Africa Your Time is Now.
From “We Should All Be Feminists’ at Dior, to “Be Your Own Hero” at Haider Ackermann, slogan t-shirts are a walking billboard to broadcast a clear point. Depending on the message, the slogan tees can be intriguing, impactful, stirring and are often times a call to action.
One slogan tee which brings out the patriot in us, is the ‘Africa Is Now’ t-shirt by Butter Pudding. Spearheaded by owner and former Fashion Director Papama Mtwisha (who you will also recognise from the most recent Woolworths Style By SA campaign), their new campaign seeks to draw the world’s attention to Africa’s power and potential. Says Papama: “In essence, the campaign is a re-awakening of the spirit of African influence. It is a movement that celebrates afro-optimism and calls on fellow Africans to do the same with both fervour and urgency,” says Papama. The campaign features black and white portraits shot by Judd van Jensburg. They depict proud Africans, from musician Khuli Chana, to fashion designer Marianne Fassler, through to media personality Anele Mdoda. These individuals were selected as the mouthpiece for the campaign as they are regarded as opinion-shapers in their respective fields. Words are power, and fashion is a vehicle to impact positive change. When wearing statement t-shirts such as these, it reinforces positive messaging about Africa and being African.”
We had a further chat with Papama about their new campaign and how one can make positive impact beyond a t-shirt purchase.
How did the idea to shoot the campaign come about?
One of our mandates at Butter Pudding is to make a difference in every way we can. Bettering the future of our children is in line with the brand’s ethos. We apply this way of thinking to everything that we do. We decided to design a slogan tee with an immediate and affirming message. This is because we recognize that the only way to guarantee a sustainable future is if we take care of the now, hence “Africa Your Time Is Now.”
It must have been a challenge to coordinate schedules in producing the shoot and video. Please tell us about the process?
It was no walk in the park! The opinion-shapers that agreed to partake have insane schedules! We spent an enormous amount of time in trying to co-ordinate the shoots. As a result there were some individuals that agreed (Dion Chang, DJ Sbu, Vinny da Vinci, Terry Pheto, Mandla Sibeko to count a few) but we just couldn’t lock down a time in their diaries that corresponded with any of the shoot days. We had to shoot the campaign over several days. One of the shoot days was the coldest day of the year (hence the heaters in the video) yet the energy on set was incredible. We are beyond grateful to the people that took time off their very busy schedules to lend their voices to this cause.
What were you looking for in selecting the personalities featured in the campaign?
We were looking for individuals that embody the essence of the slogan in their respective lives and careers. Individuals that push the African agenda and that are looking to positively influence the African narrative in some way or the other. Inspiring individuals. As this is a campaign for everyone. There are so many people like Anele Mdoda, DJ Black Coffee, Gugu Nkabinde, Trevor Noah, Aiwekhoe Iyahen, Somizi, Trevor Stuurman, Laduma Ngxokolo etc that are doing amazing things, breaking down barriers and changing the stereotypes completely, serving as inspiration to ordinary people of how absolutely anything is possible.
How is Butter Pudding moving the concept of ‘Africa Your Time is Now’ beyond t-shirt sales and into an actual movement?
We are hoping to work with individuals, corporations, media, schools and government agencies to spread the positive message. Imagine if companies could mobilize their employees to wear their t-shirts on the 1st Friday of each month. To keep the message top of mind, to constantly reevaluate how their organizations are pushing the African agenda. Imagine the difference that would make for the bigger picture. Wow! We are so happy that some organizations have already spotted the synergies between their agendas and the movement.
How can a slogan T-shirt make a real difference?
How we feel about ourselves is the seed we plant in our lives. Let’s ensure that we plant good seeds by thinking good thoughts about ourselves, on a personal and national level. In wearing an Africa Your Time is Now t-shirt one becomes a breathing billboard sending a positive vibration. You convey a powerful message of inspiration that positively reaffirms and sends a bold reminder of the power that Africa and Africans possess. The aim is to have as many people wearing the t-shirt so that the message is always top-of-mind. The t-shirts are meant to be a proclamation of power, strength, beauty, identity and character. Secondly, proceeds from the profits for all t-shirts will go towards a fund that will be donated to a couple of child-oriented charities to assist in whatever way is needed. Thirdly, the t-shirts are manufactured locally, ensuring that the rand is circulating here and therefore sustaining employment.
Also captured on film, the words of personalities such as are expected to serve as inspiration and spur us into action on issues like the need to invest more on the African continent. Hear them speak about their dream for Africa on
T-shirts are available from www.butterpudding.com
Credits: Photographer: Judd van Rensburg
Make-up & grooming: Nthato Mashishi