Norman O’Flynn’s Time Keeper series (2016, 2017) incorporates his trademark use of pop iconography, superheroes, explosions, religious symbols and graffiti-esque mantras tattooed across the bodies of imposing masked figures, exalted by backgrounds of buzzing colour and motif: a visual candy reverse-painted onto plexiglass for a slick finish.
O’Flynn uses a vocabulary of globally recognisable imagery. He draws inspiration from daily encounters with people and media – whatever moves or troubles him, he reflects on universal, contemporary themes: the noise of the world, the explosion of knowledge (but not necessarily meaning), the viral spread of imagery and ideas, the culture of celebrity and self-idolatory, the speed of change, the uncertain threat of violence – normalised and made palatable, fed ever faster via digital newsfeed straight to household screens and buzzing pockets that keep us both connected and disengaged.
Norman O’Flynn (b. 1971) is a prolific painter, sculptor and self-styled constructor. He has a BA in Fine Art from the University of Cape Town, has held 10 solo shows and participated in numerous group exhibitions, residencies and workshops.
Marlise Keith’s style is identifiable in her idiosyncratic use of personal symbolism in a diverse body of work. Her wonderfully varied viewpoints are drawn from vast subject matter, including a personal medley of horrific news headlines, roadside memorials, colonial history, psychopathology, girlhood memories, dreams, friends’ dogs, Pinterest and her persistent, chronic migraines.
The result is a richly layered body of work both violent and uncanny, surreal with a playful use of colour and humour. The latter draws in the viewer to a closer scrutiny of the darker complexities lurking beneath, which offer endless possibilities of meaning.
Questions of value are often explored through Keith’s choice of media, typically mixed media collage, large-scale drawings in pencil, ink and acrylics, and small sculptures of fabric, embroidery and found objects. In her assemblages she juxtaposes media of varying value to create creatures that seem to emerge directly from her self-labelled mental “soup”, creatures that are in equal parts cute, hideous, dark and witty.
Keith refers to all her creations, simply, as drawings. In some ways, the act of drawing is a coping mechanism for Keith. Subjects too daunting, too horrifying, too confusing or too subliminal to articulate in neat words are processed through mark-making; offering an alternative understanding of a world that often does not make sense in logical language. Even art itself – a subject known to intimidate with its elitism and loftiness – becomes more manageable through mark-making.
Marlise Keith (b. 1972) is an award-winning artist with a list of accolades including 11 solo shows, numerous group exhibitions and a residency in Paris. She received a BA degree in Fine Arts at the University of Pretoria (1995) and completed her Master’s Degree in Fine arts at the University of Stellenbosch in 2000.
Henk Serfontein (b. 1971) is an award-winning artist who came to prominence with his hyperreal paintings of nightscapes, featuring the marginal, transitory spaces of South Africa.
Throughout the past decade, Serfontein’s abstracts explored similar themes and psychological spaces, questioning the space between European tradition and adventurous, unrestrained African aesthetic as he excavates his own identity: not quite African, not quite European. A deep, enduring attachment to the landscape pervades as an intersection of identity, culture and history.
Serfontein’s recent Maputo Abstracts series relies heavily on confrontative colour as invoked by the ubiquitous capulanas (popular wax-printed cloths). His geometric compositions echo the art deco lines of the Mozambican city’s buildings and ceramics.
Serfontein drew on his design sensibility in the creation of the 10m2 mosaic commissioned for Nando’s Soho, produced in collaboration with Spier Arts Academy. Inspired by Matisse, Serfontein created this composition by cutting out replicas of his own existing artworks and rearranging them within highly irregular dimensions in a format reminiscent of landscape. Intrinsic to the concept is the relevance of the mosaic materials: included is stone endemic to South Africa, thus literally bringing the landscape to European soil, hence materialising the act of cultural export and intersection.
Henk Serfontein holds a degree in Fine Art (cum laude) from the Tshwane University of Technology (1997) and studied at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris, France (1997-1999). He has lectured art at tertiary level, adjudicated national art competitions and is an accomplished curator of exhibitions.
We were thrilled to partner with 1:54 for their 2016 London Contemporary African Art Fair.
We invited four artists, who already had some of their artwork presented in our restaurants, to come to the UK and celebrate their work at this unique exhibition. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to show our support of Contemporary Southern African Art, giving talented artists the international exposure and recognition they deserve.
