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Sho Madjozi Joins #YouTubeBlackVoices Artist Class of 2021

Throughout history, Black artists have innovated and influenced virtually every genre of music in immeasurable ways. To both celebrate and nurture Black artistry around the world, YouTube developed the #YouTubeBlack Voices grant program — an initiative dedicated to equipping up-and-coming Black creators and artists with the resources to succeed on our platform. This grant program is part of their larger #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, a global, multi-year commitment to uplift and grow Black creators and artists on our platform, as well as to produce and acquire new YouTube Original programs, focusing on racial justice and the Black experience.

Today, we’re proud to announce that Sho Madjozi was selected to be part of the 21 artists joining the #YouTubeBlack Voices Class of 2021. These artists and groups, from the United States, Kenya, Brazil, Australia, South Africa, and Nigeria, span generations and sounds. Whether drawing inspiration from R&B, reggaeton, emo, afrobeats, rap, punk, country, funk, or spaces beyond, their work expresses the power of their vision and their passion for pushing their communities and music forward. 

The Artist Class of 2021 will receive dedicated partner support from YouTube, seed funding invested into the development of their channels, and participate in training and networking programs focused on production, fan engagement, and wellbeing. 

“My music is loud. It sounds current, it sounds urgent. Ultimately, it’s a screenshot of life as a young African woman. Whether it’s asserting my independence, whether it’s talking about love, or lost love. I want to be remembered as someone who made it cool to be African and cool to be yourself, someone that presented new ways or different ways of being at this time. More than anything, I want a more equal future, where the colour of your skin or the village you happen to be born in does not have a significant impact on how far you can go,” said Sho Madjozi.

Sho Madjozi joins the following artists in the inaugural #YouTubeBlackVoices Artist Class of 2021:

Brent Faiyaz (Columbia, Maryland, United States)

BRS Kash (Atlanta, Georgia, United States)

Fireboy DML (Lagos, Nigeria)

Jean Dawson (Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico / Los Angeles, California, United States)

Jensen McRae (Los Angeles, California, United States)

Jerome Farah (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)

Joy Oladokun (Nashville, Tennessee, United States)

KennyHoopla (Oshkosh, Wisconsin, United States)

Mariah the Scientist (Atlanta, Georgia, United States)

MC Carol (Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Miiesha (Woorabinda, Queensland, Australia)

Myke Towers (Quintana, San Juan, Puerto Rico)

Péricles (Santo André, São Paulo, Brazil)

Rael

Rexx Life Raj (Berkely, California, United States)

Sauti Sol (Nairobi, Kenya)

Serpentwithfeet (Baltimore, Maryland, United States)

Tkay Maidza (Adelaide, South Australia, Australia)

Urias (Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, Brazil)

Yung Baby Tate (Atlanta, Georgia, United States)

Connect with Sho Madjozi:

Instagram | Twitter | Facebook


Siyanda Nondwayi – loving the Starbucks culture

Discovering the world of Starbucks has been “an amazing journey” for Siyanda Nondwayi since August 2017, when he joined the company as store manager of the first Starbucks to open in KwaZulu-Natal, in Florida Road, Durban.

“When I joined Starbucks, I spent the first six months in Gauteng, learning about the brand – and my love for Starbucks was born. What I love about the brand is its culture that is founded on passion for people and for great coffee. As a partner – that’s what staff members are called at Starbucks – we are pushed to succeed by the system and processes that the company has in place. Starbucks wants all its partners to be the best that they can be.”

About the coffee, Nondwayi is equally enthusiastic. “I am not ashamed to say that I have become a coffee snob. I have learned so much about coffee, different brewing methods, how to best enjoy it, the intricacies in the taste profiles, and more, so that if I go into a coffee shop and I see the barista making sub-grade coffee, I change my order to tea. I know I would be disappointed in that cup of coffee – and that shouldn’t happen.”

Starbucks Florida Road has the luxury of being one of four stores in South Africa that serves Starbucks Reserve coffees, the best quality small-lot coffees. Through this, Nondwayi says he has learned a lot about coffee from Africa. “In my opinion, Africa produces the best coffee, but it hasn’t been given the global attention and recognition it deserves. Our ongoing Starbucks Reserve menu is doing a lot to raise the profile of excellent coffees from our continent.”

