Authentic and Professional Handmade Accessories by Custom Mate.

Shoes have become a major accessory/priority in whatever we choose to wear in these modern days we live in, that’s why many people see the need to wear shoes that are stylish, some wear shoes that are expensive and others prefer wearing shoes that represent who they are, while embracing their African ethnicity at the same time.

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“Sandals are part of who we are as Africans, we feel more connected to our customs and traditions each and every time we are wearing sandals. When something is part of who you are, you can’t really explain why, it’s like a calling” said Bobo Moko, a 26-year-old cobbler (A person who makes or repairs shoes) and co-founder of Custom Mate, A South African brand that produces quality hand craft accessories, found and established in 2012 by himself, Ndumisa Dube and close friend future Ramoshaba.

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This Trio partnership started like any other ambitious dream filled with passion and determination to succeed, Bobo says he was introduced to Ndumiso Dube, a 43-year skilled shoe maker from Kwa Bulawayo by a friend who has been impatiently insisting that he should meet him. Bobo eventually placed an order for these shoes after meeting Mr. Dube, and he instantly fell in love with them. The way these shoes were so contagious and admirable, all his colleagues and friends immediately fell in love with them too.

The Custom Mate team (Bobo Moko, Future Ramoshaba and Pontsho Manyana) were burning with passion to learn more about being a professional cobbler so they bought a sewing machine, some leather and then initiated a workshop where Mr. Dube taught them everything about designing, sewing, and repairing shoes. This workshop helped them develop their skills and become professional cobblers which is compulsory in their field of work because people are always approaching them with different types of designs every day so it’s very important for them to be versatile in what they do.

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Bobo says, the purpose of creating Custom Mate was to create accessories that are not easily accessible anywhere else, shoes that are cut according to ones specifications. We know that shoes are the first thing people notice about you so we understand the importance of wearing good, quality bespoke shoes.

Customs Mate allows customers to maneuver their own designs, so you can actually give them details of the type of design you desire and they will accept the challenge and create a masterpiece you requested. They making it more convenient for their customer’s to have a pleasant and productive service.

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Their accessories are women’s sandals, men’s sandals, and belts (on special requests) their shoe prices range from R350 to R2000 depending on the style of shoe and the type of leather a customer may prefer. They are currently based in Midrand but just to accommodate people who may be far from Midrand, and may want to make a purchase, Customs Mate also does shipping anywhere in South Africa.

Bobo has always been a confident young man who believes in looking good because it makes him feel good, He always had a good taste in apparel and always wanted to share his fashion sense with his surroundings. He got an opportunity to do so in a form of making sandals and he didn’t hesitate to grab the opportunity and run with it.

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Bobo said ” We plan to push the movement, make sure South Africans knows what we do and then take it to the whole African continent, to countries like Ghana, where people are fascinated by sandals”

Custom Mate is a black owned business, blakk renaissance and black excellence movement simply because they are very innovative, produces professional accessories, they cater for the young and old, possess a major influence over the masses and they contribute a lot towards shaping the modern African culture through style and fashion.

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By LordKenn

 

 

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Emerging Above The Criticism & Stereotypes Of The Society to Follow Your Dreams: Pride

Goetsimang Pride Mbele better known as Pride is a 19 year old innovative, hardworking, passionate stylist and business orientated Model based in Midrand, Kaalfontein. He grew up in the townships of Tembisa, Emcantsi where he fell in love with the idea of becoming a fashionista and a business man early in his childhood. He was so ambitious about this idea in a way that he once considered selling clothes or establishing a clothing business for a living when he got older. This led Pride to learning commercial studies while he was in high school but little did he know that fate had summoned him to the path of becoming a professional fashion stylist and model.

Somalian Shoot 

With Buhle

New Town Basement 

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Pride had a tough time growing up and trying to recognize his true potential/ talent just like any other kid. When Pride finally decided that he wanted to become a model, he knew that it wasn’t going to be easy for him because “modeling” is a profession that is usually perceived as a female dominated platform in most South African Townships. So when he decided to officially commence his career in modeling he received a lot of criticism and stereotypical insults such as “modeling is for females” or “modeling guys are gay” or “stupid” and all of these critics almost held him back from fulfilling his dreams and embarking on his true destiny.

