Broke Boy$: The Modern Day Emzini Wezinsizwa.

Photography credits: Nick Van Tiem

This article idea came about when I mistakenly bumped into an episode of “Emzini Wezinsizwa” when I was scrolling through the TV guide and decided to watch it then started a discussion about the sitcom with my mom. I re-imaged a younger cast of the sitcom in modern day and that’s when the “light bulb” moment happened.

Emzini Wezinsizwa is a South African sitcom that first aired in 1994 on SABC. It was centered around the escapades of five men who come from different parts of the country and an immigrant who all moved to a Johannesburg hostel compound to earn a living. They lived at Room 8 – the most controversial and popular room at the hostel. Just like the broke boy$ they moved to Cape Town to further their studies and fend for themselves, which led them to finding  a new sense of home and belonging when they became a brotherhood and started living together. This reminded me of this particular quotation, “I would best describe it as five puzzle pieces that just seamlessly fit and, without each other, wouldn’t make sense” which was said by Nick Van Tiem about the Broke Boy$ on an article written by Rolien Zonneveld for the I-D magazine.

The broke boy$ are a collective of South African multifaceted creatives, with five members. I found out about them through scrolling down my multiple social media platforms and got to know a bit more about them after watching the Slikour OnLife balcony interview with Dee Koala and reading an article about them on I-D. The members of this collective are Mzwandile Sithole, a Dj, stylist, bartender and now a founder of “Zwai’s laundry” a new small laundry service business. Andile Dlamini, formally known as the OriginalKaapstadPantsula, a model and a manager at Float Apparel who works hand in hand with the other member of the broke boy$, Simbongile “Bino” Ntake, who is a sales manager at Float Apparel and they are both also part of The storeroom rsa, a creative agency which is described as, “an incubator of ideas and creativity.” Siyabonga Lukhele, a rare personage to find on these social media streets and lastly Sindiso Tshuma who has had several features on Culture Club, a model, composer, electro house producer, Dj, and owner of Space Sounds record label.

These young men are dreamers, go-getters, and hustlers. Many aspire to have a brotherhood with people that have the same if not similar creative dreams and passions. I bet their everyday life could be an entertaining series with a hint of creative and/or culture talks which would be slightly different from the antics of insizwa zase hostel. As far as I’m concerned this is the ending of the article.

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