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There is no celebrity in SA whose success story touches me more than BlackCoffee’s. Always one to deviate from the norm and do things his way, BlackCoffee made a surprising announcement this month that is set to transform and shape the world of arts in SA. The nation’s favourite DJ, house music legend, Black Coffee has launched a new project alongside South African textile and knitwear designer Laduma Ngxokolo and artist Nelson Makamo. The innovative project called F.A.M. Academy, is a Fashion, Art and Music Academy. The three creatives opened up about the new project at the Design Indaba in hosted in Cape Town earlier this month.

The Superman hitmaker told his Instagram fans, “Fashion, Art and Music Academy is a new project we are embarking on. Our goal is to build an Academy for talented youth on these 3 professions. We want to create Jobs for the Students straight out of the Academy. For Music if you get admitted as a student you also receive a Recording Contract and you’ll be taught about Music, Branding and Social Media, Music Business and more. In 2nd Year you release you 1st Single then on Final year you work on your Album and launch it at your Final Recital. We are currently looking for premises for this Project. We’re gonna be raising Funds for this project in every part of the World where we have footprint as Artists starting from here at home. This is not for us but for the Future Generations. We’re gonna need any kind of assistance with this Project. Foxes have holes… Birds have Nests…. Children of Africa have nothing.”

Here is a closer look at the faces behind F.A.M.

FASHION: Laduma NgxokoloHis work is one of the best things to ever happen to SA’s Textile and Design industry. Laduma Ngxokolo is one of Africa’s finest knitwear designers and the innovator behind MAXHOSA BY LADUMA, a men’s knitwear range inspired by traditional Xhosa beadwork. The brand created in 2011 has earned Ngxokolo numerous achievements and continues to steals the hearts of global fashionistas and media from South Africa, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Oslo, Berlin and New York. Ngxokolo recently won the 2015 Vogue Italia Scouting for Africa prize to showcase his collections at the Palazzo Morando Show in Milan, Italy. As if that was not enough slayage, in 2014, Ngxokolo was awarded the WeTransfer Scholarship to study masters in Material Futures at the Central St. Martins and graduated in 2016. I also love how Laduma is expanding his brand, having recently branched out into other areas like carpets and cushions, by working with new partners.

ARTS: Nelson MakamoBorn in Modimolle, Limpopo province, Makamo moved to Johannesburg to pursue his love for art, by joining the Artist Proof Studio in January 2003 where he spent years studying and working as a sales representative and curator of the gallery. He was later awarded a bursary from Johnson and Johnson and the Pinpoint one Human Resources Scholarship in 2005. Makamo boasts an impressive resume, having exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in South Africa, France, Italy, America, Netherlands, Amsterdam and Scotland. Makamo spoke to Destiny Men about the art industry when he covered the prestigious publication’s youth month issue. His very first solo exhibition hosted at the Obert Contemporary Gallery in Melrose Arch, Joburg was meant to be a defining moment for him as an artist, after all his pieces were sold out. “It was sold out, but I actually didn’t make much money. It was a shock to hear that I was doing well, that my name was flying, while the fridge was empty at home. I realised that many people claimed to want to work with me because of my name, but all they really wanted was to use me,” he told the publication. Makamo’s work forms part of a few collections such as those of fashion mogul Georgio Armani, musician Annie Lenox, Telkom, Unisa to mention a few. It’s great to see that his hard work is finally paying off.

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MUSIC: DJ BlackCoffeeI never know how to write about BlackCoffee, I mean, where does one even begin? I have actually been battling with writing about his incredible brand for GTC. It’s still a work in process, and hopefully soon, I will get to share the beautiful story behind this man’s impressive brand. He is after all the most prominent electronic music producer in Africa, slowly making waves in the States with industry pals Diddy, Swizz Beats, Alicia Keys, the uber creative Virgil Abloh and now seemingly, Drake. In September 2015, he won the “Breakthrough DJ Of The Year” award at the DJ Awards in Ibiza, which I believe was instrumental in positioning him as one of the most notable names in house music. From Paris & Milan Fashion Week, to Coachella and this weekend’s SXM Festival in St Martin, BlackCoffee continues to prove that there is no stage too great for him.

Images: Destiny/Elle/Instagram/DjMag

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