Name: Naledi Motaung

Social Media Handle/Username:IG:@_deadbeatcousin / Twitter:@justmotaung

Introduce Yourself/Tell About Yourself: I’m a black queer body ,my pronouns are She/Her and I’m a Radiography student. I’d like to say I’m happy to be here(on earth) but that’s debatable at times. Who I am influences the way I perceive the world greatly , I’m a realist who doesn’t mind dreaming, in fact I spend most of my time dreaming than actually attending to reality. I am an aspiring artist, I’ve been doing it all my life but I’ve just recently started taking it seriously. I’m multi faceted just like everyone else however the introvert in me makes occasional appearances and that’s usually when the solo concerts start creeping in on me and I feel like jamming to my favorite album in a dark room all alone. I’m quite theatrical as well, it’s how I express myself without confusion.

What Inspires You Every day? : Not much, I feel as though I’ve lost all motivation. This draws back to my perception of the world around me. I am exposed to a lot of social media, the perks of being gen z I guess,however for this very same reason I’ve seen and heard things that made me lose hope and that maybe we’re not headed towards the right direction maybe we’re derailing from the path set for us. In a world where reality is often distorted it’s hard to find reasons to keep wanting to be a part of it all, part of the illusion. However what keeps me going is the fact that I want to be a better version of myself,to keep improving and to do so I need to keep living and existing, simultaneously. 

What is some words of wisdom you live by?:“Don’t think about it”- I know this may sound dismissive but here’s why it’s not: we spend most our day thinking about something, overanalyzing, criticizing every single detail about ourselves, the people we love and cherish and perhaps those we do not rank so high in our lives. The point is we’re always troubled by something, we’re basically slaves to our own minds. “Don’t think about it ” is how I learned to quiet down the thoughts, it’s how I practice mindfulness, I experience a thought ,I sit down with it and try to find cause and effect then i simply let it go. We don’t have to keep our thoughts company for too long ,it tends to get crowded .

What is your ultimate goal in life? : My ultimate goal in life would be reaching a point where I can sell my art pieces so I can use the profit to one day open up a multi media art gallery . It’s always been a dream of mine to own such a facility that not only showcases art but helps young artists achieve their goals as well. It’ll be a “For the people, by the people ” kind of movement. 

How have you been during the pandemic and how has it affected you? : It has been a challenge trying to navigate my life through these troubling times. I am truly grateful that I made it out alive and healthy. The one thing I was weary of was the shift from mobile contact classes to online learning.I was worried that I would not cope with the work load but luckily it came as second nature to me.My coping mechanisms included yoga,sketching,meditation and listening to music. My taste in music has since evolved. It forms part of a huge segment in my life, it’s what inspires my creativity. 

What is a message you would like to give others? : Take time to disconnect from the world,to be present in your own life and fully participate. I have found that the more I distance myself from social media ,the more I feel at peace. It feels like a spirit cleanse . The world around us holds many treasures, but since we cannot explore them at this given time,look inward and discover yourself once more.

What else would you like to tell others about you or your life?: Well my life in South Africa is pretty simple but of course it’s coupled with a few hurdles here and there,I feel that it’s like that for every black woman . You’re always reminded of your race so you start conditioning yourself to never see past it,but hey we have a lot of unlearning to do—all in one lifetime. Apart from being black and queer, I’m a fashion enthusiast. I say this with a humble heart . I love fashion .I love being able to express myself in the way I dress. I’m mostly inspired by the psychedelic 70s, there’s just something about this era from an artistic POV that sparks a fire inside me.

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