Day 13: Thando Mlambo

There are no bounds to this feminist’s (@thandomlambo on Instagram) creativity; her openness, supportiveness of other creatives and love for all art forms makes her a true inspiration.

Please may you introduce yourself and your practice.
Hi! My name is Thando Mlambo and I make things: be it original music or playlists, paintings, or poems. My main art form is music, but I am leaning into a boundary-free creative practice and am thus allowing myself to do what I feel. Lately it’s been painting. 

How did you develop your practice?
My family is quite musical. In fact, my parents met at a Christian youth choir event in the 80s. I have been singing for as long as I can remember and sang in my church and school choirs. I taught myself guitar during my Jonas Brothers obsession years and have been writing music since my early teens. My younger brother Kosi, is an amazing producer and artist all around. We decided in 2018 to embark on a musical collaboration and SEAZN was born. 
I think that being surrounded by creative and open-minded people has allowed me to actively listen to my internal urges. Having parents whose work ethic I admire has made me think of all I do in a disciplined way. And being the intrinsically rebellious Aquarius that I am, I am consciously mapping out the right balance for me, focusing on becoming a better listener, vocalist, guitarist, writer and more! 

What inspires you and why do love your practice?
My creative practice is deeply rooted in being present, being grateful, and being free to express. So while it feels corny to say, I am truly inspired by the experience of living and simply being. I am inspired by my friends and family and the incredible sunrises and sunsets here in Harare, where I am social distancing. I am inspired by the unending creativity and resilience of creators in Zimbabwe and in my other adopted homes on this continent and abroad. A good film, a dope album, an art piece that elicits a gut-punch, a great meal, an insightful conversation, all of these and more inspire my desire to create! 

What does it mean to you to be a creative feminist?
For me, feminism is about interrogating and breaking down the destructive and binary logics of race, gender and sexuality that serve to confine and disenfranchise us. It is to imagine and work towards a better world for us all. While my intellectual work addresses these head on, my creative practice isn’t as explicitly political. However, I think it is perhaps the praxis: to create freely, to resist and laugh in the face of boundaries and restrictions (be they medium, content, etc). I take this and more from all of our creative/political feminist ancestors dead and alive.

THESE ARE SUCH IMPORTANT WORDS – please give Thando the warmest welcome to the collective by following her pages on Instagram: @thandomlambo & @seazn___official, and by commenting your thoughts below! I am so overjoyed to have you onboard dearest Thando.

If you are interest in commissioning a painting by Thando, like the one’s featured below or working on a project with her please direct message her via Instagram.

You can listen to Thando’s music with her brother Kosi (@seazn___official) here on Spotify.

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