1:54 London 2016 showcased about 40 exhibitors, presenting over 130 African and African diaspora artists at Somerset House. We were please to present Regi Bardavid (b. Egypt, 1945 –), Lizette Chirrime (b. Mozambique, 1973 –), Pat Mautloa (b. South Africa, 1952 –) and Maurice Mbikayi (b. Democratic Republic of Congo, 1974 –).
We are delighted to be partnering with 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair again this year as there is a clear synergy between 1:54 and Nando’s ambitions to showcase emerging artists from Africa.
Every one of our 400 restaurants are covered in incredible African art by some of the brightest stars from our homeland. We believe art has the power to bring people together, challenge perceptions, inspire conversations and put smiles on faces. And that’s why we love it.
Nando’s patronage of contemporary Southern African art, through the close partnership with Spier Arts Trust, both enables career development opportunities for artists and the curation of the Nando’s body of work.
Nando's is exhibiting and selling the work of four Southern African artists at 1:54 London 2017: Henk Serfontein, Marlise Keith, Patrick Bongoy, Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi. See artist profiles below.
A Taste of Southern African Art will take over the Nando’s London Soho restaurant for a weekend showcase of Southern African art on the 14th, 15th and 16th July 2017.
Free to enter, the pop-up gallery will be exhibiting and selling the works of seven South African artists who all have art on the walls of Nando’s restaurants nationwide. Showcasing works in an environment that usually serves customers PERi-PERi treats; Feast Your Eyes is a new approach to how a gallery can be, leave any pretension at the door, grab your camera (and some chicken) and enjoy the adventure.
On the Saturday and Sunday attendees will be able to chat to featured artists Henk Serfontein and Norman O’Flynn while checking out mosaicists Zeenat and beader Neliswa creating live art within the gallery. Feast Your Eyes is an event not to miss for both art enthusiasts, and PERi-PERi fans.
All of the artists on show are a part of the various programmes supported by Nando’s patronage, in collaboration with the Spier Arts Trust.
Together with our partners in Cape Town, our patronage of contemporary Southern African art supports the development of talented emerging artists in Southern Africa while curating our own collection.
Take a look around when you’re next in one of our restaurants. You may as well be having Nando’s in an art gallery. That’s because we have over 8,000 original pieces in our restaurants across the UK. To see some of these beautiful works of art, spend some time exploring our online gallery.
Just like our PERi-PERi, all the art in our restaurants comes straight from Southern Africa. So we went out to Johannesburg with sub-culture writer and filmmaker King ADZ to discover more about the city’s street art...
Nando’s art collection is curated at Union House in Cape Town, where a range of programmes are offered to emerging artists as a way to further their development. These programmes include the Nando’s Chicken Run, the Qubeka Bead Studio and the Spier Arts Academy.
THE CREATIVE BLOCK
The Creative Block provides a platform for Southern African artists, both established and emerging, to have their work exhibited across the globe. Artists are provided with blank blocks of various sizes, to be transformed in any media. Artworks are then submitted for critique and the best are purchased for resale to corporate patrons and the general public. Each block is unique, signed and individually numbered.
There are more than 250 contributing artists from Southern Africa. Each block represents the work of an artist, their unique story and technical style. The impact of the Creative Block is really felt when these individual artworks come together to become a larger, collective work of art.
NANDO'S CHICKEN RUN
Every month, our curators tour artist's studios across South Africa, scouting for hot-off-the-brush contemporary works to add to our collection in Nando’s restaurants. This programme allows artists to focus full-time on their careers, whilst also offering valuable critique that builds skills and confidence. Offers are made on the spot for artworks of the highest quality. To fire up international exposure for the artists, these original Southern African artworks are passionately showcased in Nando’s restaurants around the world.
THE SPIER ARTS ACADEMY
Specialising in collaborative and experimental work with fine artists, designers and architects in conceptualising, manufacturing and installing architectural artworks. Training in ceramic and mosaic mediums, artists are offered a 3-year paid apprenticeship.
QUBEKA BEAD STUDIO
What started as a simple idea – to collaborate and interpret the work of some of South Africa’s finest artists in beaded panels - has grown to become an inspiring, unique art expression. Today, Qubeka Bead Studio collaborates with some of our country’s leading artists to translate their works into beautiful beaded creations.
You could try pinning Kagiso down but you wouldn’t get far. He’s proud of the fact that his work transcends definition and labels, because he enjoys experimenting with so many mediums and styles. That got our attention.
He has a number of solo exhibitions under his belt, as well as a keen eye for Johannesburg street culture. ‘Urban’ might be one label you could use to describe Kagiso’s work, but there’s so much more to it than that. And that’s why his art has found its way into prestigious collections around the world.
