Dolly Rathebe

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Figure [ 1 ]: Dolly Rathebe [ (the 50's: Jurgen Schadeberg, 2007) ]

History of Fashion
Figure [ 2 ]: Dolly Rathebe’s photo shoot for Drum magazine in front of the mine dump, taken by photographer Jürgen Schadeberg before they were arrested under the immorality act during the apartheid era. [ (the 50's: Jurgen Schadeberg, 2007) ]

African Jazz n’ Jive
Dolly Rathebe, a Jazz Goddess in the 50’s, born in the Randfonein but grew up in Sophiatown, in the midst of apartheid, became the soul sister of Johannesburg. She was discovered as a Jazz singer around 1949 while singing at a picnic in Johannesburg. She rose to fame when she appeared as a nightclub singer in a British film, “Jim Comes To Jo’Burg”, depicting Africans in an upbeat light. (Dolly Rathebe: South Africa Holiday) Figure [ 3 ]: [ (the 50's: Jurgen Schadeberg, 2007) ]

The following year while doing a photo shoot at a mine dump for Drum magazine, she and Jürgen Schadeberg (Chief Photographer, Picture Editor and Art Director of Drum magazine) were arrested. This was one of the photos Jürgen was able to take before they were arrested. They were arrested under the immorality act which was an act which forbid interracial relationships. In her following years of fame she became the first African woman to grace the covers of a magazine. However this did not stop this beautiful iconic sister of the Sophiatown Jazz. (Dolly Rathebe: South Africa Holiday) After dark Sophiatown became the hub where people flocked in to chat, listen and dance to the latest Jazz music and party in the local shebeens till the early hours of the morning. With residents such as Nelson Mandela and where the ANC first began, it was beautiful. In the fifties the African Jazz movement was in full swing and Sophiatown was the centre. (Sullivan, 2011) This became the development of the urban black culture and an escape from the repressive laws of apartheid. It became their home away from home where singers, writers, artists and...
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