South African music video vet Director Kit on the making of uSanele's "Amabhodlela" visuals featuring Mashayabhuqe KaMamba.
uSanele’s latest single, “Amabhodlela,” is a party song that speaks rather eloquently about Jozi club culture. The track features Digital Maskandi pioneer Mashayabhuqe KaMamba and was released back in April with some dope artwork by Cape Town-based art student Dada Khanyisa. uSanele, who moonlights as Okayafrica’s Brand Manager, switches between Zulu and English as he talks about his life and experiences through the eyes of “bottle popping music lovers” (Amabhodlela translates to “bottles” in Zulu).
True to word and name, the song bangs. But its visuals, which the rapper shared on Friday, aren’t the typical turn-up fare. Joburg-based music video vet, Director Kit, tells me she thought it would be cool to shoot a video that doesn’t look like the song. She also wanted to create something that would live on the internet––or actual art––instead of conforming to South African television norms.
But first and foremost the director wanted to ensure uSanele’s personal style would stand out. After all, this was his first music video. The concept was “based around trying to make him stand out and come out as his own artist,” she tells me over the phone. “Sanele’s whole style is very vernac and street.” Director Kit wanted to play on that.
In the video you’ll notice bottles, but not the kind uSanele’s rapping about. According to the director it’s a play on milk bottles. “The whole thing about milk in Xhosa and Zulu is when you’re saying she’s so pretty you’re saying ‘she looks like she washed in milk.’”
“How people are making music videos, there’s nothing at all that’s new. Everything you see has already been done. A lot of artists aren’t making creative choices,” concludes Director Kit. “It would be really great to see everyone making very distinct creative choices.”