MR 1802

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Remember a post i did on @Denier_M(matimu sithole)? well that very same guy introduced me to Mr 1802 an artist i met at 012central Rooftop exhibition an event that was hosted by Adriaan Louw where they were showcasing pictures taken at an #instawalk in Pretoria and 3 of Mr 1802’s images were featured.
How it happed- Denier invited me and he introduced us then we exchanged instagram accounts then 20+ days  later i hit him up and asked if we could meet up for an interview and he agreed fast forward to Friday 27/10/2015 Mr 1802 landed in midrand and we went to MacDonald’s where the interview took place.
I made him pay for his own food though(sorry bruh money problems)
read the interview below.

me:
Describe nhlanhla for me.

uhm…cool dude, Ok not your average cool dude not that braam guy but yeah a cool dude….
(As he was explaining a man who told us his a MacDonald’s supervisor asked ‘what is a cool dude?)
you know when they say your cool? being cool is when you influence people in a good way Like Kanye i know you might think his big headed and his so full of himself but look at it this way he influences a whole lot of people/kids when it comes to fashion,music and i know you might say he curses in his music or whatever but being cool is all about influencing people in a good way
(then the “MacDonald’s supervisor” asked so you wanna be the same as well?)
yes with what i do. I’m a Photographer i also wanna do fashion and influence people in a good way with what i do.
(“McDonald’s supervisor” ‘do you know that kanye makes money out of that?’ after that question he started to explain stuff about the devil etc then the conversation went to a moment of silence for a few seconds luckily his phone rings)

me:
Lets get back to the subject matter.

(“McDonald’s supervisor” interrupts after hanging up his phone and says ‘myself i get paid to sit here and answer phone calls while i watch you guys chilling and talking when month end comes R45000 enters my bank account right now I’m off to the office’ then he stands up and come to our table and tells nhlanhla ‘your eating poison here cancer’ then walks off)

nhlanhla:
Okay….i was still saying i love art that’s why I’m doing photography…
(“McDonald’s supervisor” interrupt again ‘good luck with your photography!’ while walking away)

nhlanhla:
Sure, Check out my instagram account @nhlanhla1802…So i love art i feel like art can change the world man, art not being a drawing or painting but anything that is creative and beautiful that’s art for me, I’m an artist.

me:
your an artist but can you tell me about your origins.

nhlanhla:
Well my name is Nhlanhla Wandile Dlamini born in Johannesburg 1999 October 18 1802 i was raised there and the reason i chose 1802 people thought it was that thing where instagram gives you a name because @nhlanhla already exist nah its not that i chose that myself 1802 being the house that i lived in/the apartment was on the 18th floor room 02…i feel like I’m bringing my past into my future i wanna be known as Mr 1802.

me:
And now you in Centurion when did you move to that side?

nhlanhla:
I got here in 2005 so i spent like 5 years in Johannesburg and I’ve  been here ever since.

me:
What inspires your photography?

nhlanhla:
Art, i love art. I feel like my photography is not just photography, there are photographers that just take photos just for taking photos and then there’s an artist for instance me you saw the light paintings on my instagram?
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me: Yeah, i saw those.

nhlanhla:
i was just drawing in the air i feel like i used photography to paint i just did art with my photography.

me:
and i kept wondering how you made those light paintings.

nhlanhla:
you know what i did? i put a DSLR on 30seconds shutter speed, the shutter and aperture was open as wide as possible ISO was on 100, aperture on 5.6 or something and then i just took my phone put the flash on and just drew.

me:
the one that i like is that one with Nike shoes and light in the background.
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nhlanhla:
And that one i was just fooling around with the light but apart from fooling around i just wanted to show my shoes.

me:
speaking of shoes are you a sneaker head and what are your other interests?

nhlanhla:
Jaap, at the moment I’m using photography to start my way into fashion i wanna go study in New York at the Parsons school of fashion it’s like one of the best fashion schools in the world that’s my dream man and i feel like photography is gonna boost my fashion brand cause I’ll be known already and it’ll just kick off in a nice way.

Me:
It’s like you certain about fashion.
Right now are you studying/designing?

nhlanhla: yeah

me: can you draw?

nhlanhla:
Like i said I’m an artist, i haven’t done that in a while and the last time i drew was in my light paintings i can do a lot of things bruh…I’ve made a song one time it went well but it wasn’t …

me:(laughing)
were you singing or?

nhlanhla:
it was a beat but i didn’t finish it.

me:
Wow you produced the beat yourself?

nhlanhla:
Yeah, it’s not only photography that i do but photography is my main.

me:
photography is what sparked this interview.

nhlanhla:
yeah its what shows I’m an artist, my art inspired you,cool dude,inspire people,influence people, that’s what made this interview! i inspired you.

me:
you really have inspired me man.
Tell me about your gigs/photoshoots that you’ve done so far and the money?

nhlanhla:
I’ve only done 10 gigs, there’s this one friend that really support me his name is Lebokgang his gonna check out your stuff and his gonna see his name, he has a fashion brand “DEU” i did plenty of photoshoots for him in braam he really supports me he likes my stuff. There’s this one girl Neo Kwala i feel like she’s my biggest fan I’ve been friends with her since grade 8 she love my instagram page bruh if there’s one person that you’d have to ask about my photos is Neo she would know.

me: the money?

nhlanhla:(laughing)
right now I’m not making much if you wanna ask me about money come next year cause I’m only blowing up now a few have liked my photos e.g Levis the actual brand they took their time and went to their tags and like my photo a photo that i took and just to think of it Levis a big brand they get hundred and thousands of tags everyday and they decided to like my photo on that day? that must mean something.
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me:
yeah it does mean something.

nhlanhla:
another thing my photos don’t get a lot of likes and stuff I’m just blowing up now man.

me:
your influenced by art but are there people that you look up to?

nhlanhla:
there’s this friend of mine named Simphiwe instagram @simiato that guy his the actual reason i started photography. On a rainy night i was out with him and we stood outside for 30 minutes actually he made me stand with him just waiting for lightning strikes and when he finally got that shot i was like dude how did you do that? ever since that day I’ve never stopped learning about photography…but there’s other people like Adriaan Louw,okmalumkoolkat though his not a photographer but his a designer so his art boost my creativity.

me:
by the way what do you use to shoot?

