Words: Aluwani Ratshiungo | Visual Director: Ricardo Marcus Knipe | Graphics Director: Luke Benett | Make-up: Palesa Mkwananzi Artistry | Director of Videography: Nic Rawhani
“One of the basic ideas, from my perspective, of what the uncultured club is about, is about really subverting the current culture that we’ve been seeing creeping up in the creative industry during this kind of renaissance period of South African creativity. It’s kind of becoming industrialised.”
explains Nicholas Rawhani. “One of the big parts of the uncultured club’s constitution is to completely subvert that. If everybody’s going in this direction then we go in the other direction which is to really encourage trueness and realness and to truly translate the times that we’re living in.”
Founded by Anthony Bila, Chisanga Mubanga and Nicholas Rawhani, The Uncultured Club is a creative content consultancy which aims to confound social norms and shift cultural paradigms. To the trio, culture is passé – being uncultured is the new wave.
As visual narrators the club captures striking and emotive images using mediums such as photography, videography, fine art, music, and fashion – they capture the zeitgeist of the current era while creating work that is imbued with honesty.
One of the things that make The Uncultured Club sincere is the fact that they have the freedom to choose which projects to work on. This freedom, which some artists don’t have, was afforded to them because they were already armed with relationships with brands and individuals in the industry when they banded together.
“The way that the club works with big brands is in an uncultured fashion,” says Nicholas, who is the youngest member of the club. The 22 year-old is a photographer, videography, writes poetry, makes music, and he is currently in his final year of Electrical and Information Engineering even though he doesn’t plan on ever pursuing a career in the industry. “For us it’s always a consultative approach. We’re gonna sit down at a table and figure this out together.”
Chisanga echoes Nicholas’ sentiments and tells me about how the club is moving more towards strategic communication.
“We need to be able to influence what the thinking is. Strategic thinking is something that we have invested in. For us the brief is just as important as the execution. What we wanna do is to try and take a step back from the delivery of a product which we can do and we’ve proved we can do. We’re trying to start owning the thinking behind a lot of the work that we do. For us, photography was the means to get into the creative world.”
Chisanga got into photography about 5 years ago after being encouraged by Anthony who was the first between them to buy a camera. The two started out curating other people’s photography on Tumblr and later realised that they also have a story to tell so they could create their own content. When Chisanga is not capturing cool cool images, he has a 9-5 as a strategist for one of South Africa’s biggest advertising agencies.
Growing up in Tembisa which was relatively violent and had a high crime rate, Anthony was forced to stay indoors a lot and read books which served as an escape. The content in these books inspired his creativity. Though he’s most prominently known as a photographer, Anthony, like his fellow club members, is quite the slashie. He expresses himself both personally and professionally in a number of creative mediums as a director, fashion designer, illustrator and a music producer.
“We’re all growing and developing as individuals but the nice thing is that we’re also developing our language, style and creative prowess as a group,” shares Anthony about what’s next for the Uncultured Club. “We’re working on a number of exhibition projects. We’re moving more and more into tangible projects because as cool as creating for the internet is, longevity exits in real life and in things that you can touch and feel versus online things which make a big noise but they are very fleeting.”
The Uncultured Club is dressed in Anthony Bila Apparel