Kgotlelelo Bradley Sekiti is a 19 year old performance artist from Alex. You wear different creative hats including dancing, DJying and photography plus working 9 to 5, how does the adiPRENE technology in the Ozweego fit into your busy lifestyle? The adiPRENE technology is so cool, like throughout my day, I’m always moving my body a lot and also like running errands and I just always happen to be wearing shoes which offer cushioning to my feet because I don’t like being uncomfortable. The other day I was wearing a pair of the Ozweegos and I was about to cross the road in Braam but almost didn’t make it through but the support the shoe gave me when I had to jump like a bok was really cool and comfy so I’m a fan because this feels like a boost to my jumping around
From your perspective, how are young creators reimagining the past to create their present reality?
With what I’ve been consuming/observing on the internet, young creators are following older processes of producing work so this comes with also researching on the work that they’re doing so the referencing has always just lead me to older artists that did things the same way that you’d find young creators creating currently practicing, creators like Andy Warhol etc. Young creators are also in general just opening up dialogues with the work that they put out in context of social issues which for is the same as the artists that I’ve been reading up on like Lorna Simpson who is also a creator that used different mediums to start dialogues in society and now seeing it in clothing, text and culture which is pioneered by young creators for me at the moment just serves as an indicator of how young creators are now reimagining the past to create their present reality. Nostalgia is a key feature of your photography and art direction, what draws you to past decades in your creative expression?
At the moment I’ve picked up how most of my work has been quite based on my actual present and how I’m going about dealing with it so I’m trying to find ways in which I can deal with the challenges I face as a black queer man and literally trying to reshape how I view myself and how I allow others to perceive me. I love reflecting on this by creating visual material that for me resonates with how people from previous times used to present how they deal with what they are going through and I just find beauty in the fact that they embodied being black and present in ways that allow them to be alive in that intimate moment between the individual/subject and a camera and just project pride within their bodies with text included. Which is kind of what I’d like others to try out as a form of healing and making the most out of moment of living and documenting that.
What does being a young creator/ creative in the digital age mean to you?
Being a young creator in the digital age for me means that I get to speak to a larger demographic that’s beyond a taxi ride, that magic of being able to share the story of the young queer people around me and as well mine is amazing. It’s also just so cool being able to share and engage with other ways of how people express their stories for me then feels like the digital age is just one big book of learning and I guess for me in this context (about visual art).
Please tell us about the 1990s icon you were paying tribute to and why they resonate with you? I paid tribute to André 3000 because I really love how he took the art that he stood for seriously, he created this imaginary world which is what I get whenever I think of him and he presented this world so well and I love how he dresses also, it was very cute. I resonate with him because of how he expressed himself is something I’m genuinely going for and would like to get to the point I could just be. His energy just looks great from a distance also.
Photography: Anthony Bila
Interview: Phendu Kuta