By CityLIfe Arts Writer
Night Embassy Johannesburg has selected the Ambassadors of The Night! They will reveal more information on their residencies on the 23rd of October at Anthill in Maboneng and you are invited.
Night Embassy by Jägermeister is a residency programme centred around ‘Freiraum’, a space for unbridled self-expression and unlimited creativity. From 12th November to 4th December, our selected Ambassadors will be exploring new directions in nightlife culture through various artforms and foster a strong sense of community.
After receiving hundreds of applications and uncovering some of the creative community’s most visionary ideas, the boldest concepts in the city were chosen. The four collectives selected to make their wildest nightlife event ideas come true in November are: Unmuted. by Lincoln Long and Draper, Other Village People by Andiswa Dlamini and Kefiloe Siwisa, Kombonation by Kananelo Kabelo Sello and Kgotso Selomah as well as DormantYouth by Thelma Ndebele.
After receiving hundreds of applications and uncovering some of the creative community’s most visionary ideas, the boldest concepts in Johannesburg were chosen: Unmuted by Lincoln Long and Draper, Other Village People by Andiswa Dlamini and Kefiloe Siwisa, Kombonation by Kananelo Kabelo Sello and Kgotso Selomah as well as DormantYouth by Thelma Ndebele will take over some of the iconic locations in the city this November to make their wildest nightlife vision come to life.
Already shifting creative spaces in the city through their projects and communities, these Ambassadors have received a major boost to their practices with the support of Night Embassy Johannesburg. They are recipients of mentorship from the Night Embassy Creative Board as well as the production and infrastructural support needed to enable them to create fresh new directions in Joburg’s nightlife. The Ambassadors’ entire programme will be showcased during four residency weeks in November and December, which will be open to the public.
On 11 December 2021, following the residency weeks, Night Embassy will close out with a big underground party in Johannesburg
Come and meet the Ambassadors of the Night!
At the official Night Embassy Launch Party you can expect to get a teaser and more information about the November residencies, enjoy welcome drinks and ice cold shots. You will be entertained by an interesting collaborative line-up, hear the story of Night Embassy and experience installations inspired by the future of Joburg Nightlife, curated by these revolutionary Ambassadors.
Tickets to the event on the 23rd of October are free but you are encouraged to back the future of nightlife by opting to financially support the Ambassadors and their communities through paying for a ticket.
Get your ticket by logging onto www.night-embassy.co.za.
“Each residency will be tailored to the experience of its participants. With educational lectures, hands-on workshops and expert guidance to help cultivate their career in music, the arts, and events onwards, the programme aims to equip each Ambassador with the inspiration, technical know-how and practical support to transform their creative practice and progress Johannesburg’s nightlife”, says Bea Theron, Jägermeister South Africa’s Culture and Experiential Marketing Manager. “Under the curatorial direction of each Ambassador, Night Embassy will also be a public showcase of their work, putting them in charge of a day-to-night programme with collaborators and mediums of their choice.”
The Ambassadors have been given a blank canvas to explore their chosen topics and concepts with the support of the Night Embassy Creative Board, five renowned figures known for their contributions to South Africa’s arts, events and music culture: Veteran event producer, business strategist and venue owner Theresho Selesho; designer, artist and creative director extraordinaire Jana Hamman; LGBTQI pioneer, DJ and content creator Lelowhatsgood; skate scene champion and filmmaker Day Marumo and amapiano centred talent management agency owner Thuli Keupzz. The Creative Board selected the final Night Embassy Ambassadors:
Unmuted. by Lincoln Long & Draper
Lincoln Long (he/him) and Draper (he/him) believe Unmuted. is the missing key to levelling the music playing field. Their mantra “Life Is Best Lived Unmuted” speaks to the idea that we’re all muted or unheard to someone and it’s only when we live life unmuted can we give opportunities to the unknown. What started in 2017 as Unmuted. Records, has become a hybrid independent label behind the production of chart storming songs by emerging artists, has now morphed into a network of future-thinking entities including a live/events/tour management and bookings division Unmuted. Live. Unmuted. also have a film and TV division, an online radio station and a clothing brand.
The experience of being Night Embassy Ambassadors has already had a major impact on Unmuted. “This has been an absolute dream. Through this experience we have been exposed to so much that we didn’t know and at the same time we’ve been made to feel and be more confident in what we do know. Besides the obvious financial injection, being an ambassador has and is providing us with new ways of thinking and working that we would not have been exposed to”, they share.
