GEORGE NEWS - Inspired by the fashion and spirit of Sophiatown and District 6 when Miriam Makeba's Pata-Pata was on everyone's playlist and Drum Magazine the only read, The Brotherhood of George is set on reviving the vintage 1950s and early 60s swag and style. People found comfort and an escape from their misery through jazz, poetry, dance, and fashion.
In the late 1960s the apartheid government enforced the Group Areas Act by moving people from their homes in areas classified as "white only".
This was the end of an era and the special vibe that characterised areas like District Six, known as the soul of Cape Town, and Sophiatown, known as Kofifi, in Johannesburg.
This extract from A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens could have been written about these two areas: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way..."
Reviving the good out of those days, a group of men from Thembalethu, The George Brotherhood, want to illuminate the 50s by revitalising and embracing the sprint of Kofifi - characterised by shebeen queens, writers, musicians, dancers, and politicians.
They say people had a sense of unity which helped them to cope with their socio-economic conditions.
"People were united, they continued to learn from each other, embrace each other's cultures and shared good memories in a spirit of brotherhood.
"This is what we are trying to do - to bring people back to their roots and seek Ubuntu," says Camagu 'bra Joe' Somdaka, one of the founding members.
Somdaka says their movement has a strong fashion and entertainment component, but that they want to teach young people to address social challenges and to look out for one another. "We want to install a sense of pride in people - to believe in themselves."
They are calling men and women from all walks of life to join the George Brotherhood. Somdaka says anyone who loves the style of the 50s and early 60s and is inspired by what they stand for, is welcome to join the group.
For more information contact Lindile Hlasela on 063 556 2648.
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