Arcade Content’s Lebogang Rasethaba directed the music video for KwaDukuza, Mashayabhuqe KaMamba’s hit song addressing the taxi violence plaguing South Africa. In highlighting the futility of violence, the mini film also focuses on how women always sit at the receiving end of all the intersecting lines of violence, even when their bodies are not really central to the conflict.
KaMamba burst onto the South African scene with his debut album, The Black Excellence Show, inventing a new genre – digital maskandi – that married traditional Zulu folk music and warm Shembe harmonies with trap basslines and Auto-Tune, drawing on inspirations as diverse as Bon Iver, Busi Mhlongo, James Blake, Kanye West and Madala Kunene.
Since then, he’s collaborated with everyone from Aewon Wolf to Thandiswa Mazwai; been praised in Fader, The Guardian and OkayAfrica; opened for Young Fathers; and played Afropunk Paris, alongside the likes of Angel Haze, Michael Kiwanuka, Morcheeba, Petite Noire and Saul Williams.
KwaDukuza is the digital maskandi pioneer’s third music video, but the first he didn’t direct himself. The collaboration came out of KaMamba and Rasethaba’s appearance as influencers in Standard Bank’s Make One Day #Today campaign, which aims to inspire South Africans to publicly commit to making their dreams a reality today, rather than one day, later, just now or now now.
For his pledge, Rasethaba surprised KaMamba by committing to make a music video for him, as part of an apology for not being a great friend at a time when the director was struggling with work/life balance and failing to keep his relationships as the most important thing in his life while launching his career.
“I wanted to make amends with Mashaya for a long time, maybe years even,” says Rasethaba. “I was tired of avoiding him in public; I was tired of being embarrassed by how I behaved. This campaign and the video by extension emerged as the perfect opportunity for atonement.”
Rasethaba’s previous music video, Sons of Kemet In The Castle of My Skin, won a Silver Loerie Award in 2016 – the highest accolade awarded in the music video category last year. It was also hailed as “the best jazz video all year” by OkayAfrica.
Motheo Moeng shot KwaDukuza, which was edited by William Kalmer at Deepend Post. Qhawekazi Mene is magnetic in the lead role, alongside Nnowambi Dakalo and Siyabonga Dumisa as the taxi drivers.
Watch the conversation that started it all:
Hear more of KaMamba’s unique sound athttps://soundcloud.com/theblackexcellenceshow or