We’re beyond chuffed it found its way into our collection too.
We’ve got to hand it to him – Maurice, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has a feel for sculpture like nobody else (although he also knows his way around a paintbrush and a camera).
He cut his teeth at L'Institut des Beaux Arts, also dabbling in graphic design. After moving to Cape Town, he became involved in the Creative Block project. We swooned when we saw it – and the rest of the world followed.
His career lurched forward into a string of accolades, residencies and exhibitions in places like Ethiopia, New York and Switzerland. He expresses himself across a wide range of mediums and disciplines, using his art to explore origins, boundaries and socio-political environments.
There’s really no doubt about it – the day we gave Maurice a square canvas was the day he stole our hearts.
+24 38 152 41025 | email@example.com | Kinshasa, DRC
+27 84 825 4064 | www.mauricembikayi.com | Cape Town, South Africa
At Nando’s, mere mention of Mozambique gets our hearts a-flutter. We felt the same way when we were introduced to Mozambican-born Lizette and her incredible work.
Lizette’s career as an artist began with a calling, which took her away from her day-job as a secretary. She started working with cow skin and hessian, exhibiting solo only a year later.
You’ll find some of her pieces at the Mozambican consulate in Cape Town, as well as in private collections around Europe. She likes to work with recycled materials, discarded objects and rich textiles, to create mixed-media masterpieces with strong messages.
Regi was born in Egypt but has lived all over the world – in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Italy and the UK, among others.
She’s got seven solo exhibitions to her name and has participated in a number of international group exhibitions and workshops. You’ll find her work in lots of impressive places, including the South African National Gallery and the South African embassy in France. Regi believes in intuitive creativity and the beauty in creating something out of nothing. She’d pick ‘mysterious’ over ‘expected’ any day. And we’d pick her every day.
Bunny Chow. It might sound a bit crazy, but trust us, you’re going to love it! It’s the national dish of South Africa, and it’s actually very similar to a classic British curry… But wait for it, it’s served in a bread roll! This is Seapa’s very own recipe that he created on his PERi-PERi adventure through Southern Africa. He didn’t call it ‘Banging’ for nothing!
Take a look at the inspiration behind ‘Zenzile’, the track created by Southern African producer Muzi and remixed by the UK’s Hannah Wants for our This is PERi-PERi film.
UK DJ, producer and radio presenter Danny Howard travelled to London to meet up with Muzi and discuss the story behind the track, as well as what it’s like handing the reigns over to a producer from a completely different genre, let alone a different continent. Muzi takes Danny to the Roundhouse, Camden, where we first met the rising South African producer back in 2015 as part of Nando's Music Exchange programme.
Hailing from a South African township near Empangeni in KwaZulu Natal, Muzi’s sound combines Johannesburg-originating kwaito with universal electronic rhythms. He finds inspiration in anything from the traditional Zulu ceremonies he attended as a child, to the underground electronic music scene he was privy to whilst recently living in Berlin. Muzi’s sound is always diverse, and he’s recently caught the attention of electronic powerhouses such as Rinse FM, The Prodigy and Diplo because of it.
Brummie-born Hannah, who’s playing at festivals like Hideout and South West Four this summer, is no stranger to mixing it up when it comes to music. Like Muzi, her sound sits at a genre-bending crossroads. Known as ‘bass-house’, it’s a mixture of garage, dubstep, and house, or, as Danny puts it, “house but with a bit of attitude”.
"house but with a bit of attitude." Danny Howard
Walking around London the pair swap stories about their local music scenes and chat about the importance of good venues to today’s dance music culture.
Check out the video above, and get your fix of the exclusive Zenzile track here.
Under the hot sun, in the rich, fertile soils of Africa, a wonderful story has been unfolding since 2012.
It’s one where Nando’s and farmers are growing for good. It all started when we decided that rather than outsource the supply of our chillies, we would get in touch with small-scale farmers in Southern Africa to grow them for us. We’re no farming experts, so regional Farming Organisations run the project on our behalf; teaching, empowering and giving farmers access to finance, materials and seedlings as they go along. We meanwhile guarantee that we’ll buy the farmers’ crops at a fair price (that’s determined before the growing season even starts).
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our partners and 1,400 farmers, this initiative is growing from strength to strength and every Nando’s PERi-PERi sauce, basting or marinade contains chillies that come from the PERi-Farms in Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa. It’s something we’re proud of. What warms our hearts even more is the difference this has made to people’s lives. Having a stable income has given PERi-farmers and their families greater access to education, healthcare, water, energy and housing. So the next time you taste our PERi-PERi, taste real happiness. Because that’s exactly what it has helped create.
