Style
Photo by THOMAS SAMSON/AFP via Getty Images

South African designer Thebe Magugu in Paris, February 2020. Magugu is the first African designer to win the LVMH 2019 award at the age of 26.

Thebe Magugu's AW21 Collection 'Alchemy' Is An Exploration of African Spirituality

Magugu collaborated with Kristin-Lee Moolman to create a '70s-style B movie called Banyoloyi A Bosigo

South African fashion designer Thebe Magugu has released his AW21 collection, Alchemy, and it is beautiful. For his latest collection, the 2019 LVMP prize winner introduced a redefinition of his previous work, Counter Intelligent, featuring embroidered chiffon dresses, pink blazers and cinched waist belts.

For the new collection, Thebe Magugu collaborated with the photographer Kristin-Lee Moolman to create a 1970s-style B movie called Banyoloyi A Bosigo. The short film, which is written, directed and photographed by Moolman, shows the power play between two rival girl gangs named the "ultimate midnite angels" who speak Zulu and Setswana.

The short film begins at the river with an initiation rite, then the sending out of the initiated woman to become a spy. There's also a love affair between two women of rival tribes that warrants a capture. Each scene of the movie introduces the fits to the collection as well as exhibiting the fluidity of the outfits.


Thebe Magugu AW21 - BANYOLOYI A BOSIGO youtu.be

Moolman had one motive with Banyoloyi A Bosigo: the empowerment of women. "I want female characters to have their own agency and can be heroes or anti-heros without having to conform to the cinematic trope of women having to go experience major trauma to be allowed to be the same level of 'badass' as their male character counterparts," she says.

Via his Instagram, Thebe Magugu describes the inspiration behind the collection saying, "Alchemy AW21 is an exploration of the changing face of African Spirituality, and how more open people especially young people—are becoming about their experiences and journey into that world."

Alchemy is Thebe Magugu's seventh collection. Thebe became a promising talent in Africa's fashion industry after he won the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers in 2019. Last year, he was a finalist of the Woolmark prize along with five other designers. As part of his career, he has also walked several fashion shows, home and abroad.

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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