Other Village People by Andiswa Dlamini & Kefiloe Siwisa
Other Village People (OVP) by Andiswa Dlamini (she/her) and Kefiloe Siwisa (she/her) creates experiences for LGBTQIA+ communities to feel liberated, to live in the truest reflection of self, to connect, to celebrate and find their tribe. Founded in 2016, Other Village People has two queer-focused platforms; SSS (Same Sex Saturday), a party space that runs in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, and Grounded, an intimate series of alternative experiences from hikes to dinners and everything in between.
Other Village People note that in SA cities, “There is a lack of safer spaces that prioritise LGBTQIA+ communities and within the prevailing heteronormative constructs, LGBTQIA+ are often faced with discrimination, micro aggressions and even hate crimes. Our concept is about creating queer-centered spaces that normalise and celebrate our differences as if it’s always been that way.”
Kombonation by Kananelo Kabelo Sello & Kgotso Selomah
Market Photography Workshop graduates Kananelo Kabelo Sello (he/him) and Kgotso Selomah (she/her, They/Them) founded Kombonation in 2018. Kombonation is a Soweto-based pre-to-post production start-up, specialising in real and raw visual storytelling. They also create clothing that showcases their photographic skillset, and expresses the narratives that exist within and beyond the photographs.
Kombonation’s mantra is, ‘Together, we do the most. Kaofela Kaofela. One love.’ “Our art is by the kasi, for the kasi, and beyond”, says Kombonation. Night Embassy has given them, “an opportunity for us to create an alternative kasi nightlife experience on a bigger scale. By being Ambassadors of the Night, we get to drive home what’s really important to us – visual literacy.”
DormantYouth AKA Thelma Ndebele
DormantYouth AKA Thelma Ndebele is a non-binary (They/Them) DJ and Master of Architecture (GSA, UJ) whose interest lies in music as an alternative translation of place, as well as an archive of lived space. Their research and observations made at the GSA have culminated in them regarding music as a metric of place, specifically in clubs and event venues that host (sub)cultures that can be identified by the music produced and consumed by said social groups.
Speaking about their ideas, Thelma explains: “I want to build architectural structures specifically catering to Joburg nightlife. I want to add interesting physical installations into the club space as an additional layer to the excitement of going out. I think this residency will show an alternative perspective of architecture beyond its technical and formal predisposition. You can expect an installation fit for music, performance and film, nested in an unexpected context”.
These four Ambassadors promise to make their mark through curating memorable experiences this November; they are hoping to change the very fabric of the city nightlife landscape.
Theresho Selesho is a dynamic creative entrepreneur at the intersection of culture and business. He’s the CEO of Matchbox Live, the company behind major events like Black Coffee’s Music King and Oppikoppi. He is a partner in the Tshwanefontein event series and the Trancemicsoul Sessions and co-owner of the African Beer Emporium. Theresho also heads up the commercial division at artist Nelson Makamo’s Botho Project Space.
One half of the award-winning conceptual design and art direction studio Jana and Koos, designer, creative director and artist Jana Hamman has worked on Nike and Simon + Mary campaigns as well as on Alice & Fifth Restaurant and The Mighty Fine and Gorgeous George’s hotels. The co-owner of fashion label Beau Beau’s art has shown in London, Joburg, Berlin and Sydney.
Lelowhatsgood is the DJ, digital marketer and content creator behind groundbreaking ballroom party and queer safe space Vogue Nights Jozi. As a writer, his byline has appeared in many publications including The New York Times. Colourful and vibrant are adjectives that best suit this creative voice from the LGBTQI community. Lelowhatsgood embodies the freedom that comes with being proud of being one’s true self.
Sharpeville’s Day Marumo owns a Skate Company called Perfect Weather Skate and has a non-profit called the Perfect Weather Skate Foundation which hosts skate workshops, clinics and competitions for township kids. As a content creator and filmmaker he has worked on projects featuring Pharrell Williams, Black Coffee and Moonchild Sanelly amongst others. Day Marumo’s tale is one of aspirational passion leading one to be an unexpected figurehead within the ever expanding South African skateboarding culture.
Thuli Keupzz is Founder and Managing Director of amapiano centred bookings and talent management agency Lawk Communications. She is the marshal and custodian of some of amapiano music’s biggest names, she is Maphorisa’s manager and discovered Kabza De Small amongst many others of the 22 acts on her roster. Thuli has also been instrumental in spreading amapiano’s popularity to East Africa. Thuli’s distinct understanding of amapiano gives a depth of knowledge bar none within the industry as an artist manager who is actively in the party scene.