Tshepo Pitso, aka Don Dada, is part of a street culture that has evolved into a movement and a fashion community. Izikhothane are the kings and queens of South African brands, bright colours and flamboyant fashion combinations. Don Dada informs us that they have attempted to erase the fragmentation and rivalry between izikhotane crews by creating one – Material Culture. He expressed that this has been significant because it has burgeoned a collective sense of pride and connection between izikhozane from different parts of the country.
Plugging into the politics of representation, Don Dada expressed that sharing the videos he created on YouTube was crucial as it ensured that izikhozane culture had a place on the internet. This allowed insider documentation of the people and style that is recognizably izikhozane. “We can’t have lost memories,” Don Dada states. This aids in the preservation of izikhozane identity, which Don Dada states is an important motivator for continuing to find ways to share and connect izikhozane from across the country. This self-made exposure has also attracted local and international media. Don Dada sees this as a way to inform people of the culture’s core and to avoid misunderstandings about what they stand for. It also allows for people to recognize that there is a uniquely South African fashion style, that is growing through self-referencing.
The event, Sula Africa, is a coming together of izikhozane. However Don Dada explains that all people interested in fashion are invited. “We are inspired by fashion…We meet as Africans in fashion. That’s why we say Sula Africa”
In closing, Don Dada reflects on his aims as a participant, promoter and preserver of the subculture. “We don’t want to change the style. We are trying to keep it the way it was. We want to keep the identity the same. I don’t want someone who was a skhothane a long time ago, when he sees the current skhothane, and say ‘No this is not skhothane’. He must see that we are still izikhothane. We are still brave and we are not scared.”
Featuring – Don Dada
Camera – Jamal Nxedlana
Motion Design – Lex Trickett
Sound – Griffit Vigo
Editing – Themba Konela