Shot by Leon

Dressed By BlVCK PRIDEON ( Promo shoot for a brand he started with Leon)

Braamfontein

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Shot by leon

Self Dressed

With Dorcas Toko

Kempton Park (Parking lot)

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Goetsimang always had a passion for modeling and it’s been a calling that has been haunting him for quite a while in his teenage years, simply because he was tall and skinny, He said. Pride’s enthusiasm for modeling has always been evident from a young age, tracing back to the days he was still in primary school. Everytime he would scroll through magazines with his friends, he would sub-consciously (unaware) find himself curious about the name of the model and the posture which the model is posing in rather than being fascinated by the clothes they’d be wearing/advertising.

When he reached high school, he couldn’t conceal himself from being a model any longer. So he finally decided to burst out of his own bubble and take on modeling regardless of the criticism he was going to get from his peers. At this point he had already made up his mind about being a model and he was optimistic that, this decision would benefit his goals and desires rather than fulfilling society’s expectations.

Shot by Leon

Self Dressed 

Braamfontein & Maboneng

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He took initiative to participate in a contest competition that was debut to take place at his school, Kaalfontein Secondary School, while he was only in the 9th grade. His determination and efforts helped him win the contest and become crowned as Mr Kaalfontein high. Thereafter he actively participated in a few other local contests after winning the previous one at his High School. Pride’s confidence was high at that time but that still it didn’t bring out the best in him until he saw what he was capable of doing in front of a camera, he said.

Shot by Meagan Joey

Self Dressed 

Ghandi Square

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During his High School years Pride met Leon Chauke, whom later became a good friend and Pride’s main photographer. Leon then played a major role in pushing him to the right direction as a professional model. Pride also mentioned that Leon has been a very helpful person towards his modeling career/ where he is today as a model merely because a majority of his photographs where shot by him and he has been a pillar of strength and motivation throughout the years.

Shot by Leon

Dressed by Sock and tie (Changing Facets Magazine shoot)

Ghandi Square

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“I love leading, having the responsibility to serve other people has always been my thing and I love working with people, taking on challenges and not following the crowd”, He said.

Judging from my interactions with him, Pride was genuinely an interesting person so I had to ask him a couple of questions I was curious to know about him:

Read The Dialogue Below

Me: What are your plans for the future?

Pride: Personally I would jump for joy if I made it to the cover of Vogue Magazine and had my story told, but my ultimate dream is to go back to the young ones who still have their future in their hands and educate them about other careers/ industries that are available to them rather than following only the careers they are offered at their schools.

Me: Are you still going to open that clothing business you once wanted as a kid?

Pride: I actually did. It’s called BlVCK PRIDEON, I co-own it with Leon but due to lack of information and resources we were unable to maintain it but we all learn from our mistakes that’s why I’m planning to obtain a degree in business management so that I can come back stronger.

Promo shoot

Dressed By Marry K.

With Candice

Ghandi Square

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Shot By Leon 

Self Dressed

With Jay jay

Thembakhoza

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Pride is a Blakk Renaissance, brave and ambitious young man who has chosen to follow his dreams against all odds and all the shallow words of insult criticism and stereotypes that society had to offer him, to become a very inspirational person in today’s modern generation. He uses style to influence his people and restructure his culture by evolving people’s beliefs and their perspective about modeling and at the same time diminishing narrow-mindedness and stereotypical thinking that hinder young people from realising our true potential.

Shot by Leon

Braamfontein

Self Dressed

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#BlakkRenassance by Lord Kenn

Lonwabo Zimela Takes Fashion Photography To A Whole New Level.

 I was first introduced to his work through Facebook and I didn’t really know much about him then, all I knew was that he was very good at what he was doing, so I sent him a friend request and little did I know, I was going to get a unique and sophisticated photography experience every time he constantly posted his recent photographs which left me keen to see more. 

