In 2020, as part of the National Arts Festival’s #VirtualNAF program, J.Bobs Tshabalala and the Ub’Dope Shishini team premiered “Seen Pha kwa JB – Of Prose. Of Poems. Of Plays.” – a 20 chapter digital epic. At its core, that project was about unpacking and reexamining Tshabalala’s own creative archive and output as presented in his 15 year career tenure – by dissecting its teachings and its learnings. It was a critical reflection which manifested in a variety bill program.
In 2021, Tshabalala and the Ub’Dope Shishini team are seeking to explore an extension of that project, in another multi-chapter epic, titled “Seen Pha kwa Ub’Dope – Of Art. Of Access. Of Ascension” – this time however, the works extend beyond JB’s own artistic output, and foregrounds the Ub’Dope Shishini creative fold with works from Nandi Nhlapho, Amukelani Thandeka Mabaso and Chris Djuma. Art for iKasi. Access for ooDarkie. Ascension for iShishini elimnyama. Izinto ezintswembu blind! Leya was a look at the past, lena is a glance at the future.
The former was a work based on an independent artist’s journey in revisiting his artistic gamut, and the latter is about a creative entrepreneur revisiting his methods of enlarging the territory and reach of broader artistic works, entrepreneurial explorations, and teaching musings. Yabo?
Tshabalala is curating an offering which includes creative works in the realm of Prose, Poems and Plays. Added to this, are Films, Publications and a variety of Fashion ideas – all for retail. Nje!
For the grand creation of novel High Art yaboDarkie. For the much needed growth of allowing and granting Access to aboDarkie. For the Ascension of artistic practice in its creative, logistic, and distribution methods in the businesses of aboDarkie. J.Bobs is proposing a unique world. A Dope world where a Sketcher, can be a Thespian, can be a Mogul, and can be experienced holistically by diverse engagement with a bouquet of their output.
And because Dopeness is not a solo sport, Tshabalala comes to this exploration with the full complement of the Ub’Dope Shishini Creative, Business, Technical and Production Teams, with whom this universe is built and extended.
With Nkululeko Nkosi on Musical Direction and Gomotso Morobe as Director of Photography –this exploration promises to be a unique one both sonically and visually.
In simple terms, on 31 July 2021, the “Seen Pha kwa Ub’Dope” offering will be available on Jefferson Bobs Tshabalala’s National Arts Festival Portal from 9am until midnight.