Honey Makwakwa wrote an incredible fashion story about the power of collaboration in Johannesburg, the Collaboration Capital. This work was completed by Lauren Mulligan as the photographer, Honey Makwakwa as the stylist and Smartie Oliphant as the make-up artist.

Johannesburg used to be known as the city of gold, but with the mining industry singing its siren song Joburg’s creative economy is thriving under its own currency; Collaboration.Collaboration-Capital_2

Moonchild (left) wears: A Moonchild Cultwear onesie and Puma Select sneakers
Tshepang (centre) wears: A Half Wolf t-shirt
Rahsid (right) wears: His own bomber jacket and t-shirt with Puma sweatpants

I was at the opening of a project funded by the British Arts Council at the now (very unfortunately) closed Ithuba Arts Gallery in Braamfontien, when I happened upon a conversation between Kazim Rashid and DJ Doowap. I soon discovered Rashid had, at some point, been seeking out Moonchild Sanelly for a collaboration with an artist he was working with in the UK in 2014. The project in question had long been put to bed but I introduced Rashid to Tshepang Ramoba, Moonchild’s producer, who was just an arm’s length from us. The whole conversation sparked my imagination with regard to how the creative industry is using collaboration to leverage projects as the importance of major labels fades with the continued rise of the internet.Collaboration-Capital_3

Tshepang (left) wears: A Half Wolf Cap and Puma t-shirt underneath a Puma bomber vest with Puma chinos
Moonchild (centre) wears: A Sara Baartjies Breathless blouse over a uNomabutho leatherette bikini
Robin (right) wears: An Augustine hat, his own glasses, a Puma jacket with his own watch and jeans​

BLK JKS drummer, Tshepang Ramoba ventured into music production with Moonchild Sanelly’s critically acclaimed electro ghetto funk debut album Rabulapha. His agency, POST POST Music, has since added new artists to its stable. Pictured here is Tshepang Ramoba, Moonchild Sanelly and Durban based rapper Robin Thirdfloor. Robin came onto Tshepang’s radar via Facebook and the two began working together long before they met in person.Collaboration-Capital_4Elo (left) wears: A Machere metallic dress with Puma sneakers
Robin Thirdfloor (centre) wears: An Augustine bomber jacket with Mr Price chinos
Moonchild (right) wears: A Moonchild Cultwear dress with Puma sneakers

POST POST Music artists, from left to right, Elo, Robin Thirdfloor and Moonchild Sanelly are keen collaborators, working together in studio and also on the road. They recently completed a regional tour through Southern Africa this summer.

​Elo just released her debut EP, Elogram, currently available on iTunes. Elogram is produced by Tshepang Ramoba and features BLK JKS bandmate, Hlubi Vakalisa, on the saxophone.Collaboration-Capital_5Tshepang (left) wears: A Puma camo print cap, a Puma t-shirt, Puma chinos and Puma sneakers
Elo (centre) wears: A Machere dress, earrings and a necklace worn as bracelet from Piece, and shoes by uNomabutho
Hlubi (right) wears: An Augustine hat, an Augustine t-shirt and Puma chinos

​The founding members of the BLK JKS, Mpumi Mctata, Tshepang Ramoba and Molefi Makananise continue to work on collaborative projects from their base at the POST POST Music recording studios in Troyeville.Collaboration-Capital_6Mpumi (left) wears: His own hat and shirt with an Augustine trenchcoat, Diesel jeans and Augustine shoes
Tshepang (centre) wears: A Simon and Mary hat, an Augustine t-shirt and bomber jacket, Mr Price chinos and Steve Madden brogues
Molefi (right) wears: An Augustine hat and trench coat with Puma chinos and sneakers

​Somewhere in the mid 2000’s, Joao Orecchia met The BLK JKS’ Mpumi and Tshepang on the streets of Melville, Johannesburg. It wasn’t long before they were in studio together collaborating on Joao’s album. When Joao wanted to continue the collaboration on the follow-up project; he elected that the band should be officially named, and so Motel Mari was born in 2012. The trio also form part of the artist collective, JHB Massive.Collaboration-Capital_10Tshepang (left) wears: All Puma
Mpumi (centre) wears: His own clothes with Puma sneakers
Joao (right) wears: A commissioned suit that a Ghanaian tailor made for him during his recent trip to Chale Wote with Puma x Vashtie sneakers

​Actress and director, Lindiwe Matjikiza, and sound artist and musician, Joao Orecchia, are serial collaborators. An example is Donkey Child, a production at the Hillbrow theatre that challenged many journalists to think beyond their own stereotypes around the inner city kids who formed the captivating cast. They even had to reconsider Lindiwe as some still strive to box her in as SA’s next red carpet export. The pair are part of JHB Massive, the arts collective that successfully crowdfunded their delegations trip to participate in the Chale Wote Street Festival. There can be many more projects positively anticipated from this team as they continue to defy definition.Collaboration-Capital_8Lindiwe and Joao both wear ensembles they have commissioned on their travels, working throughout the African Continent.

Lindiwe Matshikiza is currently directing a musical which, is co-produced by the BLK JKS and librettist Mkhululi Mabija. Mongezi is an adaptation of Buchner’s Woyzeck. The story bears witness to the title character being called to become sangoma by his ancestors, amid the upheavals of the quick changes taking pace in his personal life. The small mining town, Mongezi, calls home is swept up in the battles of the mining industry’s wage struggle.Collaboration-Capital_9From left to right:
Tebogo wears: A black quilted Augustine jacket with matching shorts and an Augustine t-shirt, his socks and sneakers are both Puma
Hlubi Vakalisa wears: A hoodie over cap with chinos and sneakers, all Puma
Lindiwe Matjikiza wears: A Sara Baartjies Flawless dress, a Pitchulk neck piece with beaded earrings both available from Piece

Molefi Makananise wears: An African print Puma bucket hat, a Basuthu cape from Piece, an Augustine t-shirt, chinos and sneakers both Puma
Tshepang Ramoba wears: A black leather jacket from Augustine with a Puma t-shirt
Mpumi Mcata wears: His own skull cap with a hoodie, shorts, socks and sneakers all Puma

%d bloggers like this: