The Road: Home of renaissance

28 October 2015
The Road: Home of renaissance Image : 680
Sophiatown, or Kofifi as many call it and beam with nostalgia, was where black cultural and artistic expression in South Africa took foot and flourished. The area became the last baton of non-restriction during the highly controlled period of apartheid. It was during this period that black South Africans had freehold rights and were able to buy property, creating a racially mixed district that became increasingly black.

This environment of tolerance lifted the lid off of self expression and self determination in the African community. Society in Sof’town was whimsical and inspired but not without its vices. It was like living in a broad-way performance with music and art stealing the spotlight. Everything, from fashion and literature to life in the street, took shape from here.

With large influences from the Harlem Renaissance in New York a decade before, American jazz and film found its way into the heart of Kofifi. Roused by the music of Duke Elington, Count Bassie and Louie Armstrong, local bands started experimenting with American Swing music styles.

Softown feat image

Just like their American contemporaries, popular groups such as The Manhattan Brothers, The Jazz Maniacs, The Pitch Black Follies and The Merry Blackbirds enlisted female vocalists to hold up front as muses. Talented songbirds Dolly Rathebe, Dorothy Masuku and Miriam Makeba were among the most admired muses and grew into the hallmarks of South African jazz history that they now are.

Through the production of Kofifi in The Road, the spirit of Sophiatown is brought back to life, alongside the harsh realities of the period. From muses Stella and Dodo to The Harlem High Hats, musicians not only become the cream of the cultural crop during the 1940's and 1950's but the voice of an historic generation, as well as the flag bearers of expression against an infamously repressed backdrop.

Take a look as the folks from V Entertainment go behind the scenes with Sthembiso “SK” Khoza, who plays the role of Styles in Kofifi.


SK catches up with PR lady Salome


Getting to know the cast of The Road

Make a date with the new telenovela,The Road on Mzansi Magic, DStv channel 161, from Monday to Thursday at 7:30pm. For more information, like the Facebook page and follow The Road on Twitter @TheRoadMzansi. join the conversation using the hashtag #TheRoadMzansi