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HONEY | "We Need to See More Success and Happiness in Our Narratives"

Rendani Nemakhavhani (Honey) and Kgomotso Neto are the creative duo behind "The Honey" photo series. Since the series' one year anniversary a month ago (and the collaborations that came with it) we have seen an evolution in how the duo is portrayed. Rendani states that the aim is not to restrict themselves and for them collaboration can be a form of play. She adds that the aesthetic that she and Neto have established will always remain.

This particular shoot was shot in Alexandra township to portray a grungier "Aus Honey". Her partner in crime Kgomotso(aka Gavini) chose to be behind the lens for this shoot.

The Honey has often been referred to as social commentary regarding blackness (from their perspectives); Rendani agrees and adds that each person who comes across or interacts with the work will leave with an understanding or even questions that are particular to them. And to associate this body of work with that is not incorrect. She goes on to say, "this is a narrative that we're documenting with references to our lives. Being black is not an experience for us, it's a daily reality. Parts of it are exaggerated (because what's a story without a little drama?), but the core reference is our lived realities."

When asked about how she feels about African stories always being politicized and if she thinks people can progress beyond that? She states, "we need to see more success and happiness in our (black) narratives, positive representations. I don't know if we can ever completely stay away from politics, especially in South Africa. We keep being reminded of the tragedies that our people have been through, we're aware of that, and we will never forget it. It's in the basic education syllabus and,and, and. So to say that we want to tell our stories without concentrating on the political aspects is something that we have to work at as a collective. But even when that happens someone will point out that part of the reason we are telling stories that have less political representation in them is because of the politics we were moving away from."

Naturally, one is curious about where the duo want to take The Honey, "we intend for it to become internationally recognised and to be functioning as more than just a photo series. Audiences are also going to see The Honey moving into more tangible spaces in 2017. The characters are coming to life."

Photography: Kgomotso Neto

Writing: Phendu Kuta

Stockists: Fruitcake Vintage

Location: Alexandra Township


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