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Lerato Scribess Sibanda - Power.Passion. Purpose - I am a writer, academic and spoken word artist -- http://beautybeginswithbe.blogspot.com/

The Tee Revolution!

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Since we live in a time where intellectualisation is slowly becoming a movement and philosophising is in prime let me join the tirade of inventive minds to utter this new phenomenon…wait for this… the T- shirt or tee is the common day canvass, tapestry or black board!  Word! Or haven’t you seen for yourself? Unless maybe you live in the village or ko diplaseng I’m sure you have noticed that in the last two decades or so the streets are bursting with new flavour in what I’ll call a t-shirt revolution gone wild. Gone are the days where T-shirts had the sole but very important function to match ones jeans, to be dressed as “casual” clothing on sports days or simply to jog in.


LoveJozi mixes urban fashion with social consciousness. The South African born t-shirt label finds design inspiration from voices of optimism about Johannesburg’s rise and presence on the world stage of cities.

LoveJozi uses conceptual graphics and garments to make Johannesburg as interesting as her hard-working urban-savvy residents, and once in a while they go alternative like in the “If Obama loses I’m leaving the planet” range from 2008. Join the Facebook group and read more…

Contact Love Jozi:



Yep in this fashion crazed era t-shirts have taken on new signification- they’ve been embraced by the likes of Craig Native (of Native Clothing), Stone Cherrie, Amakipkip Clothing and many others as a means to brand oneself, for socio-political purposes and to create new identities – and all this has been packaged as fashion! Crazy. I ‘m starting to think that the tee has more power than Donatella and this excites me! Tees are taking on new shape and form…literally and who would have thought? I don’t know if you have noticed but even the tailoring of T-shirts has changed in the last decade. T-shirts now accentuate the sensuality of the female form and the masculinity of the male form. Whereas in latter years tees were conventionally huge, tent-like pieces of garb with mad ass oversized sleeves, now guy’s tees – for example – are narrower in the waist area and tighter around the arms.

Someone once said that fashion is on the streets. I concur and even want to further iterate this – the pavement IS the real runway. Word! Ask any honest designer and they’ll tell you that what ends up on the panelled catwalk in fashion shows is oftentimes inspired, derived or re-constructed from what can be seen on the street, on campus grounds, and in shopping precincts etc.  I’ll be the first to confess that I am one of those urbanites who love to communicate themselves through the t- shirts they wear. What about you? Maybe you are for the more commercial tees like Mzansi’s Amakipkip brand, JayZ’s Rocaware or the oh-so cosmopolitan Polos. Personally I’m more interested in the those grungy subversive tees with a  quirky social commentary and anarchic element in the way that they “break” the English and re-align meanings to suit a new agenda…plus if you dare admit it those are artistically on point! Well most of the time anyway.


Amakipkip is an African urban luxury-clothing company. Amakipkip (Skopas, Maja Ka Thata,) is a popular colourful popcorn delicacy of the townships of South Africa. Amakipkip reflects the new age of thinking and living, embracing the diversity of African popular culture.

The name Amakipkip represents how a simple piece of iconography connects and resonates with all aspects of urban culture attesting that one can create something significant from humble beginnings. Check out the latest range of the Amakipkip Africa now available at Cross Trainer stores nationwide. Amakipkip hails from Johannesburg and also has their flagship store situated in Rosebank at the Zone Mall. Join the Facebook group and read more.

Contact Amakipkip Clothing:


Or Call somebody

084 893 8234


So all y’all fashionistas and fashion beavers whatever your fashion sense taste may be what I can tell you is this – there are some really tight tees being manufactured both commercially and in the underground right now as you’re reading this. This boom in t-shirt production can be attributed to the clergy of graphic artists and designers working in collaboration with each other, and to the efficiency and availability of t-shirt printing machines. Now consumers of popular culture can choose amongst a variety of prolific t- shirts designs: some comprise of a hotchpotch of daring graphics of iconic figures e.g. Che Guevara, some of popular signatures e.g.  Superman and some of slogans that are absurd, humorous, cheesy, corny, intentionally ambiguous, or explicitly anarchic. Hang around Hatfield, Sunnyside, Melville and Newtown and you’ll know what I’m talking about. I’ve been there, done that and got the tee shirt. Haha Word!

Aluta Continua.

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