Vuyisile Mabena "Scoolboy Vue" Covers I Must Talk Magazine’s July/August Edition (South Africa).

1. Tell us a bit about yourself ?

(My Name is Vuyisile Mabena also known as Scoolboy Vue. I was born in Soweto but currently living in Johannesburg (South Africa) where I'm pursuing my dreams as an artist.

2. How long have you been into photography?

Well I've been a photographer for 4years and I'm still going.

3. How would you describe your style of photography? 

Well, I'm mostly comfortable with doing portraiture and fashion photography.

4. Nowadays almost everyone has a smartphone or access to devices used to take pictures, how would you say this has affected the business of photography?

It's crazy because some are convinced that iPhones shoot the best photos by far, but it's a lie cause no matter what device you buy it wouldn't match the skill I have as a 4years experienced photographer. I feel like we've been affected a lot and we have been forced to reduce our prices to maintain the cash flow. It's been very threatening and forces us to upgrade our equipment as well.

5. What makes a good photographer?

The best photographer is the one with an eye that's sharp enough to see a picture before shooting it, someone who goes out their comfort zone to get a photo.

6. What are your struggles as a photographer and how do you deal with them ?

It really annoys me to have a client cancel a booking in the last minute, when they are trying to negotiate my prices, or when they're trying to get free photoshoots because they think we are friends. What usually helps me is sticking to my rules and not bending them to suit anyone.

7. What professional photographers do you look up to and how have they influenced your style of photography?

I look up to Travor Sturman, Ayakha Photography, Arthur Dlamini and Young Stilo.
They are all based in South Africa.

8. What inspires you as a photographer ?

I draw inspiration from anything around me, everything I've seen I try to make it relevant to how I direct my model or style my set.

9. What makes a good picture from your point of view?

A good picture mostly consist of good angling, your camera direction to the subject. That's when you manage to tell a story you intended to tell using that photo.

10. How do you think the invention of social media has affected your style of photography or the business of photography generally?

Social media has helped me with ideas, concept inspiration and it has taught me how to use my camera better. Its been helpful with marketing and reaching out to a wider audience.

11. In your opinion, what is the most important thing to consider while taking pictures?

Before I shoot a photograph, I make sure my lighting is perfect, cause it's the lighting that determines how your photo is going to turn out.

12. Being a stylist as well, how do you determine what goes best for a client?

Well, in my styling world I use body structure, occasion for the outfit and your character to determine the kind of outfit that would suit the client.

13. Fashion evolves almost on a daily basis, how do you stay updated and how do you incorporate new trends into your clothing line and also your personal clothing?

To stay relevant while giving my taste of style comes easy to me. I'm always looking for something to set me apart from the world but while moving with time. I make sure for my clothing line I don't lose its identity, so I mainly use my signature details then bits of trending detailing in the garment. The balance between the two is very important.

14. What is your favourite item in your closet?

I have a very wide closet that makes it hard for me to pick my favorite garment, but currently my fur coat is my favorite.

15. In 10mins, raid a celebrity's closet who would it be?

Definitely Wizkid! He's close to my body size and he dresses almost perfectly for it and he's taste is luxurious and cool.

16. In 3 words, describe your personal style?

Minimalistic, high fashion, Unique.

17. What inspires your senses of style ?

I'm mostly in pursuit of comfortability and uniqueness. I pick my clothes based on those and my mood for the day plays a major role on how I'm going to style myself for that day. Mostly, it's based on what I grew up seeing people wear and I just find balance between the current looks and just blend it together and magic happens.

18. What is the one item you cannot do without on a daily basis ?

My cap finds a way of staying on my head almost everyday.

19. What is the most expensive item in your closet?

My fur coat.

20. How does evolution of fashion affect your sense of style ?

As fashion evolves I find my comfort space in every new fashion update, I find how I fit in without me having to completely reset my fashion sense. So my current image wouldn't get too shifted.

21. What is the first thing you look out for when you want to style a client ?

It's always their body shape.

22. What is your favourite combo when it comes to your personal style ?

I like linen, two pieces. They just make sense in spring and they make me feel so relaxed and luxurious.

23. Who is/are your favourite designer(s) ?

I look up to Laduma Maxhosa, Jiline Sander, Thebe Magugu, YohjiYamamoto  and I used to look up to Virgil Abloh  (R.I.P)

24. How would you describe the evolution of fashion from 90s to the recent fashion trends?

I feel like fashion finds a way of repeating itself cause when I look at the 90s fashion trends, I see them being reworked and involved in the current looks more especially from 2018.

25. What's so exciting about working in the fashion industry ?

Exploring other creative minds and seeing how diverse the world is. Above all fashion makes it easy to express feelings which makes it a home for me, since I'm always struggling with saying how I feel sometimes with my mouth, fashion does it for me. I also love the networking vibe fashion has, the ability to connect you with different people using your sense of fashion or style.

26. When did you add being an MC (Master of Ceremony) to your portfolio ?

It was last year after doing a couple of MC gigs for hip hop events, and I gained more confidence in that space when I started getting paid for it.

27. What are your prepping techniques as an MC before going for an event ?

I make sure nothing makes me feel less confident so my outfit got to be amazing, then I play my favorite music and sing along to it just to elevate my mood then I'm ready to go.

28. In a situation when an event gets boring how do you spice things up to make it lively ?

Communicating with the crowd usually works or making a few dance moves to keep them entertained even though I'm not really a good dancer.

29. What makes a good MC ?

I believe an MC has to be an extrovert and a people's person. A good MC creates a connection between themselves and the crowd without even trying hard.

30. How do you capture the attention of your audience when you feel they are not connecting with you?

I talk to them, come up with a slogan for them to repeat after me. I always make a vibe until we get on the same page.

31. You are a photographer, a stylist, an MC and also run a clothing line how do you do it?

All those elements of my creative self find a way of co-working and creating a final product. For example, I style a model using my clothing line then I shoot the model and upload the final photos for advertising the new release and it turns into sales without me having to outsource a photographer, stylist or designer. As an MC I sell myself on stage and make sure people want to catch up with me, but outside my personal benefits I contribute a lot to the creative world with all those abilities which all becomes different sources of income.

32. How do you manage stress ?

Honestly, I'm never really that stressed, I go out and party or go on tour to a place I've never been, just to take a break from the pressure or I just vent to my mother. Apart from all those I play music which usually helps a lot.

33. If you were not a photographer, a stylist, an MC or run a clothing line, what would you do?

Honestly, I don't see myself in another world than being a creative, I'd be an actor or a director for movies.

34. What do you do in your free time?

I watch fashion runways, listen to music, shoot photos or make music. I just enjoy creating.

35. Any long or short term goals for your brand?

I see Scoolboy Vue big in Africa and also known in the other continents in 3 years time. As for my clothing line Là Moda by Scoolboy Vue to be selling well atleast a minimum of 30 garments per month in 6 months time.

Thanks for your time!

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Cover star: Vuyisile Mabena @scoolboy_vue

EIC: @anthonynnamdio

Editor: @brella_artistry

Photography: From/Refer to @scoolboy_vue

Graphics Designer: @anthonynnamdio

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