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Lonwabo Zimela is a 23 year old talented, artistic, fashionable, influential and modern day Renaissance fashion photographer from Durban. He went to boarding school at the age of 10 years old and years later he studied IT to maintain himself and his photography career, he is currently working as an IT Technician.

He was introduced to photography by his sister Zukiswa Zimela, whom he mentions that, she played a huge role in his love for photography and steered him to the right direction. He first bought a point & shoot camera in 2014  to get started,  his newly found hobby was building up more enthusiasm in him and since that day he hasn’t stopped taking pictures of everything that caught his eye. His expertise are mainly street fashion and portraiture in most of his elegant photographs which always depict a sophisticated modern generation style.

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His outstanding work features different collaborations of people whom he finds their styles and aesthetics (aesthetic which means Tasteful/artistic, or a philosophical theory as to what is beautiful) are admirable to him and this is evident in most artistic people because they don’t work if they don’t feel inspired, that’s why every piece of work done, should be organic. Below its one of his recent collaboration with  Neville Tricket which left me totally impressed.

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His career received a lot of media coverage in 2016, his photographs have been featured in the personal style diary on an article about Sfiso Dlamini also known as Sfeesoul on the decks and an article about Amaroto, a Durban-based style collective, both of these articles were published by GQ online South Africa.

He also did small interviews with SACreativeNetwork.co.za and AFashionFriend.co.za which elevates his profile and archivements so far this year. He said “Contributing to GQ South Africa online has been the biggest highlight in my career so far, I’ve been reading GQ South Africa for over 4 years” on an article at SACreativeNetwork. He has worked with Victoria Graaf-Raw, Zethe a Jazz and Neo Soul recording artist, to see more you can visit https://issuu.com/sirzimela

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His intricate/different style of combining Clean and Grunge (Grunge can be defined as anything unclean: stain, filth or dirt) where he captures quality masterpieces of classy formal fashionable individuals while converging that style with the raw local street apparel which is simply amazing.

His work shows us that he is really inspired by fashion and style, which is really fascinating to observe in these modern days where style and fashion have evolved to a form of culture and has become a very significant role in how we chose to be identified, I managed to get in contact with him so that he can give me more details about his work and even though he had a tight schedule he managed to answer a few question I was very curious to ask him.

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I asked.

Me: What kind of techniques or style do you use in your photographs and are you still ambitious to experiment with more styles or are you content with what you doing now?

Lonwabo: I’m refining my current style, I’ve experimented quite a bit before to get where I am. My style is hard to define, it’s a combination of grunge and clean.

Me: What kind of effect do you want your work to have in the modern day Renaissance society we live in?

Lonwabo: I want my work to have an influence and depict the current state or “wave” that we’re in.

Me: You know photographers are always stereotyped with an image of just being photographers but since I see you as a part of the blakk Renaissance, what are you planning to do to show people that photographers can achieve same standards just like any other artist?

Lonwabo: The grand plan for me is to travel the world and document different ways of living in my travels, which will be exhibited. I want to show the world that photography is also an Art form.

Me: Many photographers are always out at events, do you attend events and if so which ones are your favorite?

Lonwabo: I do, my favorite ones are the ones where people are dressed up and are enjoying themselves .Locally my favorite event is called “CoolOutVintage” it’s inspired by 90’s hip hop and RnB.

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As good and professional as he is, Lonwabo is also a very humble and inspiring person, He studied and graduated but that didn’t stop/hinder his desire of becoming a photographer and not just ordinary photographer he said but an artistic one. BlakkRenaissance.wordpress.com will be previewing more of this Renaissance, artistic fashion photographer’s work he will be offering in future.

 

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Click Below to connect with Lonwabo Zimela

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Facebook

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#BlakkRennaisance

 

Canvas Collections Of The Mind and Soul By art xcvi

“The Art” or art xcvi (XCVI) is a neo-expressionist, visionary, past and future orientated artist. He is widely known with his own style of making art known as wabi sabi which he explains as “acknowledging that there is beauty in imperfection and even though it is something that I believe in,I am experimenting with different styles at the moment”.

