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Protestors in a demonstration on Clifton beach on December 28, 2018, in Cape Town.

South African Queer Activists Occupy Cape Town Mansion

A South African queer activist group has taken over a Cape Town mansion to protest lack of adequate housing and land rights in South Africa.

A queer activists group, under the name Coloured Mentality, has taken over a Cape Town mansion in a wealthy area of Camps Bay. The group consists of seven coloured, queer artists. According to EWN Coloured Mentality's actions are a form of protest to highlight the wealth inequality in South Africa, mostly inadequate housing and lack of land rights for Blacks.


Cape Town is one of South Africa's regions where wealth distribution is unevenly spread, it is also an international tourist site where the rich go to play. According to EWN, the group have been planning the protest for months and formally paid for their stay in the six bedroom house for three days. When it was time to move out the group refused and reportedly intends to stay for three months without pay as part of their planned protest.

"We are participating in this action, because we know that the government both locally and nationally is corrupt and uncaring" they wrote on their Facebook page.

Read: In Photos: 'Covid' is Cape Town's New Informal Settlement for Those Displaced by the Pandemic

The group further went on to criticise global financial systems and how South Africa including other African states bow down to Western powers by relegating the country's needs. Coloured Mentality in defiance also criticised the myth of the "black struggle", that is Blacks must struggle wherever they are in the world.

"Yet the economy has never worked for us and because most of us don't really understand what an economy is, we are fed this story so that we accept that we must struggle. An economy is a global system that ensures that white countries stay rich while they can exploit us. Our government is corrupt because corrupt African governments are easy to control by global elites"

Earlier in the year, COVID, an informal settlement in Cape Town erupted due to the high number of job losses in the pandemic. These job losses affected mostly Black women and men in low income jobs. The rich and privileged were not affected at all and Coloured Mentality highlights this as they are funded by Nelson Mandela Foundation and international funding agency Atlantic Fellows.

"We have been privileged to be able to have access to these resources and that is why, as coloured people, as black people, and queer people, as women, we are telling you it is possible to take peaceful and powerful action that can change the world"

The group is currently running the protest under #WeSeeYou on Facebook. This is not the first time such a protest has taken place in Cape Town. In 2018 a Black activist group protested on Clifton beach in demonstration against racism and the unfair land distribution in South Africa where over 80 percent of land is still owned by white people.

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Africans Are Taking Surfing Back

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8 Queer-Owned African Fashion Brands to Check Out For Pride

In honor of pride month, we highlight eight African queer fashion designers and brands putting queer stories on the global map through fashion.

In the last decade, there have been an emergent of fashion designers who aren’t just queer but have aligned their fashion vision with their identity, creating demystifying collections and criss-crossing their concepts and ideologies to represent the inscape of non-conformity, fluidity, queerness and androgyny — whilst maintaining a quick balance with their cultural roots. Despite the numerous fabric experimentations and collections, these designers never forget to tell stories that align with them, especially those that resonate with queer people in queer unfriendly countries.

In honor of pride month, OkayAfrica highlights 8 African queer fashion designers and brands putting queer stories on the global map through fashion.

Rich Mnisi

South African designer Rich Mnisi is part of a new wave of designers putting African stories on the global map. Founded in 2015, the brand Rich Mnisi is immersed at offering fluid expression to gender, celebrating youthful excellence and exploring extremist design elements with minimalist cultural tailoring. For pride month, the brand released a limited edition capsule titled “Out." The capsule visualizes a fine-line between elegance and fluidity whilst boldly emphasizing on the act of struggle and resilience as an outfit.

Udiahgebi

For a fashion brand like Udiahgebi, identity is very important. And offering that form of visibility to femme queer Nigerians is not just a form of visual activism but a detailed story of essence. The brand was founded by Emerie Udiahgebi, a gender non-forming fashion designer who wanted to give queer, non-binary and non-conforming individuals more options to express themselves fashionably. Udiahgebi’s fashion concept is extremely bold, fierce, and unconventional.

Lagos Space Programme

Designer Adeju Thompson fuses traditionalist concepts with genderless possibilities. Founded in 2018, Lagos Space Programme is a gender-neutral fashion brand that enveloped aesthetic designs using local craftsmanship. The brand appreciates West African unique fabric and communicates compelling stories of identity, gender and queerness — a ideology that has garnered them not just audience but earned them a spot at the LVMH prize.

Muyishime

Patrick Muyishime is a fashion innovator. Not only does he know how to source excellent fabrics but his designs are authentically vibrant. Founded in 2016, Muyishime is a Kenyan fashion label that introduces conversations surrounding androgynous and explores aesthetically fabric inventions that commands fluidity, feminine wiles and constructive elegance.

Bola Yahaya

Founded in 2019, Bola Taofeek Yahaya's fashion label aligns thought provoking pieces that elevate the discusses around queer representation, sexuality and feminity. The brands merges sustainability and explore eccentric fabric experimentations.

Nao Serati

Founded by South African designer Nao Serati Mofammere in 2014, the fashion brand Nao Serati explores the versatility of gender and the fine margin of sexuality whilst finding its balance with their South African heritage. Mofammere wants his brand to explore masculinity and the different ways it takes to wear a fragile look.

Vangei

Lolu Vangei has different recipes to gender fluidity and she has used fashion to express that. Founded in 2018, Vangei is a fashion label that unites modern ideology of afro-centricism to produce pieces that dismantle cliched ideas about gender.

Mayetobs

There is no explaining the sort of talent Emmanuel Tobiloba possesses. Founded in 2020, Mayetobs' eccentric approach in reinstating androgynous norms is interesting. From oversized pants that speaks of fabric maximalism to fast flowing robes, the fashion brand is an ode to redefining modern masculinity.

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Black Coffee & Tresor’s Work On Drake’s New Album Speaks to the Rise of South African Music

Unlike the Kendrick Lamar-curated Black Panther: The Album or Beyoncé’s The Lion King: The Gift album which had hints of South African flavours on them, Honestly, Nevermind is imbued with them.

On the 16th of June, news that rap superstar Drakewas dropping a surprise album first hit the internet. As with any of his releases, the announcement sent people into a frenzy. Leading up to the drop, the OVO camp, as part of a subtle and timely album rollout, put out a track list. Included in it as one of the album’s executive producers was South African super producer, DJ and artist Black Coffee. His name was listed amongst Drake’s regular collaborators and business partners, Noah 40 Shebib, Oliver El-Khatib and Noel Cadastre.

The two artists have previously collaborated on the remake of Black Coffee’s seminal 2009 hit “Superman.” Drake’s take on the instrumental and composition, “Get It Together,” was released almost a decade later on his 2017 playlist More Life. When the song dropped, the reviews and public reactions were split because of the original vocalist Bucie being replaced by then-burgeoning British singer Jorja Smith.

Fast forward to 2022, Black Coffee has a ‘Best Dance/Electronic’ Grammy award for his 2021 album Subconsciously, and has played at the biggest stages across the globe. It then shouldn’t come as a surprise that when putting together his experimental dance album, Drake tapped the South African producer to oversee and shape the sonic and creative direction of the album.

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