Every action is creative and every passionate action is art

– Matthew Stone (I.D. Magazine)

So, for every passionate action there should be a passionate reaction, right? From planting a seed to forming a movement, here’s a look back at first thoughts on one small seed, first encounters with the magazine and some first ‘creative seeds’ by singer/songwriter Lindiwe Suttle, zef rapper Jack Parow and photographer Sam Norval as part of the Vodafone Firsts campaign, which encourages people to do things for the first time.

one small seed logo Ⓒ Giuseppe Russo

one small seed logo Ⓒ Giuseppe Russo

When one small seed was first ‘sowed’ by founder/editor-in-chief Giuseppe Russo, the idea was to encourage a South African creative movement that could compete with the world. Nine years on, it’s grown into a creative network (onesmallseed.net), various online platforms – including two new initiatives called ‘Cult of Self’ and ‘We Love Sexy’ – and we’re excited to re-launch as a digital magazine.

Blood, sweat and tears went into nourishing the growth of this ‘diversely branched tree’, yet its seed would never have sprouted without the ground-breaking content contributed by artists, photographers, models, musicians, architects, designers, writers or – as the umbrella term neatly summarises – ‘creatives’. The Vodafone Firsts campaign thus seemed an ideal opportunity for us to touch base with some of ‘the creative influencers’ who have featured in past issues. Lindiwe Suttle, Jack Parow and Sam Norval shared their ‘one small seed firsts’, ‘creative firsts’ and current projects that might inspire further firsts for aspiring creatives.



LINDIWE SUTTLE – Singer/Songwriter

Lindiwe Suttle - Image Ⓒ Diane Ducruet

Lindiwe Suttle – Image Ⓒ Diane Ducruet


























Lindiwe Suttle’s ‘first’ with one small seed goes all the way back to the first issue – that’s when she saw the magazine for the first time and found it ‘immediately intriguing’. In issue 02, she was featured in it and, according to her, it was the first shoot she did before launching her music career. ‘It inspired me to make change through my art. It was such a refreshing magazine to have in SA because, from the start, it focused on artists that were true artists – non-conformist artists who didn’t follow any rules,’ she says.

Produced in Berlin by Ivan Gregoriev and mastered by Dave Clutch (Alicia Keys, John Legend, Foo Fighters) in New York, her solo debut Kamikaze Art just won her ‘Songwriter of the Year’ and ‘Best Female Artist and Composer/co-composer’ at The Wawela Music Awards 2014. In the same vein, but different creative field, as her talk show star mother Felicia Mabuza-Suttle, she’s an ambitioned young lady ready to take up any challenge thrown her way. Currently, she’s working on Enough (Set Us Free), a girls’ and women’s rights campaign that makes use of a song she wrote the lyrics for, and her partner – German rock legend Marius Mueller-Westernhagen – composed. ‘I hope it inspires other artists to use their music to speak out for others that have no voice’.

It was an honour to be in the magazine. I loved that they never chose the most popular artists like other magazines. They made you aware of art that might not have had the chance to shine were it not for one small seed – art that the underground scene knew and not the masses. I’m so proud that the publication is still producing great work. Viva one small seed, viva art!!! – Lindiwe Suttle



JACK PAROW – Zef Rapper

Jack Parow - Image Ⓒ Wouter du Toit

Jack Parow – Image Ⓒ Wouter du Toit

Jack Parow is known for his pep-store broek style and general anti-coolness. So uncool that – according to his recent single ‘Bloubek’ – ‘he eats fucking hipsters and shits out fixie bikes’. Cool enough, however, for sexy swimsuit model girlfriend Jenna Pietersen, he somehow made it from Boerewors curtain-protected Bellville to dangerously trendy Cape Town – he says it’s ‘overpopulated by the hip graphic design crowd’.

His first with one small seed was ‘somewhere like Mr. Pickwicks’ and – according to him – it caused him ‘great social anxiety and overall discomfort because people originally from Joburg or some other country like Italy were acting like they’re Capetonian’. Once his nervousness was overcome, he was inspired to write ‘Cooler as Ekke’, which further ‘established his feelings on what he thought about one small seed and all the ‘cool’ people’. So much that he references the mag in the song. ‘Jy dink jy’s cooler as ek, omdat jy die nuwe issue van one small seed het.’ Shortly after its release he was featured in issue 18 of one small seed magazine.

Nag van die Lang Pette (2014), available at South African music stores now, is his most recent project. He worked very hard on this album so he hopes that it’ll inspire more people to work hard for the first time. Cool or uncool – his rhymes will continue to piss off conservative mense due to the raw wit, side-splitting humour and (true!?) portrayal of culture. Jack Parow is SA’s ‘zef darling’ and will be in the Rainbow Nation’s hearts forever.