We street-cast the characters for our latest film from the city of Maputo, Mozambique. All creatives with a story to tell, we caught up with them during filming to delve a little deeper…
MEET DJ GRACE: QUEEN OF THE DECKS
We met up with the talented DJ Grace, the rave-ready record-spinner from our latest film, to talk Mozambican nightlife and how surprised people still are to see a female behind the decks.
Like most DJ’s, Grace started out playing records in her bedroom in Maputo. It wasn’t easy, she says, but she’s been hitting the decks around town (and beyond) ever since. “I play in various venues in Maputo, and all around Mozambique at the moment. The music scene is always changing and growing out here. I’ve also played in Johannesburg, South Africa, The atmosphere down there is really cool.”
But what does she think of the scene overseas? “Nina Kraviz…. I like the style of the music that she plays. She’s really cool. I have a big respect for female DJ’s, because it’s such a novelty to be a female DJ in Mozambique, which is such a shame. Making it in this profession requires a lot of strength, determination and hard work.”
And what about the scene in Mozambique? “At the moment Reggaeton, Dancehall, and Afro-House are all big crowd-pleasers. They all have a beat you can really dance to, and that’s much more important to audiences here then it maybe is in other countries. People just love coming together and letting loose a little bit, the scene here isn’t so stuffy or all about how you look. It’s how much fun you have on the dancefloor that counts.”
MEET JOHNNY: OUR MYSTERY MURAL-MAKER
PERi-PERi red wasn’t the only colour we painted the town of Maputo on our recent trip to Mozambique….
We asked young talent Johnny, an artist who likes to keep his profile hidden from the camera, to help us create a lasting piece of art with the people of Maputo for our film.
Johnny moved to the town of Inhambane, Mozambique in 2011 after being approached by a friend who wanted to set up an arts charity in Mozambique. “We held workshops with local children discussing various issues that affect them. After chatting we’d paint a mural together inspired by the content of the workshops.”
Sounds similar to his work for us in Maputo, where he invited everyone in the local community to take part. Locals were invited to draw or write on Johnny’s initial sketches, stating the things they most loved about Maputo. “It was therapeutic in a similar way to my previous work, bringing the local community together through art.”
The mural was named ‘My City’, and the end result was a compelling one for sure. “It’s a relatively big part of the film, and I hope it stood out to everyone who watched it!”
MEET LAURO: STYLE EXTRAORDINAIRE
Fashion designer, creative director, photographer and stylist…
Meet Lauro, a cast member from our latest film, who runs his own clothing brand: ‘Trill Moz’.
“’Trill’ is from the North American slang meaning original. And ‘Moz’ is shorthand for Mozambique. The idea being that we’re creating a harmony between the two cultures, but also to show an original and unique side to Mozambican fashion. Trill Moz’s ethos is about diversity.”
“When I was 13 there was a small movement in Maputo, a dance movement called jerk. It was from there that I started to be interested in fashion, and started to create my own style. I used fashion to express myself. Jerk was all about having fun, letting go a little bit, experimenting but also being collaborative. I guess that was when ‘Trill Moz’ really started.”
And who are Lauro’s favourite African designers he thinks you should check out?
“Shaazia Adam from Maputo is a really interesting designer. Nkosi Wear also have a really contemporary but still traditional style, they’re cool. Loza Maleombho as well! She’s definitely worth checking out.”
MEET YARA: OUR DOUBLE-ACT DANCER!
Being a young adult isn’t easy. Exams, Saturday jobs, which uni (if any) to go to. You’re tired, stressed, and the weekend just isn’t long enough. Let’s be honest there’s a lot on your plate. So imagine how impressed we were when we found out that Yara, the ballerina in our latest PERi-PERi film, also moonlights as a medical student…
Hailing from Maputo, Mozambique, she says “it’s difficult balancing the two, but it’s important to me and my family that I do well at University so that I can look after myself when I’m older.”
So how exactly does she do it? “I make sure to give myself the time to do the things I really love, like dancing and seeing my friends, and that makes it easier to do my studies!”
It’s also important to stay positive, she says. “Everyone has their moments. But if I had to tell others one thing I’ve learnt, I would say have big dreams, work hard, and believe in yourself. You might not achieve everything you wanted, but at least you’ll be some of the way there!”
LOOKING GOOD: ON-SET HAIR AND BEAUTY
Here’s a run-down of the hair and beauty looks from our film, all designed by our Mozambican hairdresser Tema.
