Photographer and DJ
Tell us about your background.
Contrary to popular belief I’m not from South Africa at all. I was born in Frankfurt, Germany, in ’97. To a drug addict and a drug dealer.
My mother was a beautiful woman from Tanzania and my father was allegedly from Albania. I was the second youngest of the 5 children she had, but I ended up in an orphanage before I really got to know my siblings. The oldest two in Tanzania are nowhere to be found and the other two were adopted into different families.
When I was about 2 years old, I was adopted by a lovely Jewish lady and her German husband, who are now my dearly beloved parents. We then moved to South Africa in 2001 and I’ve been here since.
Where did you grow up in Jozi?
I grew up in Westdene, a semi-suburban area, between Melville and Westbury.
How did you and Seth meet? Was it through skating?
We both skated from quite a young age, but we never really met until high school where we eventually crossed paths due to our shared interest in the arts and our mutual friends.
It’s sad about the Parkhurst ramp…
Many people never actually knew about the Green Ramp behind the Parkhurst Library. It was originally donated by Emerica and used mostly by the older skater generation, but it gained popularity among us, youngsters, once we grew brave enough to drop into the 1.8m halfpipe. It was there for about 8 years I think before it was eventually scrapped by the community, who claimed it was a safety hazard for their children… it was a blatant punch in the face to skating. The people of Parkhurst didn’t like us delinquents hanging out there for hours on end, so they chopped it into chunks and scrapped it.
I haven’t skated a ramp that smooth for a long time and others just aren’t the same. I don’t think there’s really a proper halfpipe anywhere anymore. Only smaller and lumpier ramps, like the skate park on Empire or YBF in Bryanston. Today’s youth also seems to be skating in the streets more than ever. Nobody shows much interest in finding halfpipes these days.
How did you end up with an African Ginger design tattooed on your arm?
Seth had an exhibition at the Sneaker Lab space in Braamfontein one evening, while I was taking pictures for the Juta Street Precinct. The space was covered in Seth’s beautiful illustrations, from bags to shoes, everything was African Ginger that night. There was even a tattoo artist who was translating some of Seth’s smaller flash designs onto the skin of those willing (myself and Seth included).
She only got about 5 pieces done before the tattoo set-up was packed up, unfortunately. By the grace of God, I got slotted in at number 3 and now I have this beautiful African Ginger ski mask on my arm. Of all the pieces, the mask just spoke to me on a different level. It stood out. I guess sometimes you just know, you know?
You fixed my Nishiki bike when the cycle shop was open in Melville… it’s a shame it closed down. Do you still offer the service and what else do you dabble in?
I did indeed fix your bike, a beautiful bike at that. The shop Hunter Cycling JHB was also definitely the best in town. Cycling past the now tattoo parlour just isn’t the same.
I don’t work on bikes much anymore, but I will soon be moving up to Europe for a few months, where I will once again be fixing beautiful bicycles in a stuffy, dark room that smells of grease, detergent and socks.
I’m also very passionate about photography and the documentation of my surroundings and their effect on me. This, however, took a bit of a backseat once I began making music which I am also hopelessly in love with. Oh, and much like everyone else these days, I also like to DJ.
What music are you producing?
At the moment I’ve been dabbling in the more hip-hop style side of things. But I guess I could call my music alternative. It’s really a personal exploration of rhythm and expression, to be honest.