We caught up with Tsholofelo Radebe the founder of WOKE ARTS, a united movement of the youth proclaiming the evolutionary and revolutionary importance of arts.
His story is a lot more intricate than the limitation of words, Tsholofelo aka Stylez is from Centurion Pretoria. With roots from the East Rand of Johannesburg where his rents are from, with a mixture of the rural Kwa-zulu natal all these places influenced his upbringing.
(PICTURE: woke_arts instagram)
We asked Stylez, where his passion for arts comes from. “I’ve always been an artist, I wanted to be an actor since I was six and I always found joy in bringing out the happiness in others through entertainment. As I grew I dipped quite deeply into dancing and studied drama for three years in high school”. Growing up Tsholofelo was influenced by hip hop, with rappers and actors like Denzel Washington being the black kings on TV in the 90s, Stylez wanted to be just like them, that’s how he started writing Lyrics.
Those are the foundation blocks that eventually made PAPA WOKE. We asked him what art and hip hop means to him, “It is who I am and how I came to be. My expression, my impressions and my thought process all trickle down back to art and hip hop”. Stylez believes once people share commonalities in those two foundations they can transcend to an understanding beyond verbal communications.
(PICTURE: by Vivid_ink56)
Woke Arts shindigs has been hosted in three places to date, originally the concept was launched in Pretoria, it had a leg in Johannesburg, they also did one in Cape Town. We asked styles how are the cultures in these three different metropolis.
“Pretoria’s power is its people, its finest commodity and greatest export is its people. A very joyful, beautiful and sometimes even humble people who make life more colorful, they are LOYAL. Johannesburg has the cool, the industry, the hype and the POWER, from there we learnt how to structure ourselves as an organization and not only a love revolution.”
He had so much to say about Cape town “ Cape town has the history , the struggle , the rootedness and awareness of the real South African experience that reflects in the depth and genuineness of the art expressed there. Art is not a fad or phase to them, they understand it as a lifestyle.”
We asked him we his heart is between this three metropolis, he gave us a textbook answer. “The World. We want the whole globe to unit in our cause. It is bigger than one location”
(PICTURE: artwork by @Khanyathedesigner x @iarenotdarren)
Stylez is one of the most talented writers I‘ve ever met in my life, met through a friend while we was trying to pursue an online project that never materialized, we was bringing him in as a creative writer for the project. We had to find out where his passion for writing comes from and what makes him a dope ass writer. “The root of my talent lies in ideas, every art has served as a vessel for those ideas and concepts. Also, from a social standpoint, I’m a storyteller. Having acting ambitions have made me see life through the lenses of a film director so I live out a movie. The writing, the raps, the poetry are just my means of narrating and expressing the triumphs and tribulations of the tale that is my life”.
(PICTURE: visual arts By @Sty7ez x @iarenotdarren)
Back to the movement that is WOKE ARTS, we found out what it is all about, the purpose and missions.” W.O.K.E (We’re Original Kreatif Enlightened) ARTS is a united movement of the youth proclaiming the evolutionary and revolutionary importance of arts. We are educating ourselves and society about what art means to us. To give you a dose of our short term goal, WOKE Arts aims to host a festival displaying Original Kreatif and Enlightened Art that reflects the experiences and the passion of the collective. Our South African agenda is to bring back a sense of originality and honesty back into all our art forms”.
(PICTURE: @woke_arts Instagram)
Fresh from the WOKE Experience that occurred on the 1st of October in Pretoria, we asked the home slice where to from now with the movement. “In November we’ll be celebrating our second birthday and we may shift focus from the art to the people. As it is also about society and improving ourselves within the society as a family”. Stylez echoed that the movement would also like to extend the hand of all talents to other events who may need a different sort of flavor to add some colour to the crowd of the event.
(PICTURE: @woke_arts Instagram)
Every entrepreneur has a plan and a purpose, we found out from Stylez what are the plans for the WOKE ARTS movement. “That is something we have to rubs hands and let unfold before us. But it’s bigger and more purposeful than just a social turn up. We want to elevate and create a platform for meaningful art globally”.
Stylez also mentioned that funding and support are still major predicaments for young creative entrepreneurs “Funding and to other people support may be hard to come by”. He boosts that him and WOKE ARTS have been blessed to receive genuine love from all around and immense gratitude flows through all of them, higher power is moving them forward. “Also, we are in an industry of emotions and managing that is a lot more abstract but we grow after every debacle”
To close of the conversation with PAPA WOKE, we asked how people get involved with the movement.
For now he suggests everyone follows Woke Arts and every artist they post on the timelines. Both Twitter and Instagram.