Something Afrikan events showcase Durb's freshest artistic talent

These monthly events are a celebration of music, art and poetry

21 October 2017 - 00:00 By Gary Church
Something Afrikan is an event that brings together different representations of art in one place.
Something Afrikan is an event that brings together different representations of art in one place.
Image: Facebook/Something Afrikan

Music and culture have been shamelessly appropriated by branding - a way to deliver a visual message about a product to those seeking identity through aspirational stuff.

Energy and creativity - the hallmarks of being young - are being stifled. Promoters and venue owners are driven by chasing bar sales.

The music suffers and, ultimately, so does the culture around it. There is little place for anything original, edgy and raw.

Something Afrikan attempts to challenge this status quo by providing a monthly platform for developing underground performance culture and artistic expression in Durban.

Emerging artists perform with no expectation of payment. There is no cover charge and there are no brands. This is strictly free-form. The poets speak and performers sing while artists exhibit in the quirky Habesha Cafe, Glenwood's favourite Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurant.

The trio behind the initiative want to create "something African" that blurs borders both geographic and psychological. It has gathered significant support and momentum over the past six months because it goes beyond brand, race and class (a car guard poet regularly performs).

The driving force behind Something Afrikan is Adalgiso Alexandrino (aka DJ Be_Happy), who curates the event. Imaging and design is by Natasha Mkhize with her partner Patrick Mkhize (aka Navarone).

Mkhize is responsible for spreading Capoeira, a Brazilian art form that combines fight, dance, rhythm and movement, in Durban. (Capoeira features strongly in the monthly Something Afrikan line-up, led by Navarone.)

Gary Church is the third member, with a passion for music and the entertainment scene.

Something Afrikan is not so much about touting diversity but rather constructing a common culture based on music, poetry and art that is free-form and authentic.

The show takes place on the last Saturday of the month in Glenwood at 124 Helen Joseph Road. Entrance is free. For more information see Facebook.

• This article was originally published in The Times.