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nhlanhla:
i use my phone and a camera when ever i can borrow one.

me:
music wise who do you listen to?

nhlanhla:
okmalumkoolkat 100k macassette that whole mixtape, I’ve been a fan of him ever since dirty paraffin do you know that group?

me:
yeah i know that group?

nhlanhla:
yeah I’ve been a fan of him ever since then and I’m also bumping J Cole,Kendrick and drake.

me:
so their music or them e.g okmalumkoolkat as a person influence you?

nhlanhla:
musically and as a person and with okmalumkoolkat i almost have a similar story to him i didn’t struggle that much but bruh he came from the slums and his making it right now that’s what inspired me also these guys Kendrick and J Cole those guys inspire me a lot bruh…i forgot to mention Joey Badass that guy tells stories with his music i tell stories with my photos its all about telling stories with me bruh.

me:
speaking of stories what stories are you trying to portray with your photography?

nhlanhla:
well i just don’t post anything e.g my recent photos i posted them in black&white some of them well 3 of them it’s all about Africa and being  dark skinned

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i told a story with that i feel like i wanna inspire people i don’t even know how to say it but there’s always a deeper meaning to my photos if you look carefully even though my captions might be short there’s always a deeper meaning to them…look at my photos,look at my captions you’ll click at the same time if you know me very well, my close friends they know me Mpho, Asakhe, Sitha, Tino and Xhanti they know whenever i post something on instagram they’ll be like ‘oh this is what this guy is portraying this is what he want to send out with his photo’.

me:
i hear you, i have this one question i plan on asking everyone i interview.
For someone like me who’s into art and stuff and who’s still aspiring but not sure if they want to pursue  because of what society thinks or they afraid they won’t make money etc what advice you have
for them?

nhlanhla:
i would say don’t give up for instance me when i started this photography stuff i started with an iPod with only a front camera…

me:
wait what, only a front camera?

nhlanhla:
i told you don’t let lack of equipment limit you if you let that limit you,you wont get anywhere also society cause just like me right now to tell the truth there’s a whole lot of photographers and most…I’m gonna sound like I’m hating but a lot of things for me look the same. I didn’t let the lack of equipment stop me,i didn’t let people who were telling me no wena your just a copy cat following people,i didn’t let that stop me so don’t let anything stop you just pursue what you want if you work hard you’ll get it.

me:
you just have to push?

nhlanhla:
you have to push that’s the only way.

me:
Denier once told me these words “your interest determines your success”…

nhlanhla:
and the circles you hang out with. If your gonna hangout with the circle that’s gonna tell you nah nigga you ain’t gonna make it, nah dawg you just a copycat you wont make it…my friends i always tell them ‘guys hustle trust me one day we gonna make it’ i always tell my friend Mpho Mashabane that ‘dawg we gonna make it one day bruh trust me’ just push that’s all you have to do. I’m a 16 year old…

me:
and your influencing a 19 year old.

nhlanhla:
not only you I’ve influenced a whole lot of people…look I’m just 16, 16! and I’m still in high school where do i find the time to do this i make time if you love something you’ll push.

me:
i hear you and since there’s a whole pool of photographers what’s so different about you that makes you believe you’ll make it?

nhlanhla:
Determination. I feel like most of these cats that are my age they just doing it for just doing it they not doing it for the love….

me:(laughing)
they doing it for likes on instagram and girls comments?

nhlanhla:
yeah, I’m just trying to push my art dawg i just want the whole world to see i don’t just want to be another photographer…nah i wanna push art bruh.

me:
that’s the direction your headed everything even school will be based on art?

nhlanhla:
yeah and a lot of people might tell me you not gonna make money, trust me I’m gonna make it and it’s not all about money if you love something you’ll do it with passion money will drive you crazy don’t do things for money but we can’t live without money that’s why I’m like if you like something and you good at it make people pay if they really love your art they will pay for it. I’m not pushing money only but man nothing is free in this world.

me:
about Braamfontein are you also a #braamkid?

nhlanhla:
not really but i do hangout in braam…whenever I’m in braam I usually hangout with Lebo or Trendsend 90 those are my friends, those 3 guys well 2 of them influenced me with this fashion thing.

me:
even neighbour goods market?

nhlanhla:
yeah I’ve actually wanted to print my art/photos then showcase them there and just sell a few cause even in Pretoria there’s 012 central i also wanna showcase there and they told me its cool we need more people like you to showcase their art come through anytime will get you a spot.

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me:
which instagram accounts do you suggest a person must follow?

nhlanhla:
@Marcel_Lech
@Adriaanlouw
@Vanstyles
@Simiato that’s my friend his also an artist like me.

that’s all i can think of right now but there’s a whole lot more trust me owh and @hypebeast.

me:
what’s your conclusion?

nhlanhla:
let me make up a quote
“I’m 16 and I’m doing it, you can too” 

instagram @nhlahla1802

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