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THIS Saturday, in honour of Youth Day, hip hop artist Ewok, in conjunction with the Playhouse Company, has something extra special planned.
Hip Kulcha is an initiative designed to give hip hop lovers and musicians abroad the opportunity to unite with the youth and discuss the fundamentals of the music industry.
Iain “Ewok” Robinson, 29, first appeared on the Durban scene at Poetry Africa 2002 and since then has embarked on a varied career ranging from hip hop to graffiti and mural work, theatre and poetry.
His journey through these artistic disciplines shows a clear link. Ewok says his involvement in graffiti writing is as a result of his family who, he says, “kept us away from the TV and stuck into books – in my case comics”.
For the diverse and multi-talented artist, graffiti is his “constant companion”. He explains: “It’s like a best friend who you don’t always agree with, and who you fight with, but who also shares your secrets and your successes.
“I never got into graffiti writing to be a vandal. I always approached it from an artistic point of view.”
According to Ewok, his graffiti led to the discovery of hip hop music and the culture.
“I ran with an older group of skateboarders and met my oldest friend and future collaborator, Nathan “KingB” Redpath, who taught me about beats and music production.
“I got involved with a band, which put me on the path to forming a hip hop crew.
“The thing I enjoy most is the way that all my passions have become my profession, the way they all influence each other and maintain the same consistency when it comes to work ethic and enjoyment and creativity.”
As an organiser of Hip Kulcha, Ewok explains the essence of the event: “Hip Kulcha is not only a platform for aspiring artists to showcase their talent, but also is seen as a goal of furthering arts development by nurturing emerging creatives. The youth need to know they are recognised and that their goals and the journey to achieving them are an important part of South Africa’s growth as an international centre of creativity.
“I think that one of the most infectious social ills today is the way bling and status are sold as a destiny for the youth. The youth are constantly at risk of being suckered into believing we live in a material world where acquisition of wealth trumps humanity and that to survive they need to fit into this sick structure.
“Hip Kulcha can be seen as an initiative to educate and help the youth to… realise their true potential.
“It’s going to be a day by the youth, with the youth, for the youth,” says an enthusiastic Ewok of the initiative.
• Hip Kulcha, Saturday, from 9am to 5pm. Call the Playhouse box office on 031 369 9540 to book. Registration is free.