Moses Lotuwa: What was the aim of the shoot and was it something you’d been planning for some time or was it an impulsive decision?
The aim of the shoot was to showcase a gothic culture, the African version; something that has never been done before. This shoot was not at all impulsive, it is something that took about two months planning; from inception, brainstorming, drawing on paper, costuming, the actual shoot and eventually post-production.
Moses Lotuwa: Are the demeanour portrayed actually representative of the models or was it just for the camera?
These are professional models, they are therefore capable of portraying any character placed on them. They can act.
Moses Lotuwa: There has been some negative reactions from Kenyans on social media with some even accusing you of devil worship and occult practices. What do you have to say about this?
OKUMU CREATIVE :
Lol!! The Illuminati accusation was not only interesting, but very hilarious. We actually laughed about it; and for a moment we were tempted to think that it actually exists. However, we chose to treat it as a “criticism”, rather than an accusation and decided to use it as a challenge to do even more controversial shoots in the near future. Social media platforms are a pool of various beliefs, and who knows? Maybe Illuminati is real! However, to us, this was just a creative idea that we decided to capture on camera to help popularise the gothic culture.
Moses Lotuwa: The links between the dressing and overall ambience of the shoot with Goth culture can’t be ignored. Would you say you were influenced by the culture?
Yes. Some of us are Metal lovers and therefore portraying the culture was not a task at all. It came naturally.
Moses Lotuwa: I would like to know what your favourite metal bands are?
OKUMU CREATIVE :
Sepultura, Anthrax and Slayer all the way!
Moses Lotuwa: Is this the last we are to see of you in such light, or is there more to come?
OKUMU CREATIVE :
This is just but the beginning. Watch this space.
Moses Lotuwa: Some bloggers have gone as far as saying that you were doing this for attention. What’s your take on this?
Seeking attention is not bad at all, provided you do it responsibly. You never light a candle to hide it under the bed; you put it up on a stand to spread the light through. The metal/Goth culture is wide and interesting, yet remains unexplored and misunderstood in Africa. We might just change this through photography. This is the attention we seek.
Moses Lotuwa: Lastly, we would like to give you the chance to address Africa. What have you to say?
To Africa, let’s go back a bit and start by looking at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit that was held in Kenya back in July 2015 and which was attended by several heads of state including the former US President Barack Obama. The message that resonated most was the need for the young African to open up his mind to create or explore the BLUE OCEANS. You may have realized that during this summit, very little was mentioned about formal employment (sitting behind a desk 8am-5pm). What does this tell you? That the era of “go to school, get good grades and get a good job are long gone, and it’s time to usher in the new era of a creative minds, minds that can identify opportunities and turn them into profitable ventures. Minds that create and build, not minds that are only out to seek for opportunities that have already been created. This does not in any way mean that education is worthless, it only means that the African mind needs to be trained to create. With our group of models, we have developed a series of projects; the metal culture being the first; which are aimed at showing what an African mind trained and nurtured differently can achieve given space and opportunity. We believe nothing comes easy and therefore, we are ready and willing to take risks that very few people would consider taking. To my fellow young African minds, fear should be the last thing on your mind. When you wake up with a million-dollar idea, do not let weak minds pollute it and cause you to lose it. Put it down on paper, collect the necessary resources and turn it into a venture. If you can’t do this on your own, get like-minded people and do it together; trust me, you will succeed. But even if you fail, you are still a million times better than he who never tried. After all, failure taken as a lesson is the best recipe for success.