Yes Fash: The new wave of social media talent advancing online popular culture that’s truly South African!

Facebook should be understood as a form of democratic space in which people from various walks of life are able to distribute and contribute to a digitized cultural ethos. Its various pages are created by its multitude of users and function to reflect the lives and experiences of those they target. Here we see at work more than just the exchanging of ideas but also the validation of lives through the presentation of a lived experience.

Yes Fash is a local example of such. His content reflects a great promise for local digital culture with his ever growing Facebook following and a stream of positive responses from his audiences.

Yes Fash is tapping into this need for South Africa to be validated by those who take what its like to be black and young seriously. Not by the “adulating” media content that speaks down, telling them what they can and cannot do but by showing just how ridiculous those very commands and adults can actually be. Yes Fash instead presents us with a sense of what it’s like to be young and black by delving into the thoughts, aspirations and the constant upheavals of the everyday grind that comes with being such.

He does this by showing us what its like for a guy wanting to impress his cherry with his (lack of) computer skills. He even features a video showing what happens when thunder strikes and your Grandmother commands you to disconnect and strip off all hazardous objects, including your metal bedazzled slacks.  Yes Fash allows us to gaze back into the banality of everyday interactions and take notice of our lives through comedic re-enactment. He also gives us a means in which we can see our stories in short video clips.

Make no mistake, Yes Fash is not for everyone. He is here for his viewers; the many followers who find themselves relating to his videos, laughing at how similarly uncanny the skits are to their very own experiences.

What makes him the young filmmaker to follow is he takes seriously the multiplicity of what it means to be black and young. He shows the variety and complexity that comes with truly understanding this identity. His more recent videos capture this stylistically, as he imagines with what the IPhone ring tone would sound like if it were made by him. Featuring the remixes of the tone in the style of Pantsula jams the Soweto cats would listen to and even remixed to the sounds of Cassper Nyovest and OkMalumKoolKat!

Fash has given a voice to the everyday meme and made it a truly South African Snapchat product for young online-audiences. His work reflects a growing need for digital content that recognises the diversity in black youth culture and how cell phone technologies are allowing us greater accessibility to the manufacturing of our own content that’s free and immediately accessible by those it targets.  He is part of the new generation of talented media makers etching out a space for South African producers of their own popular culture that’s truly made for them.


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