The average South African always associates the month of June with murderous events such as the Soweto Uprising, Sarafina, and the struggle. Back then it was a very dark month for the youth of South Africa, but nowadays dubbed Youth Month, June has become a month of opportunity, togetherness and fun. Ask T-Squared Clothing founder and Winter Drop organizer Thabiso Mokomele.
The T-Squared brand was established by Mokomele in 2008 who saw a need for a clothing brand from and for Gugulethu Township. Since its establishment the brand has grown and still continues to do so.
Winter Drop is an annual event which is organized by Mokomele. It was launched in June 2012 as T-Squared’s first fashion show. The purpose of the event is to showcase T-Squared’s latest winter range, and create a space where youngsters from Gugulethu and surrounding areas interact with the brand’s founder and enjoy amazing performances and food.
The 2014 Winter Drop fell on 16 June at 1 Khanya Crescent in Gugulethu. A day that saw tyres being burnt in ’76 now displayed wheels of sausages on fire. The venue was relatively empty upon our (Onele Liwani, our photographer and I) arrival at 14h00, but the event had begun on time and the music was already pumping. The winter range was already on display and the smell of boerewors was in the air.
The guests started arriving at around 15h30 filling the venue up with fashion fanatics. By 17h00 the musical acts that were meant to perform started warming up while the DJs kept everyone’s feet and hips moving. The event boasted DJs such as Good Hope FM’s DJ Loyd, DJ Regal, DJ Audio Jerk, DJ Tevas and DJ Zuai. Live acts that graced the stage were rap band DCT and rapper Supreme Soul.
Famed Khayelitsha-based dancer and choreographer Stoan kicked off the festivities with an impromptu hip hop and house dance routine, setting the tone for the event. Those in attendance knew Stoan very well and went crazy once he started dancing. DCT followed soon after with a sick hip hop performance, followed by Supreme Soul who took things to another level with his raw and catchy rhymes .
DJ Loyd was the last act of the day. In his set he included old school hip hop and kwaito (which celebrates its 20th birthday this year by the way). The music (and free drinks) set the event and crowd on fire. DJ Loyd finished off his set with some banging house tunes which made it very hard for me to go home. The event ended at 22h30 leaving the crowd (myself included) satisfied and wanting more.
T-Squared Clothing’s Winter Drop exceeded my expectations. The fashion, hospitality, and music were amazing. What was even more amazing was the love and support the youth had for each other. T-Squared’s slogan “If poverty is a struggle, hustling is a cure” was in full force on June 16, and it will surely continue to inspire young people to wake up and do something with their lives just like Thabiso Mokomele did. Big ups to T-Squared.
All images by Onele Liwani @Onele_L