Melody Mazibuko is a 29 year old Ndebele artist who made her name with drawing Ndebele patterns on sneakers. Soshsanguve Times caught us with her again for a Question and Answer session to find out how far she is with art.
Q: Where are you originally from?
A: I am originally from Embalenhle in the Mpumalanga Province, but I grew up in Kwa-Thema in Springs and now because of family dynamics I now live happily in Soshanguve.
Q: Is art your hobby or career?
A: Art is a hobby that turned into a business. To answer your question, it also became a lucrative career for me. I’m getting paid for doing what I love, and that is bliss to me!
Q: How did you discover your sneaker art?
A: It started when the art we [mom and I] used to draw on canvases wasn’t moving fast enough, and a girl has to survive! So my mom Ntombikayise who’s also my business partner and I decided to take it from the art on walls into the sneaker business and it turned out to be a great move.
Q: Do you just redesign sneakers or other things?
A: I draw art on fashion sneakers and clothing, lifestyle, cell phone covers, household items such as flowerpots and walls. Although many people were introduced to us through our sneaker painting, we offer other patterns on many items.
Q: Why did you specifically choose Ndebele shapes and colours?
A: I have always loved flamboyance in art, and growing up in an Ndebele family, I watched my mom drawing and painting Ndebele. My love for Ndebele shapes and colours grew from that that exposure.
Q: Who is your inspiration?
A: It has to be my mom. she is the most creative person I know and spiritually in tune. She has a giving heart and if I could have what she has, I believe I can survive on any grounds the Lord sends me.
Q: What is your Inspiration?
A: Artists who have made it possible to pursue art as a career inspire me. One of them is my former neighbour, Mr Mbongeni Buthelezi, who is now a world respected and revered artist who is flying the South African flag internationally.
Q: What challenges do you face as an artist?
A: I don’t have vigorous challenges personally now, but back when I was young I wanted to pursue art but decided not to because the black community did not believe art could sustain a positive career. People would say “artists are starving” and now I can boldly point many locals in my neighbourhood who are making life out of art.
Q: Who is your target market and why?
A: My target market is young people from the age group 24-40 who are techno savvy and lovers of African artistic expressions and who lives a flamboyant lifestyle.
Q: How do you keep relevant?
A: By knowing what separates me from the rest- which is my reason for starting this business. I’m in this because I love art. As long as I project that love to my customers, I believe love always wins. Therefore I’ll forever relate.
Q: What are your plans or goals both short and long term?
A: My long term goals is to have the House of Kayise worn by powerful public influencers and appearing on international art festivals/ galleries showcasing our fine art division, fashion and lifestyle. And my short terms goals are to have presence in SA retail stores and abroad and to also write a book expressing our artist glories celebrating our artistic voyages as SA artists.