Give us the car keys and we leave you here for your interview then”. She jumped out of the car and started searching her husband for the car keys. Now, keep in mind that, to Amos and Lameez, the woman (wife) was completely invisible. The interview continued smoothly with no rush, while she was busy pick-pocketing her husband for the car keys. Oh by the way, it turned out that Amos did not even have the car keys. When the wife went back to the car, the interview was done and Amos got into the car and they drove away.

Well, the rest of the day was not Yeovile.

“Let’s just hang”- Yeoville Day 13

Today was ‘hangout with the character day’ for me. I wish everyday at Yeoville was like this. Where we just chill and get to know each other better. Where its not about interviews or getting a good picture but about forming friendships and just purely networking with people. My initial character was hard to pin down, its like he decided we should play a “catch me if you can game” but I was running out of time and he was hard to crack in just three weeks. So, I found a new character and today was about him; his life, his friends and his element.

Bee-Kay: The upcoming young artist writes poetry and performs it as RnB or Hip-hop. He has been writing music and poetry since 2007. Photo: Lutho Mtongana

EASY CHILLIN’: The upcoming young artist Bee-kay, writes poetry and performs it as RnB or Hip-hop. He has been writing music and poetry since 2007. Photo: Lutho Mtongana

Bukhosi Ngcobe, otherwise known as Bee-Kay  is from Botswana. He arrived in South Africa in 2004 for educational purposes. He sees himself as an RnB artist and a poet, but he is now exploring Hip hop. He writes about his day to day experience and the things he sees around him. When his dad passed away in 2007, he wrote a poem called “Memories are Golden”

Memories are Golden

They say memories are golden, well maybe that is true,

But I never wanted memories, I only wanted you.

A million times I needed you when a million times I cried, 

If love alone could have saved you, you never would have died.

In life I loved you dearly and in death I love you still,

In my heart you hold a place that no-one could ever fill. 

If tears could be the stairway, then my heart could connect us,

where I ride a plane into heaven just to bring you back again… 

After his father’s death, he wrote this poem and since then, he has never went back. His father’s death evoked his love for music and poetry. This year, he has been focusing on his music and trying to finish his first album. Apart from music and poetry, Bee-Kay plays pool and hangs out with his two best friends and his MC crew. They meet once a week at the Rasta house to share and sometimes battle each other by ‘freestyle spitting’, which is to come up with spoken words at a go using a certain word or phrase that is thrown at you by another MC.

“I’m running out of eggs”- Yeoville Day 10

It’s 20:00 and we (Lameez, Percy, Rofhiwa, Luke and I) are patiently, impatiently actually, sitting at Tandoor, waiting for the ‘Open Mic’ session to start. The music is insanely loud, the whole place is steaming of weed and the stage that was supposed to be occupied by artists looks like this…

EMPTY STAGE: At the House of Tandoor, Open Mic Wednesdays was empty and the place was only blasting mixed reggae music. Photo: Lutho Mtongana

EMPTY STAGE: At the House of Tandoor,Yeoville, Open Mic Wednesdays was empty and the place was only blasting mixed reggae music. Photo: Lutho Mtongana

The place only has two girls who can’t get enough of the mixed reggae music. We are sitting in a round table shouting at each other in conversation because it is the only way to have a conversation in the loud noise surrounding us. We start talking about how stressful in-depth is and how behind we are with our drafts. Eventually, the conversation dies and I start thinking about how messed up my body system is because of in-depth. So I start shouting, “I’m running out of eggs”, What? Percy says, “I’m running out of eggs”, I tell them. I don’t know when last I had a decent meal. I have been eating bread, eggs and coffee for the past three days. This morning my stomach showed me flames and I had to clean it up. But what am I cleaning really when I went back to bread, eggs and coffee this evening?

MY SUPPER: Today is day three or four, I don't know, I've lost count of the number of days I've been having the same supper. I have four eggs remaining and one and half weeks of in-depth remaining. Perfect! Photo: Lutho Mtongana

MY SUPPER: Today is day three or four, I don’t know, I’ve lost count of the number of days I’ve been having the same supper. I have four eggs remaining and one and half weeks of in-depth remaining. Perfect! Photo: Lutho Mtongana

There’s just no time. There’s absolutely no time to cook, no time to relax, no time to think really. If it wasn’t for the reminder on my phone and my computer, I swear I would have forgotten to say Happy Birthday to my little sister. The only time I have is to make appointments, go to Yeoville, wonder around aimlessly, like a lost sheep when your contacts either cancel right when you get to Yeoville or just don’t show up for an interview.

Today was my day to shoot a video, at least the first part of it. Everything went wrong. My artists arrived late and shooting in the dark is a bitch. The Open Mic session did not happen because there was only an audience of two girls. All the artists showed up, but who were they going to perform for if there was no audience?