Heads up, the edgy buzz cut is pretty big at the moment, and all about female empowerment!
Our girl Dope St. Jude went in on the nail art for filming. Did we hear you say, nailed it?
That moment when your lips, nails and car all match….
Sass and cornrows, check and check. Our model killing it on set.
These lilac beaded braids are brilliant for shorter hair. Your next festival look, maybe?
Wallflowers need not apply. Criss-cross cornrows and twists, a look for those wanting to make a statement.
One of the feature hairstyles of our film. These intricate cornrows take time, effort, and a general ability to slay.
Meet Dope Saint Jude, the ridiculously cool, motorbike-wielding superstar of our new film.
She’s a style-icon, musician, but most importantly a family-first girl at heart. You might recognize her from her outspoken, hip-hop tracks that have been circulating the net lately, yep, we were in awe too. Or her tongue-in-cheek music videos that have had the whole of South Africa talking.
Hailing from the flats of Cape Town, she travelled with us to Maputo, Mozambique to host our glorious fiesta celebrating the spirit of our unique PERi-PERi chillies.
We caught up with her on set to discuss everything from making it in the music biz, to her childhood dream of riding a motorbike.
"It’s time for them to take on the lead role and be powerful" Dope
Being cool isn’t top of her to-do list, Dope has bigger plans… to inspire a generation of confident women. “It’s time for them to take on the lead role and be powerful,” she says. Too true, Dope!
On whether she sees herself as a role model or not (she has after all lectured at a number of universities in South Africa on the social effects of hip-hop), she says: “What’s really important for me is to create a legacy… I’m actually studying right now, and using my music money to fund my studies.” Well, a South African music idol and a student?
But who are Dope’s role models, considering that she’s becoming a bit of a role model herself? “I mean I always think about my grandmother and my mother, they both passed away and they both struggled in their lives, but they had this ‘keep going’ spirit that I always come back to when I’m looking for inspiration. I just think about the women that came before me, and it inspires me like crazy.” Even in the face of such loss, it’s admirable to find out where the high-energy star gets her endless positivity.
She’s a true original as well, with a fiery spirit, and, she lets us know, just like us, she always makes sure she does everything with authenticity. “I couldn’t imagine being inauthentic.” She believes “success” will always come naturally “if you’re sincere in what you’re doing.” A girl after our own heart…
And what exactly does being sincere in her work mean to her?
“I think making music with pure intent, making music for the sake of making it, because you enjoy it, because you want it to move people… because you want to be moved.”
Dope’s music is also purposefully intersectional. “I make different kinds of music but mostly I focus on hip-hop, or intersections of hip-hop.” Dope states, “but I listen to lots of different kinds. Right now I’m listening to a Brazilian rapper named Karol Konka. People in the UK should definitely check her out.”
And how did she take the South African music scene by storm so suddenly?
Well, she never, ever gave up. “For me, it was just really being persistent. I’m not a trained musician, and I didn’t have any connections. It was just about not giving up until I eventually made a breakthrough.”
She’s much more carefree with her style though. “I just wear what I like,” she says. “I know it isn’t overly feminine. I know that it isn’t overly masculine… I feel like it’s a mixture of a lot of different things.” Her dress sense is open and fun, not to mention the funky nail-art she dons in our latest film: “Sometimes my style can be glamorous, too. Like today, oh my god, I love the jewellery! It makes me feel like a bit of a queen… a gangsta queen!”
This is PERi-PERi! Dried under the blistering Southern African sun, and grown in its rich earthy soil, our PERi-PERi chillies pack a whole heap of Southern African spirit. What does that mean? You’re about to find out…
Can’t get enough of the track?
Inspired by our homeland of Southern Africa and brought to you right here in the UK, 'Muzi - Zenzile (Hannah Wants Remix)' is now available to stream.
So, turns out, there are some things robots can’t do. Like preparing our famous PERi-PERi!
To test this theory we had our appropriately named Drone Guy invent three makeshift machines to try out at one of the farms where we source our famous little chillies.
First up, The Harvester Drone. Ever wondered why our PERi-PERi chillies are picked by hand? Well, turns out nothing makes the cut quite like a human when picking chillies… literally.
Then there’s The Drying Drone. After harvesting, our PERi-PERi chillies are placed on drying racks for a week laying out in the African sunshine before being turned into PERi-PERi. So we had this flame-throwing force-of-nature see if it could dry them better.
Finally… The Inspection Drone. What does that do? Well the only way to tell if a PERi-PERi is ripe is when it’s red, and machines can’t tell what colour a chilli is…. Or can they?