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The Whole ‘Victoria Yards’

I don’t know what my obsession is with choosing my blog post titles from movie titles but it just keeps happening. I really miss my days of being a movie buff. So two Sunday mornings ago I got sent a flyer by a friend for this ‘Open Studio Vibes’ sitch that was happening at some place called Victoria Yards. I’d never been to this place let alone heard of it, but I knew I had to go. As a liker of things I will always try out new things at least four times. Victoria Yards just needed one time to hook me.

It’s situated in Lorentzville towards the east of Johannesburg. Approaching it you can instantly see it’s been redone, repainted and re-energised. I don’t really know what the space was used for before but it seems like the developers (who apparently developed 44 Stanley) wanted to keep it as raw and not overly worked as possible. You can tell by the presence of a lot of exposed brick, minimal painting and rusted iron on the roofing.

The title of ‘Open Studio Vibes’ was just that. The yards are split into a number of studios used by visual artists like Blessing Ngobeni, Dario Manjate (who does magical things with magazine cuttings), controversial painter Ayanda Mabulu and artisanal artists like Tshepo The Jeanmaker and Hélène, an interesting jeweler who has moved here from France. More studios are available for anyone wanting to rent the space to work, create, sell and even teach.

Surrounding the grounds are vegetable and orchid gardens planted as part of an agricultural project to promote job creation as well as generate some income for them. Speaking to the creative who manages the space who ended up giving us a cute little tour of the space, she stressed how working with the community around the newly developed space is very important to what they want to achieve.

Soon they will be having their own farmers market where locals can sell their own produce to customers who come in from all over the city. More so the artists and artisans who own studios are obliged to provide skills development and apprenticeship to empower individuals of the community who will then also share this knowledge to others.

I have no doubt that this space will thrive and become something great. It offers a variety of well-made creations from its residents, a small brewery should you become a bit thirsty and peckish and eventually open event spaces which could be used as galleries, private parties and as a function hall.

I’ll be sure to let you know when they have something again, keep your eye on the #FOMOFridays post. Otherwise pop in and check it out for yourself it’s gonna be a total thing.

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#FOMOFridays

#FOMOFridays

Ever seen someone’s instastory or snap and thought “Oooh! Where is that? What show is that? Who is that artist or band?” I do ALL the time! Mostly because I consume a s*#t ton of content and like nice things.

Lord knows if this will take off, but I’m all for trying something out at least once. Also I don’t do any posts on weekends so wanted to create something that will be continuous week on week. It will obvs need you to make it a thing though. *wink*

So the idea behind #FOMOFridays is to share what I’m listening to, watching and going to. Which is cute and all, but I really would like to also know what you’re doing. Then hopefully eventually we keep the FOMO low by finding new places, hot events, cool musicians and anything else that could be missed out on.

Let’s get it POPPIN!

Watching:


This week I went to go see the local new release ‘Five Fingers for Marseilles‘ at The Bioscope. I’ve never been a fan of westerns, nor do I get their plots – but Five Fingers was an enjoyable watch. It was beautifully shot with an amazing cast and gripping story. I was stressed half the time because you just didn’t know who was the real villain. It’s out nationally so go watch and boost sales!
On Netflix I GAGGED on ‘Wild Wild Country’! I still have two more episodes to go, but I couldn’t stop watching. I basically skipped gym to gobble up 4 eps in one sitting on Monday.
I haven’t started any new shows because the commitment of it all is a lot so I tend to watch easy reality shows. The rebooted America’s Next Top Model Cycle 24 ended this week with a new champ… it was cute. Ru Paul’s Drag Race Season 10 is amazing as always. If you’ve never seen this show, now is a good time to start. Never thought I’d be a VH1 gal, but they are doing it with their shows. The ‘Winnie‘ documentary is currently airing on eNCA and hopefully will be available at independent cinemas and online. It has everyone shook and well… pissed off. I still haven’t seen it yet but the reviews are in and they are hot! Some would say the timing may be a bit off to push this film, but this last week with the country in mourning has highlighted the almost uncelebrated life of a true South African hero. It’s a shame really, but it’s up to us to rectify it.

Listening:


I always feel like I’m missing out on music, new and old. There is just too much happening. But as of right now I’m still living for ‘You Will Not Die‘ from Nakhane. It’s one of those start to finish, no skipped tracks albums. Definitely how you do a sophomore album after an award-winning first release. Yaass!
My boo thang LEON just released his EPTo Be Continued‘ which is sooo good. I didn’t even know about his voice until I went to support him at The Orbit in January. He’s one to watch. His voice has such universal appeal and can translate in jazz, pop and urban R&B. Your homegirl Cardi B dropped ‘Invasion of Privacy‘ last Friday and it is a SMASH! She came with all the right ingredients for a first serving; an ode to her haters, calling out trashy men, booty shaking caliente beats with mad features. Can’t help but love this girl.