Well, that was not the only bad thing about my day. I had to wait for an hour for an interview and when the guy showed up, he had to leave 15 minutes into the interview. Then Lameez and I had to wait for another hour at the Recreation Center for her interview. The lady did not show up. So yes, we set there for an hour like lost sheep. And to think that my day couldn’t get any worse and wasteful. I come home to another night of bread, eggs and coffee for supper,how awesome. 😦

THE ONLY AUDIENCE: At the House of Tandoor, impatiently waiting for the Open Mic session. Photo: Lutho Mtongana

THE ONLY AUDIENCE: At the House of Tandoor, impatiently waiting for the Open Mic session to start. Photo: Lutho Mtongana

 

Finding my feet- Yeoville Day 9

Someone remind me to take a job in secretary or something like that for a year or two. I just need an office job. After being lost in Hillbrow trying to get to my interview, it dawned on me that no matter how much I love writing and journalism, its definitely not worth my life, not yet anyway. I really started thinking hard about how the journalism department would tell my parents I was stabbed to death in Hillbrow while out doing in-depth. She was a very dedicated child, they would probably say. No thanks, I’d rather die for a cause a little later in life, when I actually achieve something worth dying for.

The eyes of weird creepy men followed me as I walked up and down Catherine Street trying not to look lost. Well, I guess I did. But I tried standing in one spot too but that too did not help. My eyes kept on wondering and I kept on fidgeting with the sound bag, and the more I looked around me the more I saw groups of men get closer and closer to me. That’s when I decided to walk up and down the street. Eventually that caught up to me because a couple of people started asking themselves why I was pacing up and down one street, “Akalahlekanga kangaka” (She is so lost) one guy said. But thank God Junior found me before I did my third round of the same street. I was waiting for him, I’m bad with directions and already I did not get the first directions right. I was not going to mess up the second one. Junior said I should stand and wait and he will come and get me, so I did.

I was definitely not going to take out my phone, which was constantly  vibrating on my bust the entire time I was waiting impatiently. I was not trying to attract a bigger crowd than I did already. Anyway point is, I thought I’d use the opportunity to go to Junior as a way of training myself to listen and follow directions carefully but I guess I still needed some help because I couldn’t do it alone. I failed to find my feet.

 

BOOM SHAKA: They have made four albums and have won four awards. They are one of the largest known group bands in South Africa. No one can pin-point the type of music they made, they appealed to many South Africans. Photo: Lutho Mtongana

BOOM SHAKA: They have made four albums and have won four awards. They are one of the largest known group bands in South Africa. No one can pin-point the type of music they made, they appealed to many South Africans. Photo: Lutho Mtongana

I had a lovely conversation with Junior Sokhela though. We talked about how he got into writing poetry and music. He said he used to run away from home and stay in Hillbrow and Yeoville for days and sometimes weeks just dancing and rapping in the streets with his friend Ishmael Morabe, Jozi member and South African Kwaito and Hip hop singer. Junior Sokhela was only 14 when he started drawing a large crowd of people on the streets by doing his performances. Morabe and him just used the opportunity for pocket money and food. That is how he met his friend and group partner Lebo Mathosa, a South African Kwaito artist who passed away in 2006 in a car crash. Soon after, all three of them (Junior, Ismael and Lebo) were dancing and singing together in the corner streets of Hillbrow and Yeoville.

We also talked about the rise and the end of Boom Shaka, the pitfalls of the industry and what it takes for a person to survive in the entertainment industry of South Africa. “You just kind of have to push the passion,” Sokhela said. “If you love what you do, you will always find a way,” he added. It was really fruitful and fun. It really made getting lost all worth it.

BOOM SHAKA MAN: Junior Sokhelo at his one of his studios in Barrier. He is a music producer now and work with alot of South African artists as well as upcoming artists in Yeoville.

BOOM SHAKA MAN: Junior Sokhela at his one of his studios in Barrier. He is a music producer now and work with a lot of South African artists as well as upcoming artists in Yeoville. Photo: Lutho Mtongana 

Today, I also helped Percy with her video. It was great to work as a team (Percy, Lameez and I) for the first time since we started. It was great to watch and see her African Fashion video story come together. I had to go to the Yeoville Library and Tandoor today, to get more information for my first draft, but time flew so quickly, I couldn’t. I’ll definitely go tomorrow,otherwise I’ll screw my first draft. I hope shooting the Open Mic video tomorrow will run smoothly.

“Life happened, I did not choose this”- Yeoville Day 8

I met a young man today, his name is Andile Sibanda, he is 20 and he goes by his stage name, MK-47. He is from Cape Town and speaks Afrikaans and Zulu. He is dark, tall and doesn’t talk much. I conducted an interview with him outside the studio in Club 28, where him and many upcoming artists record their demos. He looked uncomfortable, not uncomfortable with his sitting position, just uncomfortable with me and maybe my questions.

I did not ask anything personal, but hey, I realised he is more like me in a sense. Everything about him was personal. You are too close, you ask too many questions, you want to know too many things about me, why? He gave me that impression, the same impression I feel when people are too close. But nonetheless, he talked to me. He was polite and respectful, he answered all my questions, some vague, some abruptly so that I quickly move on to the next question.

