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blaqnificant

ARE WE OBSESSED WITH BLACK EXCELLENCE?

This month recognises black resistance to historic oppression. Hashtags like #blackgirlmagic and #blackexcellence inspired the publication Istyleblaq to champion amazing individuals embodying blackness.

Unfortunately, during sponsorship meetings with two unnamed white-owned organisations, I was asked insensitive questions like “Why do I  have to celebrate black people?” or “What difference does that make regarding white superiority?”, which is disappointing unless there was no awareness of black history.

Celebrating black strength after centuries of oppression does not isolate but uplifts equality. Professors Phakeng and Twala expressed why applauding black excellence matters: “For me it means celebrating black success, showing the world we can succeed in a white environment,” said Phakeng. Twala added black excellence shows “daily excellence, reinventing when needed, focusing on dreams/purpose, projects beyond self-interest.” In essence, it spotlights our community’s greatness capacity.

Let us acknowledge liberation helpers’ courage and strength this and every month! Happy Black History Month from iStyleblaq!

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ISTYLEBLAQ MANAGEMENT

SINATHI MVANDABA – SINGER, SONGWRITER & COMPOSER

Sinathi Mvandaba, better known simply as Sinathi, began developing his talent for music and affinity for composition from an early age, dreaming of breaking into the vibrant South African music scene. As he continued playing and composing in his free time away from the business world, his love for the art form only grew stronger.

Born in rural Port Elizabeth in 1989, Sinathi was forced to move to Bedford in the Eastern Cape at a young age following his mother’s death when he was sixteen. He then moved to Joburg – the concrete jungle – with a determination to earn some money and make a name for himself musically. But without any formal training, Sinathi knew it would be tough to break into the industry.

Despite this, he was determined that someday his dream of becoming a musician would come true. His soulful and ethereal voice stole many hearts and imaginations, helping him stay positive as he sought solace in his music.

Facebook: Sinathi World Mvandaba

Bookings:talent@istyleblaq.com

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ISTYLEBLAQ MANAGEMENT

VONGSTHEDJ

Mpho Vongs Mkhwanazi is an old-school house deejay with a soulful sound who loves fashion and sneakers, particularly Converse. He takes inspiration from IFUKU, BOB THE STYLE and himself. Previously a barista, he knows the craft of making a beautiful cup of coffee and excels in mixing well and enjoys quality coffee. 

Mpho has been the resident DJ at Icon Soweto and his mixes have been played on Metro FM for the past four years. Born and raised in Soweto’s Old Dobsonville, he will be playing on Metro FM’s Kingsoftheweekend this Saturday. He has compiled and done mixes every Friday for two years straight to his followers on Hearthis.at.

By day, he is a Logistics Controller but he has also had several gigs at Altitude Beach, one of the biggest day clubs in the North, alongside DJ Fresh, Vinny da Vinci, SPHECTACULA and DJ Naves. To celebrate his 32nd birthday, he will be hosting an annual party at Onions&All in Pimville, Soweto.

Facebook: Mpho Vongs Mkhwanazi

Bookings: talent@istyleblaq.com

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Style

A ‘TRUE FASHION’ CONVERSATION ON THE OCCASION OF THE CAPE TOWN ART FAIR

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Style

Thapelo Mokoena discusses Bakoena’s new Beard Care range

Male grooming is becoming more visible in popular culture, with more and more men taking an interest in their personal appearance, which is great for individual confidence – and don’t forget about hygiene! Thapelo Mokoena, an actor and TV producer, recently announced the launch of the Bakoena Beard Care range on Instagram, so we spoke with him to find out more.

The Bakoena brand believes that the greatest way to make a statement is to act like the G.O.A.T (Greatest Of All Time). A man’s sense of pride is often represented by his beard, so it’s important for him to take care of it properly in order to look and feel good. The Bakoena range offers products specifically designed to give your beard a boost, such as their Beard Wash cleanser that removes dirt and grime without stripping any natural oils and their luxurious Beard Butter blend made from mango and shea butter – perfect for nourishing your hair follicles while maintaining texture!

Muzi: Congratulations on your new Beard Care range, what inspired you to go in this direction?

Thapelo: I was drawn on this journey by a personal solution to my eczema until I met Jared Hines, my business partner and skin wellness expert. I was amazed by his understanding of organic ingredients and eventually, he created a natural treatment just for me – and it worked!

Since making the switch to natural products, I’ve noticed that most of the items in my bathroom aren’t appropriate for my climate or aren’t made locally or on a continental scale. This curiosity drove me to create a grooming line that focuses on African beards that are prone to ingrown hairs due to their length and that are prone to bulging due to darker skin tones – making them accessible to all.

Muzi: Grooming is often associated with women and femininity, and most men disregard it because it may compromise their masculinity. What’s your take on this?

Thapelo: In this day and age, it’s short-sighted to view things from a socially-driven perspective; now, it’s all about wellness. Conversations revolve around health, vitality, and sustainability -and grooming is a part of this too.

We’ve given such a negative definition to grooming, treating it as nothing more than a time-consuming activity to look “pretty” or “hot”. But in actuality, grooming is self-care; it’s about loving yourself and taking good care of your body. It doesn’t compromise masculinity–it’s actually about preserving and enhancing the wellness of your skin, beard and face. We should all be proud of taking care of ourselves.

Muzi: What does male grooming mean to you?

Thapelo: It means striving to be the best version of yourself as a man, and I believe that when you look at our product as Bakoena Brands, there are values that speak to the type of man that we’re speaking to.

At Bakoena Brands, we strive to help men become the best versions of themselves. We represent the values of being a man, husband, father, brother, and lover, and we want our products to be something that every African household can relate to. Our tagline “The feeling of home” is what we want our customers and tourists to experience when they use our products.

Muzi: What’s next for the Bakoena brands now that you have added cosmetics?

Thapelo: It may be a bit premature to ask, but we just welcomed our second child into the world and it is an amazing journey that lies ahead. I’ve spent the past two years working to make this venture a success and I’m proud to say that it has a long lifespan – longer than my own life! We are grateful for each person who has joined us, as well as those who have purchased our product. As we continue to grow and flourish, let’s take care of the African home one product at a time.

Visit bakoenabrands.com to find out more about this fantastic brand and how they can help you keep your ‘crown’ looking regal!

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