In The Making, Longlist - Personal Project
Shortlist - Personal Project
Personal Project
Winner - Silver

Happyville, are you Happy?

Lunga "Steezus" Mthombeni

When I started working with the Happyville team, I had just bought my camera. I wanted to shoot people or things I thought looked cool and what looks cooler than a Happyville Jacket? Happyville jacket represents the starlight dreams of young South Africans, specifically influenced within the BRAAM culture. By doing so, I discovered that the founder of Happyville (Lebo) is from Rockville and Fargo is from Dobsonville. 'Ville' Being the similarity. And then, their last names. Lebo Serame and Fargo (Tshegofatso) Seremane. Because the Happyville jacket for me has always been that authentic street South African brand that made me feel like a rockstar whenever I put it on. As a consumer, I have always wanted to know more about the brand. What it means, where it comes from. By doing so, we are not just wearing a cool Happyville Jacket, we are fashioning bonds beyond fabric. This is my short experimental documentative approach to fashion filmmaking.

Born and raised in Tembisa, I was always perceived as an "outlier". My mother put me in an English pre school outside the hood and I was always the kid speaking English. Meaning, I was too "cheese" for the kids in the hood and too "hood" for the kids in the cheese. One kid I could relate to stayed in another hood (Pretoria). He and I would only see each other once in a while when our mothers would spend time together. His name is Lethabo. Having an older sister who is 13 years older than me didn't really help much, so I would spend most of my time in my head, imagining, thinking - dreaming. My mother was (still is) a FET college lecture for computer technology, so she would bring home abandoned devices from her school. I would then spend all my days and nights on that screen learning different softwares like Paint and Windows movie maker. Lethabo had dreams of being a rapper, so he and I would spend time listening to music and dancing (I was bad at it, he was good). After he played me his first song this one time I visited in high school, I was astonished and surprised that someone I know is able to make an actual song. Using a camera we found in the house, we then decided to shoot a 'music video' which I edited on windows movie maker. We continued doing this every time we would meet until our last project together being the official "Ke Star" Music Video. Lethabo is currently known as Focalistic around the world and I "Steezus" am still on my journey to write my story. If you're reading this, it is because I want you to be apart of that story. Join me on my way to writing history and directing MYstory.