Hennessy Unveils Revamped Zoo Lake Court, In Collaboration with R!OT

Earlier this week  Hennessy introduced ‘In the Paint’ to Johannesburg which is a unique artistic initiative that is said to bring the Never Stop Never Settle spirit of the brand to local communities through basketball and art.

Deeply rooted in urban culture, Hennessy is further said to share the ambition of inspiring and bringing communities together and to celebrate these values, Hennessy collaborated with renowned graphic artist, Sindiso Nyoni (also known as R!OT), to revitalise the iconic Zoo Lake basketball court in a meaningful way. The collaboration demonstrates Hennessy’s long-standing commitment towards supporting talented artists who embody the brand’s ethos, continuing a decade of meaningful artistic collaborations.

In The Paint is part of a global series of artistic collaborations based around basketball in the community, with the first initiative having launched in Montreal, Canada in 2021,” says Khomotso Ledwaba, Marketing Manager South Africa. “We’re excited to announce the second instalment here in Johannesburg – a first for the African continent. Basketball has great potential locally and we are looking forward to celebrating the spirit of the game together with the community.

Blending urban culture and cognac, the court design draws inspiration from the diverse, indigenous craft techniques of the Southern regions of Africa whilst also celebrating the vibrancy and talent of its people. Featuring a sun at its centre, the warmth of the continent is depicted alongside ripple patterns to mimic the flow of the Charente River in Cognac, which played an integral role in the historical success of the brand. The river carried the precious cognac barrels along the maritime trading routes leading to the expansion of Hennessy around the world; today the brand can be found in over 160 countries.

In the court design, R!OT makes use of the iconic “Bras Armé” symbol that is synonymous with Hennessy, but subtly redesigned to integrate the NBA partnership with basketball in hand. The robust colours showcased throughout the design represent the energy of both the game and more importantly Africa, and the creative beat of the African people.

“It’s a beautiful ode to Africa,” says R!OT. “For me, it was important to incorporate and pay tribute to contemporary African art inspired by Zimbabwe and South Africa. I’m honoured to have collaborated with Hennessy on this project to create a space where people can enjoy themselves together as a community.”

The Zoo Lake court opened its doors to the public on 12 March 2022.

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