“I left home when I was 18 years old and moved to the City of Gold. I had no plan, just a dream. All I knew was that; it was time for me to step into the next chapter of my life,” remembers Msebenzi Comfort Mngomezulu.
Mngomezulu, founder of Dirty Antics, was born in Ledig, Rustenburg. His upbringing was ordinary, he played on the dusty streets of Rustenburg until the sun set, just like any other child during those days. His creative flair has always been visible even though he never paid much attention to it as a child. Often his single mother and two nephews would find him painting, gluing together, discovering solutions or creating something, even though it was no masterpiece then, he certainly enjoyed the process and felt in his element.
“Things took a turn when I was 15 years, when my mother suddenly got sick and was bedridden for over a year,” Msebenzi emotionally expresses. In that period, he was forced to grow up quickly because his mother could no longer manage the household. His two nephews that were staying with them looked up to Msebenzi for support, structure and direction.
By the age of 18, Msebenzi made his way to Johannesburg where he started working at restaurants in Melville – his creativity was reignited. The exposure to a lifestyle of live performances and art caught his attention. As he worked his way up, he had the privilege to build relations with the talented, vibrant and those who were the masters of the game and unapologetic about their craft.
Now 32-years-old, Msebenzi established Dirty Antics in 2017 but the brand got its big break in 2021 when he finally found his niche during COVID. “The name Dirty Antis came about jokingly when my friends and I back in 2014 were trying to define the lifestyle we were living at that time. We were ‘young wild and dirty’ and it made sense, that name stuck in my mind”, laughs Msebenzi.
The brand specializes in artist management, events management mostly around music, production and consultation.
“We aim to change how the entertainment industry is perceived by society. We wish to leave a legacy of having helped the youth by plugging them into the most suitable spaces in the industry and giving them maximum exposure within the industry”, he says.
The brand has taken over and has received most appreciation in Maboneng, Braamfontein and Joburg CBD. Msebenzi’s intentions for the brand are to reach international heights.
Dirty Antics did remarkable work last year when they were approached by an international NGO known as BLK HLTH. Mngomezulu had the opportunity with his team to organise a mental health event for black youth, which turned out to be fruitful and successful for the brand.
“We will be hosting a similar event but powered solely by Dirty Antics this time. The event made us realise that our black brothers and sisters need to be educated about mental wellness”.
In the spirit of striving to make a difference, one of Dirty Antics CSI initiatives has been collaborating with an NGO based in Kagiso known as Zewande Mbali Foundation where they assist in running a soup kitchen and collecting clothes, sanitary wear and blankets for the needy.
“We celebrated Women’s Day by having an all-female line up at an event we call Dirty Tuesday in Maboneng, a live performance event hosted every Tuesday by Dirty Antics”, Mngomezulu adds.
He believes that there needs to be more support for South African women especially in the entertainment industry. The brand aims to shine the spotlight on the challenges women go through in the industry, from abuse, to mismanagement, to production malfunction, lack of funding and hopefully find solutions to these challenges in order to empower women.
“Your background does not matter; the key is knowing what you want and being immovable in your values and principles. Young people: Wake up and work hard and never lose your passion. Dream big and forget about naysayers”.
By Sandra Lesenyeho