It is only about 8 days before this year’s Vodacom Durban July extravaganza, and we have brought you what you need to know about the VDJ. The event has been running for 122 years, and has become Africa’s greatest horseracing event and an iconic South African sporting occasion.
The race covers over 2 200m for a stake of R 4.25 million, is the premier horse racing event of the year and attracts thousands of socialites and celebrities to Greyville Racecourse on the first Saturday of July annually.
VDJ is renowned for the exhibition fashion events that highlight the build-up to race day and the lavish variety of raceday fashion competitions.
Theme of the event
The organisers of the event say the Afrofuturistic theme for this year’s Vodacom Durban July is a big step in helping nurture the business of Art & Commerce in South Africa and on the continent. This year’s theme is Stars of Africa that ‘shine at night, lighting the skies so mystically bright, they sparkle on throughout the day.
In keeping with the theme Cannes Lion Award-winning Kenyan photographer, Osborne Macharia, undertook a shoot with SA fashion designers Laduma Ngxokolo of Maxhosa, Sindiso Khumalo and Rina Chunga of Ri.ch Factory in Johannesburg recently.
The coming together of Afrofuturistic artists was according to Vodacom Head of Sponsorships, Michelle Van Eyden, one of the company’s way to uplift “the creative industry in SA as well as facilitate meaningful cross-border collaborations.”
The creatives industry contributes to South Africa’s GDP – over R90 billion per annum but remains one of the most underappreciated drivers of the country’s economy.
“We are thrilled with the way the theme has been captured creatively and it truly embodies our values pertaining to African creative expression - in terms of both the subject matter and the creatives involved. The creative industry needs the support of companies like ourselves,” Van Eyden adds.
Meet the originals behind the VDJ’s theme this year
Laduma Ngxokolo is one of Africa's finest designers and innovator of the brand MAXHOSA AFRICA. The brand was established in 2011. The brand aims to become Africa’s leading luxury, premium and mass heritage lifestyle brand.
MAXHOSA AFRICA is inspired by Xhosa beadwork patterns, symbolism and colours. Laduma aims to showcase the beauty, culture, language and aspirations of the Xhosa people in a modern way. Laduma has since received numerous achievements and awards, capturing the hearts of fashion lovers and media, both at home and abroad. Here are some of her designs.
Ri.Ch Factory founder Rina Chunga Kutuma is a self-starter from Johannesburg, South Africa. She was raised in Botswana by Zambian parents. Rina’s rich mixed heritage has allowed her to pursue her passion of African cultural conservation through fashion and building community for conversations that spark hope and change.
Her notable accomplishments include being listed in Forbes Africa’s 2018 30 Under 30 and Destiny magazine’s 40 Under 40.
In addition, in 2014 she was part of the One Young World delegation in Dublin, Ireland. Here are some of her designs.
Central St Martins, London graduate, Sindiso Khumalo founded her eponymous label in 2014 with a strong focus on creating vibrant, culturally infused fashion pieces with sustainable textiles at the heart.
With her complex graphic language, she has developed a uniquely colourful visual voice, which draws upon her Zulu and Ndebele heritage. Sustainability, craft and empowerment lie at the heart of the label. She works very closely with NGOs and with the United Nations Ethical Fashion Initiative in developing handmade textiles for her collections. She has spoken at the United Nations on sustainability and has presented her work at Milan Fashion Week for three years running.
Her work has been exhibited at Royal Festival Hall in London, The Smithsonian Museum of African Art in Washington, Louisiana Museum in Denmark and the Zeitz Mocaa Museum, Cape Town. She has also been featured in many international publications including Italian Vogue and British Vogue. Here are some of the designs.
Osborne was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. He says he found his passion for the camera a little later in his youth, while a student.
Osborne found inspiration from Canadian portrait photographer Joey Lawrence, whose photographs of the faces of Ethiopia Omo Valley are globally renowned.
The Kenyan born photographer’s work have been exhibited around the world - from Milan and London to Bahrain and Bamako. He has worked with the massive global brands such as Coca-Cola, Forbes, Volkswagen, Absolut and Mercedes-Benz. Growing up in Nairobi, Macharia says photography was not seen as something that anyone could be globally known for. Here are some of his photographs.