Meet the Top SA 10 LGBTQ Taste Makers, Culture Shapers & Influentially Creative

by | Jun 14, 2021 | Creatives On The Rise, CSA Celebrates, Culture, Design, Entertainment, Fashion, Lifestyle, Media Industry, Music, Social Media, Talent, The Wire

  • Singers, designers, content creators, cultural curators and much more
  • Wonder where everything cool comes from?
  • From the minds of the LGBTQ creative underground to the fashion streets
  • SA’s Top 10 LGBTQ+ trendsetters

Muneyi

Venda born and bred, Muneyi wants to give his listeners a “glimpse of heaven’’ with his folk tale-inspired soundscapes. The 24-year-old singer-songwriter finds his muse through love, the surroundings he grew up in and, the stories his grandmother used to tell him. After winning the Afropunk 2019 Battle of The Bands, Muneyi wishes to bring healing through vulnerability and radical honesty in his sonic explorations.

Khanyisa Madubula

Content curator, comedic crowd-puller and Social Media and Community Manager, Khanyisa Madubula has become a viral sensation after their hilarious Eskom skit on Twitter with which they had the whole of Mzanzi cracking up. Widely known as Khanyisa Unfiltered, this Cape-Town-born social media superstar started making videos to counter mental and financial battles brought about by lockdown and unemployment. They have since collaborated with brands such as Jameson, Savanna. Beefeater, Chappies and Samsung and appeared in Glamour Magazine.

Tutu Zondo

Tutu Zondo is a cultural curator and director working in SA’s entertainment industry. Known for their skills in film, television, and live performance, they also have a flair when it comes to writing, social media and creative project management. Being a devoted LGBTQI+ activist, Tutu shines light in the community by telling stories about the black, African, queer experience. “I want the world to see the beauty and strength that we as Black, African, Queer people possess.’’

Thembi Matroshe

Independent art curator, art advisor and art project coordinator, Thembi Matroshe, takes command in the art world by uplifting marginalized groups within the LGBTQI+ community. Thembi is deeply devoted to achieving decolonized archives and spaces for knowledge production and continues to empower these groups through creating and curating content around art, health, and lifestyle. This Joburg-based creative power is the head curator and executive director at Gallery Fanon, Curated by Thembi, and is also a founding partner at Re Curators.

Masa Diamond 

Masa Diamond is a chartered accountant, fashion and lifestyle digital creator who lives life through an infinite golden hour filter. Through her brand MASADIAMOND, this Cape Town-based social media superstar wants to spread a message of inspiration and living life as your true, authentic self. In the past year, she has worked with brands such as Woolworths, Police Eyewear, Fairmont Zimbali, Duchess, Cape Town Magazine, and Royal T Crowns. 

Odwa Bongo 

South African singer, songwriter, performer, composer and uHadi player, Odwa Bongo, began their musical journey at a young age, being part of the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir. The avant-garde artist draws inspiration from Classical, African and Jazz music. Although classically trained, under the guidance of globally acknowledged choirmaster, Doctor Johann Van Der Sandt, Bongo experiments with soul-feeding sounds and prefers not to box their music into any genres. There is a spiritual journey. They have performed at The Creative Youth Festival, Selective Hearing, The Expresso Show, Bush Radio and have collaborated with brands including The Bantry Bay Hotel and Collab 22.

Desire Marea 

Multi-disciplinary artist, Desire Marea, combines elements of gqom, galloping beats and operatic falsetto to take their listeners on a sensory exploration of the sacred nature of the divine. With their debut solo album, released last year, the South African musician creates ecstatic energy that speaks to the mind, body and soul. Before going solo, they were recognized as one half of the South African duo, FAKA, known for their worldwide performances at prestigious music festivals and being commissioned by Italian fashion house, Versace, to soundtrack their Spring Summer 2019 Menswear collection fashion show. Marea has since collaborated with American fashion brand Telfar with a performance staged at the Serpentine Pavilion in London and at New York Fashion Week.

Rich Mnisi 

South African fashion guru, Rich Mnisi, continues to grow his brand locally and internationally and has been featured in the editorial pages of, amongst others, Elle, Marie Claire, Vogue, Sunday Times, Fashion Glossary UK and Mail & Guardian. He has grabbed the attention of globally renowned musicians, Beyoncé and Ciara. Mnisi’s journey to uncover Africa’s hidden treasures through contemporary and youthful design has led him to win the Emerging Designer of the Year award in 2019 at the Essence Best in Black Fashion Awards and was also inducted into the Forbes 30 under 30 Class the same year. For pride month this year, Rich partnered up with Adidas for their 2021 Love Unites collection, dropping June 25th. The collection celebrates the LGBTQI+ community and draws inspiration from Pride colours and the ‘Do-It-Yourself’ culture that has played an important role in LGBTQI+ sports communities. 

Thebe Magugu 

The 26-year-old Kimberly-born designer, Thebe Magugu, is known for his luxury collections that speak cultural honour and uncompromising quality. His sleek, forward-looking designs have led him to win the LVMH (Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton LVMH LUXURY GROUP) contest created by Louis Vuitton’s executive vice-president, Delphine Arnault. He achieved further triumph that year (WHAT YEAR? 2019?) by walking away with first prize in the International Fashion Showcase at London Fashion Week. Together with Rich Mnisi, Magugu was among the LGBTQI+ icons and allies who collaborated with Adidas for this year’s Pride Pack. This 30+ piece line-up of apparel flaunts in fluid geometries and layered graphics throughout the collection, from jumpsuits to bucket hats, shorts, sports bras and jerseys. With the 2021 Love Unites campaign, Adidas aim to create community spaces where individuals can grow together and flourish as a community to unite in the name of love.

C.S.A.’s monthly cultural portal, The WIRE connects the dots of culture. With concise stories, many with video content, take a premium dive into the world of African entertainment & cultural fluidity. It’s one thing to be hip to what’s happening but it is another to know why.

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