Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Mahlatse Kgoale | South African Power Performance Artist












































When I asked Mahlatse to profile him, I knew it was going to be a brilliantly flexible one-on-one and boy my expectations were exceed. From reading the first line I was sold and wanted to read more and scream out loud ‘YES CHIRL’! I mean have you ever ‘I am a performer (end of sentence)’ I just thought; DIVA! Go In Guurl, Go In Chile! Period-The-End

What is it that you do and why?
I am a performer (end of sentence). People always ask me to specify but those that are familiar with my work will know what that means and those who are not are not going to get an answer in three lines without me seeming pompous. Besides it’s more interesting to find out who a person is rather than what they do, wouldn't you say? As to why I perform? I do it because performing is in my blood and entertaining is in my soul.

You are a biggest inspiration to someone reading this; may you please share with them a few words of wisdom they will forever cherish, and ignite their will power to keep on keeping on:
 I have three philosophies that I have kept with me over the ages (lol. like I have lived that many ages) the first is tattooed around my ankle "You owe your existence to no one". A lot of people have tried to have debates with me about that one. The next philosophy explains the first one "Be who you are say what you feel because those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind" - Dr Seuss. My third philosophy is words of wisdom from a friend of mine who said "A diamond is placed under intense pressure before its true beauty is revealed." 

Right now I’m working on a show that is held in a boxing ring so I need to remind myself to "Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, because I kick butt like Muhammad Ali"

The most unspectacular thing about performance art is?
I call it the hurry up and wait industry! All the waiting around can get you in a lot of interesting predicaments; the wait between takes while having fun with the cast and crew, or off set between shoots when you go back to being a normal person. Better yet between productions and tour where you go for months on end having to create your own work.

Your bestie wins a trip to NYC and takes their other BFF instead of you. Now you had the power to change their mind. Would u make them pick you?
I love this question! I'm glad this question isn't as loaded as I could have been.  Let’s put it like this; if the tables were turned and I was the one going and my bestie's BFF could change minds and be picked, then I would want him to use his powers. So Yeah I would make sure that I was picked! "What should happen will always happen" - self-fulfilling prophecies

If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
What I do now! Act, Dance, Sing, Model, Design, Cook etc. experience life and create art from it. Maybe change the world with a little love. I really do believe in world peace.

The is a perception that every specific genre of art has a shelf life and if you have not become a mega star status or achieved your goals by a certain age; you should bow out gracefully and get a ‘real job’. What is your take on this?
 There is a shelf life for every career path taken in life some are shorter than others i.e. gymnasts or models but there are those cray few who keep it going way past their sell by date and are only renowned for their work after they have died i.e. Frida Karlo , Vincent Vangho. The point is to do what you do because you can't live without I. "Appreciate the applause not the awards"

Just how demanding (financially, physically, psychologically, emotionally etc.) is being a performance artist?
Hahahahahah! My Body is my instrument and sometimes I wish I could just put it in a box where I could protect it so that it will always stay shinny and clean but life happens. So I have to make sure that I eat correctly, exercise regularly, go to dance classes, get my hair and nails did and constantly look like I have just walked out the pages of some mag! All those things are part of the admin of being a performer. But this is the one industry where you can let your emotions fuel your work.

How often do you shop and how does that make you feel?
I don't shop as often as I should or as much as I would like other people to think I do.  I get the feel good "Alleluah" moments with a garments whilst shopping. It's funny though when I plan to go shopping I never have the "Alleluah" moment but on a day that I am broke then everything I see is a must have! That's why I always say "buy a pair of shoes and get over it"

You started your career and education foundation in Johannesburg and later moved to Cape Town. What’s great about Cape Town in comparison to Johannesburg?
Well, less possible threat of danger on the streets, the city (CPT) is gorgeous no matter where you are. There is always mountain on the one side of you and ocean on the other and a sunset or a sunrise right in front of you. It feels like two different cities between summer and winter. Everyone has that "ngiya-rock swag" especially while tanning on the beach. 

I have also come to realise that the black gay 20 something voice is non-existent in Cape Town and needs to be heard. Don't get me wrong I love JHB too.  Most people are either pro Cape Town or pro Johannesburg but very few people love and understand both the cities like me!