How do you feel when you’re being photographed naked?
Pumla: There is a range of emotions I tend to feel when being photographed naked. It can range from being free to feeling vulnerable. As an artist, I am always pushing to make myself feel confident in all shapes and forms. For me, it is all in the intentions of the connection between the eyes of the soul and the soul of the person behind the camera.
Kingsley: Being photographed naked in my opinion is a form of art. It tells a story and expresses an emotion or feeling, whether it’s hurt or happiness. This, in turn, gives me a very good understanding of my body, so yeah, I feel empowered.
However you identify sexually, what are your thoughts on the changing and increasingly complex views towards human sexuality?
Pumla: My sexual identity is my spiritual identity. In the sense that my preference doesn’t come in any shape or form. As a human being, I believe I deserve to desire and love whatever and whomever I want to regardless of gender, sex, race or even morality. I believe human sexuality is moving into a new form; a beautiful form where we are able to just adapt without feeling afraid.
Are the old views making way for new? Do you see younger people in Africa being more accepting towards all sexual orientations?
Pumla: I come from a strong Afro-Caribbean culture (Jamaican/Cuban) where it was taboo to be free in mind and spirit about sexuality. It was not something you were able to express. Since becoming my own person and living in South Africa and experiencing different types of people and cultures, my sexuality is not something that hinders me from making friends, hugging and telling my brothers or sisters that I love them. I feel we are in a generation where people are more loving and accepting of each other in general.
Kingsley: Yes, there are old views making way for new. The world is fast changing, as are our minds and thoughts towards life and I do see younger generations accepting sexual orientation and gender identities more than our forefathers. People are more verbal about different sexual orientation now than before.
What are your thoughts about the end result of the shoot?
Pumla: I was able to share a moment of brotherhood with my long-time friend and brother Kingsley, who is dear to my heart. This is someone who pushes me in the industry and something who has struggled as much as me to make a difference regarding the perception of black male models. I was able to connect to myself and my body and appreciate all that was given to me throughout the years. Each image is perfection and speaks volumes.
Kingsley: At first it was overwhelming because it’s the first time I’ve ever done this type of shoot. But in the process, I felt good about it because I was using the different angles of my body to describe the hurt/happiness of another person. It’s always important to put positivity into everything that you do… you might have just healed someone through these images. So, I felt good and excited when I saw the images.
PHOTOGRAPHER: CHARL MARAIS @CHARLMARAISPHOTO @CHARLMARAISART
GROOMING: ROBERTO MURONI @ROBERTOMURONI @NBHLONDON
CREATE THIS WONDERFUL SHINY SKIN WITH WALEDA SKINCARE @WALEDAUK, @MACPRO & PAINT
FROM KRYOLAN @KRYOLANOFFICIAL
MODELS: PUMA BRADBURY @FUSIONMODELS_CT
KINGSLEY JAMES @BOSSMODELSSA
PRODUCED BY @CHRISNADEBRUYN