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Style: The Ninevites Gang 'Same Old Shirt Collection'

We highlight new South African fashion brand The Ninevites Gang, inspired by the legendary Jo'burg band of robbers.

All photography by Kent Andreasen.

The Ninevites Gang – made up of Nkuli Mlangeni, Uma Ramiah and Leila Khalifa – derive their moniker from a legendary quasi-military band of robbers which wreaked mayhem on the streets of Johannesburg during the late 19th and early 20th century. Led by the young Zulu migrant Muzephi “Nongoloza" Mathebula who had journeyed to the mining town from the countryside in search of wage labour, The Ninevites styled themselves as a gang of anti-establishment outlaws; taking their cue from the biblical story of the city of Nineveh which rebelled against God. “I selected that name for my gang as rebels against the Government's laws," Nongoloza latter recounted after his capture.


The legend of Nongoloza and his posse of robbers, entangled as it is with myth and fact, provided the intellectual spark for The Ninevites Gang's first showcase Same Old Shirt Collection. Rebelling against the aesthetics of high-end glossy magazines the trio, in their own words, have stolen the classic t-shirt design and “made it bigger, shapeless, […] updated the fabric and added details to turn it into something fresh".

Cape Town-based 30-year-old designer Nkuli Mlangeni said for months she had been mulling on the idea of a limited T-shirt range inspired by Basotho blanket graphics. “I started spending too much time in fabric shops and that's where I discovered a whole lot of other cool stuff and started toying around with different ideas" she said; “and the next minute I was on my way to Lesotho with a crew of people, the rest of the Ninevites Gang together with filmmaker Johno Mellish and photographer Kent Andreasen, going on a fashion documentation mission". The rest, as they say, is history. See more pictures below.

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Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Emile YX? Wants to 'Reconnect The String'

The father of South African hip-hop's latest book release is here to teach you about the culture.

As a father-figure in South African hip-hop, there's a lot Emile Lester Jansen, aka Emile YX?, knows. He'll also tell you, there's a lot he doesn't. But the knowledge Emile has gained, over his 3 decades in music, he's always tried to share with others. His latest project is no different. The Black Noise founder is working on a book that identifies the similarities between Bushmen expression and hip-hop, and how this knowledge can help empower anyone who has a love of the culture.

The book, which will be called Reconnect The String, comes on the back of this year's 21st anniversary of the African Hip Hop Indaba, one of the landmark hip hop events in Cape Town created by Emile, which has helped many an artist launch their career. As a teacher and a musician, he's long been involved in using hip hop to uplift communities—first through the seminal group Black Noise, founded in the late 1980s, with its rhymes rallying against Apartheid, and then through the Heal the Hood organization, a non-profit that grew out of the group's efforts to use its love of hip hop to fuel youth development initiatives in townships on the Cape Flats.

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