photography by
photography by Jody Brand

Watch Daniel Haaksman featuring Spoek Mathambo in Akabongi, an inner city intersection of art, internet and hustle

Art and technology have this shared power to transcend their original context, creating new contexts, and new worlds within which they can be used and understood. These elements meet in interesting ways in Daniel Haaksman and Spoek Mathambo’s new video. Shot in Johannesburg, it reflects the city’s hustle and innovations, its creativity and its unique landscape.

‘Akabongi’ samples the legendary Soul Brothers and this video vivifies the sometime thankless, sometime thrilling grind of hustling and working in the CBD. The grind is the reason people break through and push passion; humans always find innovative ways to connect and create in unconventional spaces. The video references the CUSS Group’s work in the fusion of art and technology and CUSS’ use of urban spaces as outposts for exhibiting art, highlighting the ‘artistic value of hybrid cultural production’ and revealing that art can be anywhere, and enjoyed by anyone, even if it’s streaming out of a PC screen in the bustle of downtown Jozi. Perhaps especially then, as the digital age continues to reveal and unravel what art means, where it can be found and what it can do.

While the CBD may appear a gritty clog in the machine, it is buzzing with creativity and possibility in its various corners, The Scorpion’s pantsula dancing is far from out of place on the streets of the city, it’s another hustle here. People get incredibly creative, using culture and creativity as instruments of expression and economic survival.  And pantsula is an art form so particular to Southern Africa’s culture and circumstance.

Sampling the Soul Brother’s and Mada ‘the Scorpion’ dancing pantsula all contribute to a colourful cultural expression of southern african urbanity. The video was directed by Chris Kets and it’s crew is a roll call of urban brilliance; TakeZito produced the video and Jody Brand played Creative Director, her incredible images from the shoot offer a background into the scenes and faces that give this city its originality and humanity.

The fusion of 90’s Kevin Smith tropes meeting a work day in inner city Jozi is such fun especially when Spoek Mathambo and Mada are the homies hustling at the internet cafe. Enjoy Akabongi below, its brilliant and so refreshing.

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