“art” means the products of human creativity or the creation of a beautiful or significant thing and “xcvi” means 96 in ancient roman numerals. The name is spelled with small caps and it is a combination of Kamohelo’s religion and passion which is art and the year which he was born in, 1996.

‘art xcvi’s’ or rather known as Kamohelo Morobe by close family and friends is a 20 year old Renaissance multimedia manipulator, multi-talented and art-conscious artist/graphic designer. “The Modern Day Basquiat” prides himself in creating artistic treasure out of nothing and somehow always manages to organically capture emotion and captivate the viewers interests and enthusiasm through the different ranges of work he does which includes digital drawings and designs, pencil sketches, event posters, and animation just to name a few. Art xcvi is the definition of a modern day African Renaissance kid from the streets of Ebony Park, Midrand South Africa.

art xcvi Presents TheArt

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Kamohelo “art xcvi” Morobe was born and raised in Midrand, South Africa where he fell in love with the idea of art as a little kid. Him and I went to the same primary school in the dusty township of the East Rand, Ivory Park Primary School and upon our first few interactions he struck me as a self–conscious and a very conserved kid who isolated himself from his surroundings. The only people whom he socially engaged with freely were close friends who weren’t as like-minded as the rest of the kids at school. While the ordinary kid was trying to be popular at school, The Art and his friends were always gathered away from everybody else, sharing ideas,compliments, new techniques and opinions of each other’s drawings of cars and Dragon Ball Z cartoons and other fictional characters which were popular at the time. I found it very fascinating to see their enthusiasm and so much passion over a hobby that would later become art xcvi’s true destiny.

Years later… By fate and omens, we got enrolled to the same high school, same class (8th grade) and he still concealed himself among the population of our noisy classmates. The only thing he did besides having an interest in the girls at school was drawing, drawing, drawing and more drawing! The following year (2011) xcvi changed schools. He got a transfer and moved to a new high school named New Horizon  College; a mixed boarding school in the Free State province, in a city named Harrismith. Personally I’d say this is when I started noticing world class improvement in his drawing skills, eager for perfection and the expression of vivid visions, which made him stand out among any other young sketcher who aspired to be an artist at the time. Every time he’d come back home from the Free State for the holidays he’d always come back with masterpieces that raised the benchmark of drawing among his peers, others were inspired while others envied, but nothing could stop him now, The Art was only getting started.

Sketches of World Star Artist : J Cole by art xcvi

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I began to understand his quietness a little better every time I spent more time with him. We were becoming good friends, the more I looked closely and analysed each & every one of his art pieces is the more I started understanding why he was always isolated from his surroundings as if he was in a trance. In my own opinion, It all made sense to have such a strange character show you a different side of characters through the eyes of a canvas. This is widely because his art-works have done the talking for him and if you are not aware of this it may be simple for you to misinterpret his real persona especially to basic stereotypes.

I remember in 2014 while he was still at boarding school, he initiated his own label for his own designs, he called it “THE_VRT”  which means The art, he distributed a series of his art-pieces on social media to make people aware of his art movement. The following year after matriculating at New Horizon boarding school he enrolled at Midrand Graduate Institute (MGI) for a course in graphic designing. This life changing decision increased his knowledge and passion for art to greater frontiers which extended what he had already learnt at his boarding school. This synchronized perfectly with the graphic designer in him and didn’t hinder him from reaching greatness it only made him greater.

Mandela Tribute By art xcvi

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While acquiring new information and techniques of making art, he embarked on new journey and began creating album covers for many upcoming artists, face sketches, digital drawings but above all those, sketching females seemed to be what tickled his creativity and consumed most of his sketching time, he even came to a point where he admitted to me that he gets his inspiration from sketching beautiful girls, which is quite natural for an artist of his kind seeing that he was widely influenced by Pablo Picasso and Michel-Jean Basquiat who also had those similarities.

I once asked him “why do you like to draw sketches of girls so much”?

He replied “Because it’s worth it”.

That wouldn’t be surprising if you keep in mind that he is a visionary raised by a single mother who’s been very supportive towards his passion for art from a young age.

