Wander deep into Soweto, beyond the gentrified tourism destinations, and there’s a home to the fatherless children who’ve grown into the men of Skate Society Soweto. This home is known in the hood as the Dogg Pound. The Pound is an incubator and a home to a continuously growing legacy of free thinkers and independent artists that are breaking the mold and expectations of what it’s like to grow up in the hood.
Thula “Stroof” Sizwe, Sandile “Tox” Mbatha, Nhlakanipho “Jazz” Nkosi and Puleng “Peezy” Seloane met at a local skatepark, and together they would realize their passion for music.
“We all met because of skateboarding, glued together by the skate family Skate Society Soweto (S.S.S). We spent so much time together that it made sense for us to do something more…” Stroof explains, giving credit to the journey skateboarding in Soweto opened up for them at a time when Skateboarding itself only recognized those living in suburban areas.
Born out of necessity to express themselves off of their boards, the convergence of musical talents brought to life the band called The Cum In Your Face. (T.C.I.Y.F)
Redefining the one-dimensional music scene in South Africa was unintentional for the band, with a ‘no fucks given’ attitude, T.C.I.Y.F. gave those who felt disenfranchised a place to express their true selves in a world that paints young black men and women from the township with the one brush.
Sharing stories of their own experiences in their furious guitar riffs and explosive lyrics in songs like “Fatherlesss Kids” and “Gin and Fights,” T.C.I.Y.F.’s musical authenticity evokes emotion in eruptive mosh pits of diversity.
“Punk is not fashionable. It’s not acceptable to think the way we think in the hood, it’s more than a trend, we set the fucking trends. We skate, we thrash, we love, we don’t give a fuck, punk to us is an attitude, it’s a mindset.”
Off of their boards, all they wanted was to express themselves through an alternative medium. They are D.I.Y to the core, from filming and documenting their street skate missions in the gnarliest parts of the hood to getting the crew together to build their own concrete ramp to skate. They even recorded their first album with a cellphone when studio time was unaffordable and uploaded it to SoundCloud. Music was the gateway. Punk is the drug.
Their music truly transcends race, culture, class and has given people a platform to be unafraid of their identity and to risk it all for the love and rebellion that lives within us all.