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Lenzo Mangonyane in Adidas OZWEEGO: Powered by the Past, Reimagining the Future

Lenzo Mangonyane is a multi-faceted creator who predominantly experiments with various mediums of art and communication. He has lived in many places and now currently resides in Johannesburg. How does the OZWEEGO fit into your lifestyle as a creator? I am always moving around and in a rush, so most likely in a shoe - I look for comfort and style simultaneously. 

From your perspective, how are young creators reimagining the past to create their present reality? Various young creators use the past as a source of inspiration - myself included. Communication alternates with time. At the end of the day everybody has their own story but the past still resonates with us. Now that there is access to new ways of communication through technology, we are capable of taking the past and reimagining it in a way that is ideal for ourselves. As a stylist, DJ and art director your work seems to draw influences from the 1990s, what about this decade particularly resonates with you? 

I was born in the 90’s, 1998 to be exact and for me it was a beautiful decade and it has birthed so many great ideas that have influenced me today. I relate to this decade through its fashion, music, culture and entertainment. 

How does your aesthetic, in terms of creative visual expression, reflect the past and inform the future? I always strive to create timeless communication through my visual expressions. So I am able to be in touch with both the past and the future simultaneously. I would like to use my knowledge of the past to refine my ideas to contribute to future communication and the development of ideas.

Please tell us about the 1990s icon you were paying tribute to South Africans are my main source of inspiration in terms of style. I have always been in love the 'sofisticated street gangster' sense of style from a very young age. The people I used to be around were also heavily influenced by it as well. I used to watch Chester on the TV screens [Yizo Yizo] when I was younger and I enjoyed seeing his character and I wanted to reimagine him as myself for this shoot. 

What does being a young creator/ creative in the digital age mean to you? Everything. The possibilities are endless for us now 

Photography: Anthony Bila

Interview: Phendu Kuta

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