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Nicholas Rawhani Photographs Johannesburg's 'Varsity Blues'

Nicholas Rawhani photographs rising South African musicians Sam Turpin and Kgotso Seleka on a stroll through Johannesburg's Wits University.

Nicholas Rawhani is a rising Johannesburg-based photographer and videographer who recently reached out to us with his slick, red-and-blue-tinted photo-story on Wits' campus. Titled Varsity Blues, the shoot follows up-and-coming emcee Sam Turpin (who teamed with DJ Spoko not too long ago) and DJ/producer Kgotso Seleka as they stroll from the east to west sides of the Joburg university. "The Piece is really about the unexpressed and inexpressible emotions that cloud us during early adulthood," says Rawhani, who himself is a second-year electrical engineering student at Wits.


"I love Wits' campus.. I really think it's a beautiful university and has plenty of nooks and crannies," Rawhani told us over email. "This fitted perfectly with the concept for the shoot - Varsity Blues. The story is all about the period of young-adulthood. It's all about uncertainty. It's about communicating that looming, inexplicable feeling that we face on a daily basis - the question of what is to become of us. And what if we fail? And we're expected to contemplate these most important and life changing questions while also learning the most important and life-changing things we'll ever learn..I just think it's such an incredible period of life. In a way I want to celebrate that looming feeling. That's Varsity Blues."

Rahwani recently made it onto the Superbalist100 of young South African creatives (you can "upvote" for him here). Follow him on Instagram and Tumblr, and check out his Varsity Blues photo-story with Sam Turpin and Kgotso Seleka above.

Interview
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Interview: How Stogie T’s ‘Freestyle Friday’ Became a TV Show

Freestyle Friday started as lockdown content but is now a fully-fledged TV show on Channel O. In this interview, Stogie T breaks down why the show is revolutionary and talks about venturing into media.

When South Africa was put under a hard lockdown in 2020, Stogie T started Freestyle Friday to "make SA rap again." Freestyle Friday, hosted on Instagram, saw a different cohort of rappers each rap over the same beat picked by the veteran rapper. From niche and emerging rappers to some of the most notable names in South African hip-hop—the likes of AKA, Focalistic, Ginger Trill and several others all participated.

In the last few weeks, however, Freestyle Friday has found its way to cable TV. The show airs every Friday on Channel O, one of the continent's longest-running music TV channels. Freestyle Friday as a TV programme isn't just about freestyles, it's about the art of rapping and the music business, particularly SA hip-hop. Guests range from lyricists to record executives and other personalities aligned with the scene—Ninel Musson and Ms Cosmo for instance.

But Freestyle Friday is only the first media product Stogie T is working on as he is in the process of starting a podcast network, a venture in which he is collaborating with Culture Capital. In the Q&A below, Stogie T breaks down the relationship with Culture Capital, how the show moved from the internet to TV, why it's a revolutionary idea, touches on his venture into media and his future plans.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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