He said he started writing poetry and music when he was 16. He got into it largely because of peer pressure, not because he wanted to. He wanted the big dreams, the ones your parents want you to do when you grow up. The ones most children fall into because they are forced not because they chose it. He wanted to study law and become a lawyer. But, “life happened, I did not choose this”, he said. The situation at home did not afford him to get the education he needed. “So I took the simpler way,” he said. The simpler way because he was told he was good with spoken words.

His mom passed away, and he was left alone because he did not have a father, siblings or family in Cape Town. So then he moved to Johannesburg, wanting to start a new life, a better life for himself. “This is Jozi, they say everything happens here,” he said. Last month, the 25-year-old guy who helped him with a place to stay and food when he arrived in Johannesburg two years ago, got shot in the middle of the street in Yeoville and passed away.

Today in class, I was told to go find the drug addict, the junkie, the person struggling with a problem and then gets inspired by the poetry and the open mic sessions in Yeoville. And shoot that person, show the drug holes in the skin of his arms, show how his family and friends have rejected this person, how they have given up on this person yet the person tries to make a better life for himself through spoken words. “That’s the conflict”, they said.

Now, Iman Rappetti, Jo-Anne Richards, Joe Thloloe and many more amazing writers and journalists I have had the privilege to engage with, once said, “We are storytellers, we tell the stories”. The sound, the mood, what was happening? what was the weather like? who were you with? what were you doing? etc.

So, I tell this story, then what? Then I get my mark for in-depth, then I graduate, then I get a job, then I get a husband and kids, then I grow old and die. And then what? Frannies husband, said on Saturday, don’t come and try and save the world, just do your little thing here, that’s all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to save the world, I’m not trying to say Andile Sibanda’s story is meaningless and does not need to be told. But this gets me, this, “we are story-tellers for a living thing” gets me, all the time. What story am I even telling anyway?

So, I guess I did my job today. I found my character. Just that, this character, he hits a little too close to home for me.

So I asked him: “How has spoken words been going for you since you started?

“All I tell myself is in time I’ll get there, that’s all I tell myself”, he said.

“We speak truth”- Yeoville day 6

Today was tiring, you really don’t get used to walking the road to Yeoville from Wits Junction res, but ey it has to be done.

This is draining, this is really draining. I’m exhausted, I’m worn out and I want October to end already. If I only went to Yeoville to hang out, chill and relax really, I’m sure I’d have plenty of fun. There would be no rush for interviews and there would be no cutting people off when they talk to you.

I met with four or five artists today. I had 12 questions ready and I estimated about 10 minutes for each interview, just a brief about who they are, what they do and why they do it in Yeoville. I think each interview lasted for about 20 to 25 minutes. Either they were high or they were really passionate or they all just like talking.

Some did not come, some came late and some just rescheduled. Even though they all told me the same thing about artists they each have something unique about them. Whether you have stayed in Yeoville for two or six months, whether you have stayed there for five or 20 years, Yeoville is the best place to start-up as an artist.

Dos Santos Aleixo, who is originally from Mozambique and has lived in Yeoville for 30 years now says he has worked with many artists who are successful right now. The likes of Lebo Mashile and Ntsiki Mazwai. Aleixo, is an instrumentalist, a poet, a writer, a musician and mentors upcoming artists about the industry.

THE INSTRUMENTALIST: Dos Santos Aleixo has been in Yeoville for 30 years now. He is from Mozambique and has worked with a lot of new upcoming and old ones that are in the industry already.  Photo: Lutho Mtongana

THE INSTRUMENTALIST: Dos Santos Aleixo has been in Yeoville for 30 years now. He is from Mozambique and has worked with a lot of new upcoming and old ones that are in the industry already. Photo: Lutho Mtongana

All four artists had one thing in common, ‘we speak truth’ they all emphasised. “The system does not want to tell people the truth”, The Banda Twins, who are new and upcoming artists in Yeoville from Kwa-Zulu Natal said. They say their work is about “real life”, they talk about the issues that every day youth faces. Be it abortion, teenage pregnancy or drugs.

THE BANDA TWINS: They are originally from KZN and they came to Yeoville this year. They believed that there are better opportunities in Yeoville because many successful, dead and alive started in Yeoville before they made it big. Photo: Lutho Mtongana

THE BANDA TWINS: They are originally from KZN and they came to Yeoville this year. They believed that there are better opportunities in Yeoville because many successful, dead and alive started in Yeoville before they made it big. Photo: Lutho Mtongana

The Black Bees, who are poets, writers and musicians are originally from Soweto. They do most of their music and performances in Xhosa and Zulu. They perform in Yeoville most of the time because they say Yeoville is packed with different cultures and nationalities and every artist they meet and work with speak truth.

THE BLACK BEES: They write and sing in Zulu and Xhosa, performing in Soweto and Yeoville but love the vibrant culture and diversity of Yeoville more. Photo: Lutho Mtongana

THE BLACK BEES: They write and sing in Zulu and Xhosa, performing in Soweto and Yeoville but love the vibrant culture and diversity of Yeoville more. Photo: Lutho Mtongana