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FUTURE JOBURG | Voices of the City: Uno de Waal




“it’s time for arts practitioners and creatives to take back the cultural agenda and do things that have no brands involved”

Uno de Waal3

This week we meet with Uno de Waal, the owner and publisher of Between 10 and 5, South Africa’s largest online creative showcase.

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Voices of the City is a weekly feature that spotlights the everyday lives of our citizens, living and working in the city. By asking the same five questions to all our interviewees, we discover not only how our experiences of the city differ, but also what we share. It is a daunting task to try and capture the diverse experiences of our city’s inhabitants, but we feel that it is a worthy, and necessary, endeavor, in order to better understand the present and future of our city.

This week we meet with Uno de Waal, the owner and publisher of Between 10 and 5, South Africa’s largest online creative showcase. He is also the recipient of the 2014 British Council Young Creative Entrepreneur award, has been included in the Destiny Man Power of 40 and GQ’s Coolest Guys Under 35. 10and5 is the winner of the African Blogger Awards: Arts and Culture and Gold Pixel Winner for specialist publisher at the 2015 Bookmark Awards as well as being listed as one of the 15 most influential blogs in South Africa. Uno has previously spent time at DSTV where he consulted on KykNET, Channel O, MK and VUZU to help bring their digital properties up to scratch.  After this he joined the international digital ad agency Trigger/Isobar where he was instrumental in strategy for Nike, Nokia, Cell C and Red Bull.

 

What about Johannesburg inspires you the most?

There are so many different people and backgrounds in the city, and you can get a really diverse interaction by simply travelling 20mins from Braamfontein to Sandton. The amount of opportunity is staggering, and it’s up to us to capture that opportunity and create new things from it.

Do you have a secret space or place that you enjoy in the city?

I’ve got a really big thing for a classic dive-bar. There are a few spots in Braamfontein and Fieta’s that I visit regularly. You get to see some real people, as opposed to a hyper stylised place where everything is new, but without that history you get with an older location. The people are super honest and down to earth.

 

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Credit: Darren Gwynn

What was the last exciting event you attended in the city?

I really enjoyed the Fak’Ugesi festival which brought some interesting, new technology practitioners to the city. I was blown away by one of the VJ performances and then it was great to see a great day made for non-techies in the city afterwards too.

What frustrates you about the city?

It sometimes feels like a lot of the cultural curation is happening in one or two precincts – Braamfontein and Maboneng. There are many many other areas that are just as interesting and have a lot to offer too. My frustration is also sometimes down to brands owning a lot of the cultural programming we see in Joburg. In my day-to-day work life I work with brands a lot, and we often propose cultural programming, but I honestly think it’s time for arts practitioners and creatives to take back the cultural agenda and do things that have no brands involved.

Uno de Waal

Credit: Darren Gwynn

You can have dinner with one person living or dead. Who is it and why?

I don’t do one-on-one conversations well… I’m more comfortable as a host for many people so I’d like to have a table that would allow many people to pop-in and out. It would have to be a mix from someone in the New York hip scene from the early 90’s, a media mogul like Shane Smith from Vice now and then someone from the Ed Banger records stable. Maybe throw in Ewen McGregor and Charlie Boorman because we could talk about motorbikes forever.

 

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Credits

  1. Photograph: Desmond Louw
  2. Photograph: Darren Gwynn
  3. Photograph: Darren Gwynn