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Meet Orabile Dikgomo; creative extraordinaire and a Rising star in Photography

When you first meet him you immediately see a creative. Tall, Shy with a definite sense of art and a lightly tinted beard that welcomes you before you even says hello.

Meet Oarabile Neville Dikgomo. South Africa’s Young and hottest photographers rocket speeding his way to success with his sense of art and an imaginative eye that seeks glory in everything it gazes on. He shot our current cover featuring the sultry Sean Mccollet and we had the chance to sit down with a beautiful mind and get his opinion on Talent,art and creative output.

We all have a dream. What is your dream right now?

“Right now, my dream is to get to a place where creating imagery is second nature to me and get paid for it and to own a Hasselblad”

Do you think it’s a talent or skill that makes a great photographer?

“t’s really the hard work and the hours you put into your craft that’s going to make you a very well rounded and memorable photographer, talent alone won’t get you anywhere if you aren’t putting the work to develop and always fine-tuning that talent/skill”

We all have a particular image of ourselves when we aspire to something. What is the vision you have for yourself as a photographer?

“😅in my head, I’m like a low rent Robert Mapplethorpe with morals and parents who would be so disappointed if I did half of the things that genius of a man did.”

Image by Monique Du Plessis

Have you ever photographed for a magazine cover before?

“Only for the ones in my head 😅. For an actual magazine cover. No. This one would be the first.”

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What other magazines would you like to photograph for?

“I would love to shoot for, AnOther Mag, I-D magazine, MEN, GQ, VOGUE Korea specifically because their creative vision IS SO MIND-BLOWING. DAZED MAG, there’s a French magazine called sport and street Collezioni, they have the best street fashion in that magazine, I’d love to shoot for Oyster Magazine, bubblegum club, if Rich Mnisi had a magazine I’d want to shoot for that, and there’s so much more that I would love to shoot for but can’t think of any right now”

How does it feel to have shot your first cover with Previdar and what does this mean for you?

“A bit underwhelming. And not because of the publication, but generally because nothing is ever good enough for me. I think you idealize an idea for so long in your head and you prepare for it for so long, that when it actually presents itself to you. In the back of your mind, you’re just like, “it’s about bloody time.”

Who are the photographers whom you look up to and draw inspiration from?

“Right now, and for a long time, it has been a very friendly guy by the name of Tatenda Chidora, a young up and coming creative by the name of skits sekiti he’s a great mind and shoots on old film cameras. Justin Dingwall, Zander Opperman also is known as (“ugly bruv”) he’s a fav, I’m one of my favorite photographers although I don’t know if I’m allowed to say that, I fuck with my work heavily.”

Who’s your favorite photographer in South Africa right now

“it’s between Tatenda and Zander, if Zander and Tatenda have an artistic love child that would be my favorite photographer.”

One person, you most would like to work with, in or outside the fashion and creative scope?

“I would love to work w this painter by the name of Banele Khoza and Zanele Mohuli”

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As a rising force behind the lens who is doing spectacular work in an unforgiving industry, how do you cope with the anxiety that comes with critic and occasional rejection?

“The anxiety is really taking it one step at a time because anxiety is tricky. I just try to remind myself that I’m in this specific situation for a reason and not by mistake and try to keep my nerves at bay. Rejection is just about mustering up the gumption to go back as you’ve never been rejected before and keep on trying until someone listens”

How important is it for young creatives to know the business end of their fields and what do you think is the best method to consider when educating yourself about business?

“Yoh I cannot stress this enough. LEARN the business side of photography in any way you can , but not just the business side of photography but know how money works I wish I had taken my business classes more seriously 😅but jokes aside just make sure you’re clued up on how businesses work and how what works for the type of business you’re trying to run. And if all else fails just pay someone to do it for you. Preferably, someone, you trust ha-ha”

How does your sexuality as a black gay man interact with the art of photography?

“The interaction between my sexuality and my art is like peanut butter and jam. They coexist, my art helps me explore my sexuality on a visual level so I can visually portray through images how I see different parts of myself. This is why my self-portrait series is ongoing and doesn’t have a specific cutoff date.”

How important is ‘representation’ to you as a black creative in the arts?

“it’s important there are kids who feel lost and confused. Constantly doubting their existence and feeling invalidated because they just don’t fit the mold, it’s even worse in the art industry with so many personalities and personas, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd trying to “figure it out” so I think having that one human being you can see yourself in could take you a long way”

Do you feel represented? 

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“No, 🙂and that’s ok”

Whom amongst your peers, in the creative sphere, do you feel is a good representation of what it means to be young, gifted and black?

“A friend of mine Nkuley Masemola”

What you’re most excited about in the new year?

“Exploring new parts of myself and new collaborations”

Now-being literally a step away from the cushioned handles of the doors of success what words do you have someone reading this who would like to follow your footsteps?

“I really hope this doesn’t come off as cliché or whatever but, don’t ever wait on anyone to give you permission to do what you want to do where your dreams are concerned. Work smart, not hard. Always have the end goal in mind. Take every day as it comes. Don’t beat yourself up if you get it wrong the best part about art is that it’s subjective. Listen to your voice. Find your flow and have fun with it.”

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