I grew up in Cloetesville but now reside in Idas Valley. I completed my undergraduate degree and honours at Stellenbosch University, where I am currently a first-year masters student & a facilitator for the course Visual Studies 178. When I am not doing copious amounts of research to perfect the craft that is academia. You can haphazardly find me indulging in young/new adult novels, astrology, critiquing mainstream R&B albums, and dancing barefoot in the kitchen to Florence + Machine as I wait for my noodles to come to a boil.
In her excellent portrayal of Hood Feminism and the problems with conventional feminism, novelist, activist, and sporadic feminist Mikki Kendall served as my primary inspiration. Although I refer to Hood Feminism as Ghetto Feminism in a South African setting, my goal was to make it a reality. In my masters thesis the aim is to create a Ghetto Feminists archive. As a former mainstream feminist myself I am ashamed to say that I believed that there was no feminism in the ghetto, but there indeed is, it has been overlooked and neglected under the guise of mainstream feminism. My research is predominantly centred around what is the feminism I see in the ghetto, and what makes it uniquely ghetto? Therefore, through social research I have recruited womxn from the ghettos of the Winelands and the Cape flats to give an outstanding, non-monolithic, visual and a ghetto fabulous account of what it means to dala what you must, survive, love, show vulnerability and navigate the ghetto. These womxn’s stories have never been told in academia and through the Ghetto Feminist archive I hope to accentuate that their stories matter, deserved to be heard and does not have to juxtapose the ideals of mainstream feminism in order for it to be valuable or feminist.
Brent January is a classical guitarist from South Africa, currently finishing postgraduate studies at Stellenbosch University. Here he studies guitar under the tutelage of Nina-Fourie Gouws. In 2020, he was selected to take part in the Guitar Foundation of America Mentorship Program, where he had the opportunity to study online with Grammy-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux. Also, as part of this program he had the opportunity to perform and record a piece that was commissioned for him by the Guitar Foundation of America. Over the past seven years, Brent has played in various ensembles, including the Stellenbosch University Guitar Quartet, Stellenbosch University Big Band. As an electric guitarist with the New Voice Sextet, he released the album “In Tune with The Infinite” in 2020. Between 2018-2020 he has performed with these ensembles at the prestigious US Woordfees Arts Festival.
After he graduated from BMus, he taught guitar part-time at The Frank Pietersen Music Centre in Paarl, Western Cape. During this time, he has been an active ensemble performer – performing with the Stellenbosch Guitar Quartet at the Classics for All Festival in Greyton, Woordfees Music Festival in Stellenbosch as well as in various concerts throughout Cape Town. Brent, who is now twenty-four, has been playing guitar for about nine years, but classical guitar only for the past seven. He takes part in as many competitions and masterclasses as he can, to improve his musicianship. An example of this was in 2022, where he received a scholarship from his university to take part in The Volterra Project, Summer Guitar Institute. This summer guitar school in Italy is run by the prestigious guitarist Antigoni Goni and was a life changing experience for him. Lastly, in 2022, Brent was the proud recipient of the Turning The Tide Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Masters Scholarship In The Graduate School Of Arts And Social Sciences (Stellenbosch).
Brent is currently in the final year of his master’s degree under the supervision of Prof. Stephanus Muller at Africa Open – Institute for Music, Research, and Innovation. His master’s research focuses on Maskanda music. This research is essentially a comparative study between a notated work: The Maskanda by Darius Brubeck and traditional Zulu Maskanda music. Maskanda as a vehicle for decoloniality is also explored.