It (one small seed) triggered the first time I really felt, fuck, people are idiots and shit, trying to follow the trend doesn’t pay off… Btw, is one small seed still being printed or do they give it away at the robots (traffic lights for the international people who will obviously never read this) like those little joke things that you get if you tip the beggar? – Jack Parow



SAM NORVAL – Photographer

Images Ⓒ Sam Norval

Images Ⓒ Sam Norval

Photographer Sam Norval lives in New York and has photographed celebrities such as Clint Eastwood, Flea, Norah Jones, Billy Joel and B.B. King. Yet he says that the first time he was allowed to explore his own style was when he did his first shoot, after he got back home to South Africa, for one small seed. Deep into that Darkness Peering… for issue 13 was an homage to Tim Burton that perfectly accentuated Sam’s ‘dark and moody style’. According to him it was the first time ‘I was really allowed to explore that genre. I was allowed to be as creative as I wanted to be’. Further ‘photography firsts’ were to follow as he shot:



Just for Kicks for Issue 14

It was a first for me to shoot six girls in one editorial, it was a first for me to shoot on a construction site and it was a first for me to shoot in 40 degrees heat. It was a first for me because I was able to explore different styles.

Sam Norval house party just for kicks from one small seed on Vimeo.



South Beach Featuring Bryce Thompson for Issue 17

It was a first because we played on people’s perceptions of metrosexuality, homosexuality and heterosexuality. Taking somebody out of that comfort zone and really exploring that space with them – that was something unique and something first.

South Beach Fashion Shoot from one small seed on Vimeo.



The Self-Made Shoot for Issue 23

It was also a first in a sense because I was exploring very new lighting, a very new concept – it was very self-reflecting I think. The subject matter, how we were achieving it – it was all kinda a first for me. The lighting was very bright, it was very washed out, it was very clean as opposed to my typical work, which tends to be a bit more dark and moody.

Self-Made Shoot from one small seed on Vimeo.

Right now, Sam is working on yet another first. It’s a big project for VH1 for which he’s shooting a big cross-section of hip-hop artists, such as Lil John, Waka Flocka, Future, Russell Simmons and many more. ‘It’s also a first for me because we’re looking to make a book out of it. It’s really really exciting,’ he explains.

one small seed was the first publication to allow budding talent to be a part of the new voice of creativity in South Africa. I think that’s the most important legacy that one small seed has had. If you’re an aspiring artist or creative, you have an outlet, you have a vehicle to really explore your creativity and are encouraged to do so. It was the first publication to allow its readers to submit. – Sam Norval

Images Ⓒ Sam Norval

Image Ⓒ Sam Norval

Images Ⓒ Sam Norval

Image Ⓒ Sam Norval

The Butterfly Effect has been inspiration for endless pop culture storytelling – such as the 2004 movie with Ashton Kutcher of the same name or 1985’s Brazil by Terry Gilliam – but more often it’s used to explain what appears inexplicable. As most of us know, the theory states that a subtle action can cause a catastrophe. Creativity, it seems, works under similar principles. A simple thought, a fleeting comment, a blatant discovery – even a mistake – can trigger the most ground-breaking ideas. Therefore, as creatives, we need a platform to constantly inspire and be inspired.

In South Africa, one small seed set out to do exactly this. As Giuseppe Russo said in issue 16, ‘The seed, which means the vision to believe in yourself and in who you are, had to be planted in South Africa first.’ Today ‘the South African creative movement’ – with Cape Town being Design Capital 2014, major international music festivals such as Sónar gracing our shores and more and more SA artists present across the globe – is truly ready to compete with the world. It’s no longer ‘creativity in a wheelchair’ that needs help up the success stairs, SA is up on its legs and ready to conquer. If all goes well Cape Town and Joburg will soon be mentioned in the same breath as New York, London and Berlin, so there’s no longer a need to focus on one country specifically. Our re-launch as a digital magazine is about to kick-off and we’re now no longer presenting South Africa to the world, but the world (South Africa being a part of it) to the world.

When was the first time you came across one small seed?

Leave a comment below or tweet @onesmallseedSA and @VodafoneFirsts to share your #first!

Special thanks to Lindiwe Suttle, Jack Parow and Sam Norval for their great work and getting back to us so quickly! Further influencers who featured in one small seed are, for example, Dominic Peters of Goldfish, Bryce Thompson, Sean Metelerkamp, Andreas Waldschuetz, Lungelo, Dylan Culhane, Anton Kannemeyer, Spoek Mathambo, Pieter Hugo, Hendrik Vermeulen and JD, Teargas or The Blackheart Gang. Watch out for a Part II!

Words: Christine Hogg

Images Ⓒ Sam Norval

Image Ⓒ Sam Norval

Images Ⓒ Sam Norval

Image Ⓒ Sam Norval

For more ‘first times’ on one small seed click here