Waking up to Live a Dream.

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Meet Stylez aka Papa Woke, the architect behind W.O.K.E. ARTS, an art collective that encourages self discipline, patience and love.

W.O.K.E. ARTS provides the perfect platform for you to dream without fear of judgement by bringing your craft alive on a stage.

Nothing worth having happens effortlessly as the story of Stylez, owner and founder of W.O.K.E. ARTS breaks down for us. Born Tsholofelo Radebe, Stylez earned his alias from his standing ovation performance of Athol Fugard’s Sizwe Bansi Is Dead, in which he owned the role of Mr Styles. “Mr Styles is a photographer who captures people’s dreams”, Stylez shares. “To me, it’s like I captured my dream in that moment.”

Stylez awakens the dreams of others too in the form of artists who are involved in his movement W.O.K.E. ARTS: a conscious collaborative experience that provides a platform for developing independent creatives to showcase their craft across genres to a relevant audience. The acronym W.O.K.E. symbolises their values:

We’re - a representation of unity

Original - the motivation to tell one’s own story

Kreatif - an extraordinary way of narrating that story

Enlightened -  encouraging the audience to think and/or feel “the way high art is supposed to.”

“The best part about memories is making them. Every W.O.K.E. ARTS that happens is a testament that we are still alive,” Stylez shares with passion in his voice. He speaks fondly of the expansion of the movement as well as the feeling of family it creates.

He emphasises that to be a male black leader one needs to be responsible for their work, as it’s the track record they will be judged on. This is a man who stands up and takes accountability - something we need to see more of in South Africa, and especially in the creative industry. It’s time to fully own our success.

Stylez, a depression survivor is a strategist within Umuzi, a decision he made as a stepping stone to his future goal of becoming a media mogul. With anything that embodies God being his role model, Stylez says, “I’m always working because my work is play.”

Check out some of Stylez's work here.

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