While world-renowned designer Donatella Versace's guests for her Versace SS19 menswear show in Milan entered, they were treated to the sounds of Bottoms Revenge: Ibutho Lamakhosazana by South Africa's FAKA.
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And it wasn't only their music playing at the Milan show, Donatella had flown the duo made up of Fela Gucci and Desire Marea to Italy to sit in the front row. But wait there's more ... Uyang'khumbula by FAKA was the soundtrack to the main show.
News of the iconic pair, famous for their non-binary style, travelling to Milan spread quickly after Desire Marea first tweeted: "We about to board this flight to Milan and I don't know how to act. Please reply with video of Wendy Williams asking is she's gonna cry."
And then later: "OMG Kendall and Bella Hadid were walking to Uyang'khumbula on the runway at the Versace show... The gag".
Before the Versace, FAKA visited Donatella at Gianni Versace's home, saying she had told them "the whole show today is about our music".
And then went on to post a photo on her Instagram, saying "The music from today's show was from the super FEARLESS @felagucci & @desiremarea!! Thank you guys!".
FAKA, a cultural movement established by Fela Gucci and Desire Marea, has come to represent more than the “performance art duo” descriptor that has defined the collective since their inception in 2015.
The artists explore a combination of mediums ranging from sound, live performance, literature, video and photography, to create an eclectic aesthetic with which they express their ideas about themes central to their experience as black queer bodies navigating the cis-hetero-topia of post-colonial Africa.
The collective debuted at the BubblegumClubbb Nights held at the Hazard Gallery in 2015, where they presented “#Wait Lorraine: A Wemmer Pan-African Introduction to Siyakaka Feminism”.
In the same year, FAKA released their popular ode to Brenda Fassie, a video piece titled “From A Distance”. The following year (2016) was defined by the duo’s release of the Bottoms Revenge EP, a collection of Ancestral Gqom-Gospel sounds, as well as a much-talked-about live installation of “The Factory” at Stevenson Gallery’s SEX show.
Their hybridised mode of practice and challenging subject matter as artists has lead them to being invited to perform at various international festivals - such as the 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (2016); Unsound Festival Poland (2016); and Vienna Festival (2017) amongst many others.
And this international appeal is rooted in the duo’s unapologetic representation of Black Queer Culture in South Africa, one that embraces the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and spirituality.