In 2015 he made a collection of art-works filled with different beautiful girls who seemed to be his inspiration at the time,I guess. He distributed this collection one by one all over different social media platforms which gained him a lot of recognition and credibility because most of these girls were popular in the areas they were based in, Some of them were popular on social media as well.

THE VRT Collektion By art xcvi.

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Now that people were aware of his talent and had given him the credibility that was attracted by his hard work, he had to introduce people to his art stories, he was going through a phase of change where he was getting different inspirations towards his fantastic work.This caused  his skills to escalate him to become a greater artist each and everyday! It  was really impressive to observe  him evolve  to his own style of art which is unorthodox and  very expressive.He then later released a different collection of  portraits that are made up of different formats of images like photographs, cartoons, digital drawings/paintings. Almost like a digital version of neo-expressionism.

The Migraine Collektion By art xcvi

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I remember asking him “what happened to the girls?”

He replied “Basquiat and Picasso happened”

I was confused by what he had just said to me but that gave me the drive to look into the history, documentaries and previous work of Michel-Jean Basquiat, Pablo Picasso, Michel Angelo and other great artists he had mentioned to me. After finding out who they were and the impact they had on the world stage of art in the 21st century, I analyzed them carefully and realised that most of these artists possess characteristics that are similar to art xcvi, how do I know this? They spent most of their time working on meaningful masterpieces, they expressed more what they felt through their work more than what they saw. Picasso and Basquiat (his favourite artists) got a lot of inspiration from females in their art but always evolved their work into higher levels by becoming as inventive as possible.

Digital Hieroglyphics Collektion By art xcvi

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He told me that he believes God is an artist and we are all his masterpieces. He also believes that our art reflects who we are the same way that ‘6’ reflects ‘9’(a more detailed explanation of ‘xcvi’). Throughout our knowledgeable conversations we spoke about hieroglyphics which he uses a lot in his recent work and how much they fascinate him. Which lead me to asking him the ultimate questions about what his future plans were, to which he replied: ”I wanna work with Markham, I wanna work with Hype Magazine, I wanna work and create more with my friends ICONiX SA and lastly I would love to work with Loyiso Mkize”

I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed, so I asked him “at the same time?” and he laughed and said yes!

This again reminded me of his work ethic and his fire-burning passion for art. I think he’s going to emerge as one of the greatest artists of our generation simply because his work is undeniable, very attractive and above all, it’s like a breath of fresh air to the art scene! Below are some the latest collections of art xciv’s work. Blakk Renaissance will be reviewing every collection that this Renaissance artist offers and beyond.

The Kalour Collektion By art xcvi

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#blakkRenaissance by Lord Kenn

 

 

 

 

THE RISE OF AN ARTISTIC “BLAKKRENAISSANCE” AFRICA.

What is BlakkRenaissance ? Alot of people must be really curious to know the meaning of this word since it has recently popped up in front of their cell phones or computer screens.

Well BlakkRenaissance is a combination of the word black which is altered to slang “blakk” just tobe creative and Renaissance is the rise of a modern world ,a cultural rebirth from the 14th through the 17th century in European middle age history period,when two of these  words are combined they can simply be defined as a generation of multi disciplined black artists who are promoting the revival of learning and culture in our african societies.

The love of African culture is growing every day and more African people are starting to accept who they are because of the various artists that preach the blakkRenaissance through their music,art, poetry, the clothes they design and the way they present themselves to the masses,for instance if you look at South African hiphop and analyze how it began to receive it’s recognition amongst it’s own people after they started using their own culture as a major influence in their music rather than adapting to the hiphop cultures of countries like USA,England,Canada and so forth! That was only an eye opener for many artists and the beginning of the blakkRenaissance.

The BlakkRenaissance is on the rise and many artists are benefiting from the fruits of this blakk market were people share ideas and manifest them to better our own African cultures,I think the only way to modernise a society is to let the people of that society have a free-flow of ideas that can be developed to a sophisticated standard or better their ways of living in a modern community and BlakkRenaissance is not only a community of skilled black individuals,No!its also about forming an elite black society were every black male and female contributes their ideas in restructuring the African continent into an independent United States of Africa.

#BlakkRenaissance