Brett Murray
Brett Murray
Artist, Cape Town
Referred to by critic Brenda Atkinson as "the dark prince of South African pop (art)", Murray is one of the country's most popular artists, often using easily recognizable media images with the addition of a subversive and bitterly funny twist. Murray's work addresses the wars of the cultures, the clash between Afrocentrism and Eurocentrism, and the old and the new South Africa.

In 2012, Murray exhibited a painting at the Goodman Gallery of President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed. In May 2012, the African National Congress announced its intention to sue him for defamation for the painting and to force the gallery to remove it from exhibition, its website, and printed materials. Many public figures expressed outrage at the painting, and one church even called for Murray to be “stoned to death”.

Links: Official, Gallery
Mpumi Mcata, BLK JKS & Motèl Mari
Musician, Johannesburg
Mpumi Mcata plays guitar in the Johannesburg based bands BLK JKS and Motèl Mari. The BLK JKS have become one of the most recognized bands out of South Africa in recent years. They performed at the opening ceremony of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa alongside Alicia Keys and Black Eyed Peas. As their U.S. indie label Secretly Canadian puts it “It's been too long since anyone was able to bring this much soul and heartblood to progressive rock, a medium that has been left cold and dry by a misguided focus on technical show-offery. But by entangling the music they love – township blues, fringe jazz and renegade dub – into the DNA of prog, BLK JKS have provocatively pulled afro-futurism into a new century”. The BLK JKS has never claimed to be a political band, but media and audience alike, can't help to view them as such.

Links: Record Label, Facebook, Twitter
Zanele Muholi
Artist, Johannesburg
Zanele Muholi is a photographer and activist who documents the LGBT community and together with her organization Inkanyiso, she exposes hate crimes that are ignored by the government and mainstream media. The minister of Arts and Culture, Lulu Xingwana walked out of an exhibition that featured Muholi’s photography and publicly called it immoral, offensive, and going against nation-building.

Zanele was the 2013 recipient of the Index Award, a freedom of expression award described as “an extraordinary celebration of the courageous and determined individuals around the world who have stood up for free expression, often at great personal risk".

Links: Official, Inkanyiso, Twitter
Xander Ferreira, Gazelle
Musician, Limpopo, Cape Town & New York
Hailing from a small town near the border of Mozambique, Xander Ferreira has devised a stage character based on archetypal African dictator to more freely comment on his community and his country. Part performance artist and part rock star, Xander has toured extensively around the world and is currently calling New York home.

Links: Official, Facebook, Twitter
Designers, Soweto
The Smarteez is design collective based in Soweto that has garnered world wide recognition for their style and fashion creations. The core members are Thabo Tsatsinyane, Floyd Avenue, Sibu Sithole and Teekay Makwale. Fed up with the quality of eduction in their community, they run a free, daily after school program for kids.

Links: Follow the Rabbi Hat
Siyabonga Mthembu, The Brother Moves On
Musician, Johannesburg
Siyabonga Mthembu is the charismatic and openly political frontman of, what many have dubbed as, the next big band coming out of South Africa – The Brother Moves On. The Mail & Guardian describes them as “an experimental collective that mixes rock, Xhosa funk, jazz, folk, electronic, dance and spoken word for the post-apartheid age”.

Links: Official, Facebook, Twitter
Yolanda Fyrus
Musician, Khayelitsha
Yolanda is a singer and dancer who performs with Gazelle and Spoek Mathambo. She lives in the vast Khayelitsha township outside of Cape Town and is in the process of launching her career as a performer along with producer Aviwe Koti.

Links: Facebook
Musicians, Cape Town
One of the most popular bands in South Africa, Fokofpolisiekar (Fuckoffpolicecar) has been embroiled in controversy since its inception. Much outrage has been expressed by the conservative Afrikaans community over the use of allegedly "anti-religious" lyrics in many of the band's songs.

Links: Official, Twitter
DJ Invizable
Musician, Cape Town
DJ Invizable is a Cape Town based DJ and performer who frequently collaborates with Xander Ferreira of Gazelle. DJ Invizavble describes himself as “a mythical being who travelled from a distant highland tribe. Advisor to The Imperial House Of Africa”.

Links: Facebook, Twitter
Motel Mari
Motèl Mari
Musicians, Johannesburg
Motèl Mari is a Johannesburg-based band consisting of “electro-acoustic sound sculptor” João Orecchia, and Mpumi Mcata and Tshepang Ramoba of the BLK JKS.

Links: Official, Facebook
Neil Dundas
Neil Dundas
Curator, Johannesburg
Neil Dundas is the head curator for Goodman Gallery, the premier South African gallery for contemporary art. Goodman Gallery represents the artist Brett Murray and were sued along with Brett and City Press over the painting “The Spear”.

Links: Goodman Gallery
Jan-Henri Booyens
Artist, Cape Town
Jan-Henri Booyens is a contemporary abstract artis based in Cape Town. He's part of the Avant Car Guard collective.

Links: Tumblr
Jaco Van Schalkwyk
Artist, Cape Town
Jaco van Schalkwyk is a visual artist living and working in Cape Town

Links: Official
Ferial Haffajee
Journalist, Johannesburg
Ferial Haffajee is the Editor in Chief of the City Press newspaper and was previously the Editor of the Mail & Guardian newspaper. She is the first woman of color to be made Editor of a major newspaper in South Africa.

Links: Official, Twitter
Lloyd Gedye
Lloyd Gedye
Journalist, Johannesburg
Lloyd Gedye was until recently the Mail & Guardian's business and arts reporter. He’s now the editor for The Con magazine.

Links: Official, Twitter
Iman Rappetti
Journalist, Johannesburg
Iman Rappetti is a senior news anchor at E News Channel.

Links: Official, Twitter
Charl Blignaut
Journalist & Activist, Johannesburg
Charl Blignaut is a journalist and columnist at City Press.

Links: Official, Twitter
Milisuthando Bongela
Blogger & Entrepreneur, Johannesburg
Milisuthando Bongela “Milli” is a fashion and culture blogger and entrepreneur based in Johannesburg. She was the first writer to report on the Smarteez fashion collective.
Links: Blog, Twitter
Atiyyah Khan
Journalist, Cape Town
Atiyyah Khan is a freelance journalists who writes about music for publications like the Mail & Guardian.

Links: Twitter