Is living in Maboneng anything like the TV show Ayeye?

Ayeye, a TV show about three upcoming creatives who share a loft in Maboneng Precinct and work at an advertising agency, is on Showmax and aims to show off the flashy metropolitan lifestyle. But is it anything like the real deal? I ask Maboneng resident and agency creative Khanya Sijaji if the show matches up to life in the precinct.

Lenin’s Vodka Bar is the main hangout spot in Ayeye, how much of Maboneng would you actually meet there when it was still open?
Not much of Maboneng at all. The Maboneng I found here when I arrived in 2012 was a totally different Maboneng to today. And still, I wouldn’t say Lenin’s was the spot for Maboneng residents. However, the weekenders loved it. It had a great vibe. People would usually end their evenings there.

How viable is it to actually live in Maboneng? Is it an experience young South Africans are missing out on?
It’s cool and a vibe if you’re into that sorta thing. But again, it’s changed a bit. It’s become more residential than the culture experience it used to have or be. It changed from the ‘culturist’ and creative expressionist’s stomping ground to good food and cocktails, and that’s not a bad thing.

How important is winning an award in the advertising industry? Does it offer any career changing opportunities within a company, or does it?
I think winning awards is still important. At least to the agencies more than the client. They bring recognition from within the industry; so I guess other agencies know you’re ‘the shit’. Also, I’ve been led to believe that awards work in your favour when it comes agencies winning pitches. That being said, as a creative with a few prestigious awards, your chances of moving up the ranks or being head-hunted are greater. That’s the industry. Now, do I believe in it? No. I think you’ll find that actual ‘creatives’ that came into the game post The Mad Men era are more concerned about the work, the impact it’s had/having and have no interest in ‘selling product’ to a ‘consumer’. But rather, they put client first, and use the client’s brand to tell stories that come from and relate to the insights of ‘people’, not ‘consumers’.

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