US News Obsession sneakers: the inventiveness of South African urban culture
Covid-19: South Africa lowers its health alert level
© REUTERS - POOL South African President Cyril Ramaphosa receives a first dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine at the Khayelitsha hospital near Cape Town, February 17, 2021. For a few weeks now, the peak of its second wave of the epidemic has been passed, and the vaccination campaign has now been launched among health personnel. With the slowdown in contaminations, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced further easing of restrictions on Sunday evening.
A real fashion show: young people lining up in front of this boutique in a wealthy district of Johannesburg to buy a preview of an exclusive model of basketball American style, have a daring and colorful array of models on their feet.
In the big cities of South Africa, young people compete in inventiveness and take care of their sneakers. They sign a singularity, they make you notice, they tell your social position.
"Your shoes tell your story," Rasik "Mr.ëksê" Green, tank top and cap, told AFP, putting the finishing touches to a mural in the trendy Maboneng district. This graffiti artist, gray saggy sneakers on his feet, also designs new pairs to offer them a unique design.
In New York, a new variant of Covid-19 worries
© MIKE SEGAR / REUTERS Residents of New York wearing masks to protect themselves from the coronavirus (illustration). A new variant of the coronavirus has been spotted in the United States. It represented 27% of the viral sequences identified in New York in mid-February and bears similarities to the South African variant, which could make it resistant to certain vaccines.
In this multicultural country, with people of all colors and twelve official languages, sneakers are a way of expressing where you come from.
"We all know that the people of Cape Town (south) are connected + bubbles +", these big tennis shoes with thick soles. "In Soweto, it's more the American Converse, cut low or high. "It's kind of a code."
Young South Africans, heirs to a rich musical culture, are also immersed in that of American hip-hop.
The "sneaker hunters", in the most industrialized country in Africa, collect and trade models from all over the world propelled, even more in times of confinement, by online purchases.
In 2019, the American brand Reebok collaborates with a South African rap star, AKA: 800 pairs of this SneAFA model are sold in ten minutes on the site.
The comedian Amelle Chahbi tells how she sneaked into a nightclub
© Europe 1 The comedian Amelle Chahbi is the guest of "Culture Médias" on Thursday for her participation in the collective comedy show "Paris vs. Province". Evoking the capital and its sometimes very selective nightclubs at the entrance, the comedian recounts his astonishing trick to be absolutely sure to go to the "Bains douches". It is not yet a time that the under 20s cannot know, but it is a time that is starting to fail that Amelle Chahbi tells us on Thursday in Culture Médias .
- Gangsters and protesters -
Bright colors, worn with wear or in daring matte leather, these shoes are part of South Africa in a multi-faceted urban image.
Formerly linked to the township gangsters of the 1980s, the Chuck Taylor, Converse brand high tops reinforced with latex around the edges, stood out from their sulphurous image.
"My parents didn't want me to buy them, they were associated with a culture of crime," recalls Hector Mgiba, 28, a great collector in Soweto. As a teenager, he braved the parental ban and saved up to afford a second-hand pair.
These shoes also evoked the "pantsula", an urban protest dance born in the townships of Johannesburg, chic shirt-pants outfits with ultra-fast steps.
They were revived again by the emergence of kwaito, a musical style that has been widespread since the 1990s by post-apartheid youth, born with democracy.
In town, many trendy young and old alike still wear it today, associated with a suit, a well-cut jacket.
Recently, South African entrepreneurs have embarked on the adventure, offering creative models.
Kid, he couldn't afford the latest sneakers. So designer Lakau Sehoana made his first pair out of torn shoes, a piece of jeans and plastic. Today his brand, Drip, created in 2019 and identifiable by its brightly colored models, has five stores.
Another local brand, "Bathu", a Zulu slang term, is noted for its sophisticated meshwork and zebra soles.
One of its limited editions sold for the equivalent of over 20,000 euros a pair. “Unthinkable thirty years ago,” comments graffiti artist Green.
mgu / ger / jhd
3.4% growth in sight in Africa in 2021, according to the African Development Bank .
AFRICA-ECONOMY: 3.4% growth in sight in Africa in 2021, according to the African Development Bank © Reuters / LUC GNAGO GROWTH OF 3.4% IN SIGHT IN AFRICA IN 2021, ACCORDING TO AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK NAIROBI (Reuters) - African economies are expected to resume growth this year and grow by 3.4% on average after suffering in 2020 their first contraction in fifty years, estimates the African Development Bank. The gross domestic product (GDP) of the 54 economies concerned fell by 2.1% last year, s