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Tamara Moeng in Adidas OZWEEGO: Powered by the Past, Reimagining the Future

Tamara Moeng is a creator based in Centurion. Her fulfillment comes from doing what she loves, which is expressing herself through several creative avenues such as modeling, creative direction, urban dance and music - where it all started for her. As a dancer, movement is a part of your creative expression, how does the Ozweego assist in realising that expression?

The aim for me is to always move as naturally as possible whilst simultaneously pushing my body to experiment and leave the box I normally find myself in. And achieving comfort has a major influence on that expression. The tech in shoes maximises comfort, and that allows me not to pay any mind to anything else besides being in that moment and executing my movements in the manner that I want.

From your perspective, how are young creators reimagining the past to create their present reality?

I’d say young creators aren’t afraid to question much and are open to learning. It’s a thing of taking in knowledge on how things have been done and improving it. What I think is important that is presently trying to be implemented with re-creation is inclusivity. Your personal style is androgynous; reminiscent of past decades wherein women were challenging gender stereotypes, as a young woman, why is important for you to defy gender norms? Representation! There are so many girls out there that feel like they have to dress a certain way and fit into a certain box, especially because it’s mainly all they see. So maybe one day someone might come across me and feel even the tiniest bit less weird about their lack of mundane style. Representation is key, also in so many aspects outside of style.

How does your aesthetic, in terms of creative visual expression, reflect the past and inform the future?

What I do is sub-consciously or consciously taking something from the past I’ve seen, heard, felt or maybe even tasted, and re-imagine it through introspection. That allows for whatever I create to be truly me and also not a replica of something that’s been done, this also somewhat prevents the same mistakes from occurring. So in a sense it’s unique. and I say in a sense because essentially; "there’s nothing new under the sun", this saying hasn’t left me since the day I heard about it. We’re all made up of what we consume and surround ourselves with - what exists or already existed. What makes us [who we are] and what we produce uniquely is mainly through introspection.

What does being a young creator/ creative in the digital age mean to you?

Being you. Being fully committed to who you are and what you believe in. The digital age makes it extremely easy to get lost in the trends and what is deemed to be popping, liking something not because you like it but because everyone else likes it. It’s easier to fall into the system and be taken for a long invaluable ride when you know a lot about yourself, and I’m definitely not saying I know exactly who I am as of right now. especially because I don’t think of it as a final form you reach because that would mean you become stagnant which is not the goal. The goal is to keep growing, bringing yourself to a better version of yourself time and time again.

Please tell us about the 1990s icon you were paying tribute to and why they resonate with you? I was paying tribute to the late Aaliyah, her androgynous tomboyish style has influenced my style heavily. I'd say it’s comfort but make it cute - cute comfort. Also, side note: she was one of the few 90’s R&B artists who still danced in her music videos and of course - I’m a sucker for dancers.

Photography: Anthony Bila

Interview: Phendu Kuta

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