Photography by: Fortune Digomo
Written by: Audrey T. Nyamucherera
Purpose Over Perfection.
We had the pleasure of speaking to Nos Motsamai, a Johannesburg native known as a multifunctional artist, from fashion design, graphic design to brand profiling. The backbone of our industry is strongly known to her. A servant of art and learning from it, she begins the stage of establishing herself to us, the people, her community.
Q: So how are you?
A: I’m shy, but I’m more like, I’m asking God to say, “what do You want me to say? what do You want to say?” and say that.
Q:Why do you feel shy?
A: Shy from feeling important, you get me? I feel special, rare and like I was able to do something, pushing towards actualisation. That’s making me shy. Actualisation’s allowed the two me’s that have been talking to meet. Little me and present me, they’re meeting and that’s a nerve wrecking encounter with self.
Q: What would child Nos say to big Nos?
A: Honestly, I’m her dream girl, just not how she expected…(laughs). Little Nos, saw herself in a matte white 458 Italia with red seats, name on the headrest; 25 married in Sandhurst, now Parkhurst. Now things are different, I got furniture today, my family’s coming together. I’m happy in different ways, but happy and really grateful.
Q: Who is present-day Nos?
A: She’s one of the greatest people to walk the planet, and I say that to glorify God. That’s how I feel, I’m thankful for everything, who she is, she has great gratitude for who she is and is becoming. Also, most stylish. A global trendsetter, super impactful. In control of her narrative, she speaks and I’d say is someone always willing to learn and live,. Well dressed and kind.
Q: Who do you want to be to other people?
A:I want to empower people’s lives and still be a billionaire, remind them of kindness, goodness, and selflessness. I want people to remember love, romance, generosity, and selfishness! Selfishness that’s the difference between life and death; it will be profitable, but also about purpose. It starts with purpose but things won’t be perfect. My work will be about redemption, bringing things to life, success and challenge.
Q: How do you handle disappointment?
A: Yoh. I’m a sore loser, I don’t want to lie to you, I don’t take well to losing. I didn’t fail in school, so it's very humbling coming out of school and experiencing failures that have nothing to do with your preparedness. Failures that have to do with time, other people, more external factors. However, I’m a sore loser who’s empathetic enough to understand that everybody needs a turn to win, sometimes it’s not my turn.
Q: Does that go for professional disappointment too?
A:Nah, it's not the same. It’s very hard for you to disappoint me workwise. If you can’t do it, I'll find a way to do it myself. Thank you so much, ngiyabonga.
Q: What does the best life look like for you?
A: Money, Ass, God. Clothes that make me weep! Like, I want getting dressed in the morning to be a ritual. I want clothes that make me feel emotional. And I’m gonna make half of them. I want to cry before I go to work. I also want to buy art like wild! Yeyi! I don’t need to die having hoarded money but definitely need to die wealthy.
Q: You invest in the arts and artists, do you consider yourself an artist?
A: At times I’m an artist and others I can’t stand artists (laughs). We’re the worst. We’re pretentious, difficult, lazy, stubborn, and the most eccentric people. You get pissed because on one end they give you culture, we create environments, how we consume and what we gravitate towards. You have to love these difficult people, by choice by the way, these beautiful creatures that give you the world.
Q: Why do you think art is important?
A: Art keeps things alive, it solves problems. Balancing out evil in the world, we translate beauty with art. Plus it’s an ‘easy’ way to make R70k in an hour. I love to hate it, it amuses me so much. I also love being short, it just adds another layer, I love it!
Q: How has it been navigating your journey?
A: It’s been difficult, but because I chose to take the scenic route. I didn’t move with the rest and I’m still choosing my own route. However I’ve been blessed, in resources, lessons, relationships, I’ve cultivated with people a wealth of knowledge. It’s got me through and I’m grateful.
Q: Does your family support you?
A: They’re very supportive but supportive via self-help books, which was ja reverse psychology, but we’ve all had a certain time line for when this goal was meant to be achieved, which we passed but we’re still here. I’m never on time but I’m never out of time either, let that sink in…(entire studio laughs)
Q: How does it feel to have this residency finally happening?
A: It feels like its time, I had different ways I intended on arriving here, but its time, the residency is merely a conduit towards more.
Q: Can you share any names of who you’ve worked with that have gotten you to this journey?
A: So I’m gonna feel like Snoop right now when he said “firstly I wanna thank me” (Nosipho laughs). I’m inspired by me working with me to make this happen. Not from ego but in the sense that I’m not fighting myself, I’m working in and with myself, in flow not against.
Q: Where is your residency taking place and is it a long term experience we’ll be privy to?
A: At STUDIO 13 Transwerke, 2 Sam Hancock street. It was a month but it’s been longer than that. I’m waiting to formalize everything building the plane as I fly it. I’m the next occupant after the most talented ‘k.skits’ himself. I’ll be here till end of year then hopefully permanent in 2023. End of November I showcase then work throughout the holiday season.
Q: What can people expect to experience in this space?
A: Themselves. It should feel like a healthy mirror finding the right people. That’s what it is and should be. People should use this space, connect and share but mainly it’ll be a space to express how I feel.
Q: When is your official opening?
A: The private opening is on the 30th of November, but I hope to do an intimate studio gathering next week with the 1st of December being our public opening.
Q: What’s your vision for your art and SA art?
A: I’d love to become the minister of Arts & Culture, owning an open warehouse with a gallery, workshops with long table dinners, and studios for artists to use, grow and exchange ideas. A space for growth. I just really want a heavy collection of art in my private study hall.
Q: Describe this next stage of coming out of the shadows introducing yourself to the world?
A: I’m merely signing my art.
Feature - @nosmotsamai
Creative Direction : @nos.motsamai
Post-production - @nosmotsamai
Wardrobe - @wear_broke
Production - @pvtjungle
Production assistant - @tiijpg
Management - @pvtjungle