Nondwayi’s career in hospitality had started earlier in his life. He grew up in Cape Town and after matric, he obtained qualifications in marketing, events management, and public relations, and spent a few months working with a communications company. But his passions lay elsewhere. When Moyo Restaurant opened at Spier Wine Farm, he called on them and asked them to employ him. His lack of experience was an issue so he asked for two weeks to prove himself. He did, and from 2004 to 2008, he went on to become an ambassador for Moyo, visiting locations in South Africa and other African countries, and then moved to Durban where he spent three years at Moyo uShaka.

His next career move was to Woolworths Café, where he spent more than four years, as general manager in the Gateway store and head of customer services in the province, training staff in customer service excellence.

He was ready for a new challenge when Starbucks approached him and offered him a position. “Starbucks has the same values that I have. It instils a culture of excellence in its people – and my personal passion is with people, particularly the unsung heroes of life. I love interacting with customers, and brightening their days with a quick chat, a smile, a joke, and personal service that surprises and delights them – which is what Starbucks is all about.”

The passion for people shared by Nondwayi and Starbucks is evident in their approach to staff too. “To have an amazing team, you need to invest in them all the time. We’re constantly training to ensure the global customer service ethic is instilled in all our partners. I believe that when you have the right people and the right training in place, the rest will follow.”

Nondwayi says he had the privilege last year of training Teddy Nzama, the 2019 Starbucks EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa region) Barista Champion, who brought home the trophy to the Florida Road store in a competition between the finalists of the 30 countries of the region. “Teddy is a wonderful young man,  the group as a whole is exceptionally proud of him – not just for winning the 2019 EMEA barista championship, but also for is work ethic, his passion for learning, and his commitment to the brand.”

Nondwayi, who describes himself as “that guy who solves things” says he is constantly striving to equip himself for new challenges and find new ways to better himself. He spent lockdown, when the store was closed, doing 10 online courses that would add value to his efforts to succeed and learn in life.

He is also a family man with a wife and two children aged 11 and six, and in his spare time, he enjoys a good braai, a potjie, sporting activities, and more recently, cycling, participating in events for a cause, such as violence against women and children. “I have always tried to get involved in causes that are good for the community where I am, bringing hope into people’s lives. I have gone through some of the challenges that many people face and I try to give hope to people who feel hopeless.”


Artist Of The Week: Dumisani Maxwell Kunene AKA Dj Sdunkero

Dumisani Maxwell Kunene, best known as Dj Sdunkero was born in Kabokweni. Born 26 October 1981, he always knew he would become a famous Dj in Nelspruit Mpumalanga and even beyond. He is a Dj, producer and executive director of Groova Records. He has five albums out excluding his latest album “DJ Sdunkero & GroovaBoys- Rise Above”. He is the artist and producer of the most famous hit songs Maputo song, Stolen Property and Shakara which was released in 2017, with the most recent Nothing sweeter ft Aloe B. 

Dj Sdunkero began making beats in 2002 in Nelpruit, with a passion for music he was determined to accomplish his dream of becoming a Dj and Producer. He met Dj Christos in 2004 for a big opportunity to sign a deal with House Africa in 2005. They then put together a project called Power Play, and that was the beginning of the great Dj Sdunkero.

Dj Sdunkero started producing his first album titled Edladleni Volume.1 in 2006. This album sold 30 000 units and he received the SAMA Best Record of The Year in 2008. Edladleni Vol. 1 featured his most famous song Maputo Song, with a phenomenal response from the public and house music lovers nationwide. 

He is currently working on his latest studio album Sir Groova, due for release on the 31st October 2020 under Groova Records. Two singles have been released currently Ukulala ft Mr Chillax and Phakama ft Mis DQ with music videos available on YouTube, also having received good reviews. The album has a complete of 12 songs all revealing his talent of diversifying house music sounds into modern African style.

He features artists like Bongi Silinda, Afrobrothers, Mr Chillax, Tash Dime, just to name a few. 

The album will be available on digital stores worldwide. 


Score launches a crushing new summer sensation

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If you are looking for a cool summer pick-me-up, Score Crush is a refreshing burst of sparkling pineapple and coconut. Kickstart sizzling days with the energising power of Score and get the beach party started. The fruity cocopine taste will keep you going long after sunset for a star-studded night with the crew.  

Stay on track with Score’s double shot of Guarana for that natural caffeine kick and a healthy dose of B Vitamins. Taurine free and big on taste, Score is the ultimate energy drink to help you reach your potential. Score Crush is available in mega 500ml cans in leading outlets selling at around R10 per can.

Keep up with the latest action by joining the Score community on www.drinkscore.co.za or get in on the action at @drinkscore on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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