Doing (Weekend Tingz):

Tomorrow I’ll be at the Corona Sunsets Music Festival out in Modderfontein. Last years fest was magical, so I’m hoping they bring it again this year. The line-up is outrageous I hope I can keep up. It’s 90% sold out so if this is the first time you’re hearing about it, it’s worth a razzle.
Sunday is Nirox Picnic Day! Nirox Sculpture Park is one of the most beautiful spots around and has started a Picnic series for the winter. My girl Banesa Tseki will be holding it down with a distressing Kundalini Yoga session under the trees from 11am. There will also be performances and picnic baskets for order. It’ll be a nice chilled end to the weekend.

Please comment below with whatever you’re doing, jamming to and watching. Share any self-made playlists and events we may not of heard about that are interesting. Don’t forget to #FOMOFridays on social media.

xo

ALN.

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iStarring Cinemas THUD Launch

 

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Last Friday I was invited to take a seat at The Hookup Dinner (THUD) hosted at OPEN in Maboneng. Simply put, THUD is a networking community of entrepreneurs which provides a platform for exchanging great business ideas and opportunities through engaging and contributing to their successes. This particular event focused on the launch of iStarring Cinemas, a business that allows us regular folk to own a piece of  an independent cinema and possibly the whole franchise.

Before we got to talking about iStarring Cinemas, the night kicked off with the #JustPitch180 Competition were 4 budding entrepreneurs gave a pitch of their idea or current project in 180 seconds. In this time they had to explain what problem their idea was solving, how they are going to achieve this, the resources required and how their opportunity will generate profit. Audience members were given a score sheet where we were asked to give points to each presenter. This exercise was great because some audience members could actually  be investors who are interested in provided assistance or capital. Not sure if that ended up happening, but this was the spirit of the evening.

After all the pitching teams were done the score sheets were collected and we moved right onto the ‘Networking mixer’ portion of the evening. A fave for me. The host encouraged guests to get into groups of 10 and avoid being in a group with someone you came with. I instantly ditched my friend Sunni for a partially formed group with people with friendly faces. I’m naturally an introvert (don’t get me started) so these type of things are terrifying for me, but for whatever reason I was quite comfortable with the situation. The objective of the mixer was for everyone to introduce themselves; what they do, what product or service or organisation they are with and what value proposition they had, if any. My group was super diverse. It had me, the engineer-blogger who was there to cover the event, a guy from the Eastern Cape (who actually knows my younger brother – small world I swear) who works with renewable energy, a branding expert, a paediatrician, a young lady working on a skills development app, a media person from BrownSense Market and a young female farmer who is using amazing methods in organic farming. There were a few connections that were made from that 10 minute session which was excellent considering this may not have happened if we were not forced to interact with each other in that way.

The moment of the night was the introduction of the iStarring Cinemas. I love the name so much! It’s a play on what we used to call the lead star of a film or show growing up (and I guess still today?) as their name came up right after the “Starring” title. Y’all know what I’m talking about. Essentially the idea behind this is to have pop-up cinemas across the country with local content for every day people to have access to their own stories. The best part is that anyone can invest as little as R150 in the making of more cinemas and earn a percentage of the ticket sales. The People’s Fund collective have already raised R180k for their first cinema which launches in two weeks on Freedom Day at BrownSense Market in Glen Austin. Premiere night will screen the much anticipated ‘Five Fingers for Marseilles’ and musical feature ‘She Is King’.

A master class from industry greats was held at the end of the night. Thandeka Zwane and Helen Kuun from Indigenous Films, and Dumi Gumbi from Ergo Company were part of a panel which gave guests the lowdown on the film industry and the realities of working and creating in such a wonderful but sometimes difficult space. Indigenous Films is South Africa’s biggest independent film distributor and will be supplying iStarring with it’s films. Ergo Company is a film studio which has produced local films such as ‘Five Fingers’ and ‘Mrs Right Guy’. They were not playing around with this launch. These people understand the industry and are committed in bringing film closer to people who don’t necessarily have access. Don’t ever say I don’t tell you nothing!

There are so many people doing such incredible things and THUD really allows for honest collaborations and fruitful networking especially for entrepreneurial South African’s who have the need to create their own opportunities. I obviously bought a small share into iStarring Cinemas, because #SupportBlackBusiness. Felt great!

Follow THUD for the next networking event (especially if you have a great business idea or project) and iStarring for more info on how to contribute.

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