|Capturing The Invincible Spirit of KOFIFI. Image: Jurgen Schadeberg for Drum Magazine, February 1955|
Imaginary smoky rooms and phat cats with even phatter cigars is not just romantic, it's downright sexy. Throw in the a couple star-power names...think Hugh Masekela/Nelson Mandela/Oliver Tambo/Desmond Tutu/Dorothy Masuka and suddenly you are at a lively Sophiatown/KOFIFI shebeen (speakeasy) where Miriam Makeba croons, the Jazz Epistles bellow, intoxicating conversation rises to fevor pitch and best dressed is a fierce, unspoken competition. I love old photographs of South African life, but I love especially takes on the godliness of small life moments--the way people passed time on the weekend, the hottest joint booking the craziest acts in the summer of the times and of course, what who wore and when/why/how. Hope you enjoy this treasure trove of images from apartheid-era black South Africa. Damn, We Stay Looking Fierce!
|Music Mavens with A Smoky Sound...The Three Jazzomolos: J. Schadeberg, 1953.|
|Ndebele Gentlemen Strike Stillness With Poise. Image: Constance Larrabee, circa 1936-1949.|
Venerable Style Icon Miriam Makeba Holding Court 1957, KOFIFI Fierceness And All. Image: Ranjith Kally. Ever Dapper, Nelson Mandela During The Rivonia Trial, 1958. Golf Lessons in Sophiatown. Images: J. Schadeberg.