Featured workJamal Nxedlana: Izikhothane

This short documentary film focuses on izikhothane, a South African phenomenon also known as ubkhothane or skhotane, which consists of a performance by young people between the ages of 12 and 25, mainly males.

During the izikhothane, one or more opponents battle by dancing as ostentatiously as possible. Since 2006, izikhothane participants have incorporated the waste and destruction of luxury items within the performances. Met with incomprehension by adults and educators, the trend was born in 2006 in the township of East Rand in Johannesburg and has become increasingly popular. To show one’s contenders how “cool and rich” one is, participants wear expensive designer shoes and designer clothes, which they then destroy; they burn banknotes or buy prestigious drinks such as ultramel custard or whisky, then using the liquid to wash their hands or spitting the drinks onto the floor. A protagonist of Jamal Nxedlana’s film states how “the aim is simply to overshadow the others, to make them stressed. Initially, izikhothane was even more extreme. They even fought each other while wearing the clothes. The correct dress code, dance and appropriate language are all important aspects of skhotane. […] Fame can’t be achieved without fashion. If you don’t have a sense of style, you can’t differentiate yourself from the others. Your reputation is your reward.”

 

  •  Film, 2 min 18 sec © Jamal Nxedlana

    Jamal Nxedlana. Izikhothane, 2012.
  •  Film, 2 min 18 sec © Jamal Nxedlana

    Jamal Nxedlana. Izikhothane, 2012.