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Native Chief: Profile + Interview

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Native Chief: Profile


Full name

Njabulo Khayalethu Hlophe



Place of Birth? (city, country)

Johannesburg, South Africa

Where you live now? (city, country)

Still the same location

Origins (where parents are from)? (city, country)

Both from the same location, no exotic excitement here.

First Language?

Zulu but really English will do just fine

What do you do? (Profession/Occupation)

Advertising Student by day, Aspiring Art Director/Photographer every other moment

How long have you been doing it?

I’ve been taking pictures for about a year now

Fav Song

Hive by Earl Sweatshirt and Vince Staples

Fav Musician/Vocal artist/Rapper/Singer

Wow theres so many, A$AP Mob, Earl Sweatshirt, Mac Miller, Soulection, Flying Lotus, Childish Gambino there’s just way too many great artists to choose 1 favorite

Fav Movie

I would put the Matrix 2, Fight Club and Pulp Fiction in a cage and let them fight it out.

Fav Actor/Actress

Leonardo Dicaprio

Fav Clothing brand

Adidas, Public School NY, ADERerror, Palace, Supreme, Off White. I am in love with these brands but to be honest there is so much more.

Fav Artist (in any art form)

Raf Simons

Fav Sport to watch


Fav Sport to play

I don’t quite enjoy sports anymore



Native Chief: Interview


The first words that comes to your mind when you hear Inspiration, Passion, and Strength

Failure is the one word that comes to mind because that is where I draw my inspiration, strength and fuel for my passion from.

Who are you? (Answer how you interpret this question)

Who are you when your name and your face are off the table, what is your contribution.

Why do you do what you do?

I can’t even explain it, it gives me more than a sense of purpose I feel like I haven’t even begun to comprehend why I do what I do but it just feels right.

When did you know this is what you wanted to do, and what events led you to choose it?

About a year ago I was helping one of my friends compile his make shift portfolio but we didn’t have any money to shoot it so I borrowed a camera from one of my friends and we started shooting and I must say I don’t remember feeling happier in my entire life than in that moment when I was behind the lens, and as soon as we started showing people the picture, everyone we showed was in awe and through their reactions the urge to make people feel was spawned inside of me.

Toughest thing you had to overcome to do what you do? And what/who helped you?

The toughest thing for me to overcome was not feeling confident enough to execute the concepts I had in my mind because I felt like I was too inexperienced for such work to be executed with precision, what helped me overcome this was when I realized that life was way too short to have to take in crappy visuals and if the people I thought were experienced were starting to flood the internet with work that just was not worthy I had to be the ‘Visual Messiah’ in a sense and save the good people.

Has anyone/anything ever inspired you to become who you are (to follow your dreams)? Have you ever inspired anyone directly?

A lot of people inspire, my biggest inspirations right now is a collective called The Sartists and they managed to show me that anything is possible by showing me how 3 fellas from the hood went on to be featured on the Adidas superstar campaign and that touched me in ways I cannot  even begin to explain.


I don’t feel like I’m at a stage where people should be looking at me for inspiration but I know that once you see me you will pull up your socks and kick it into fourth gear.

One mistake that you made in your journey? How have you learnt from them?

Not having the confidence when I had the time.


I just took a step back and looked at the effect my work has on people and realized it’s not about me, if people don’t like my work then tough they’ll just have to move on with their lives.

Upcoming projects? Plans/goal? (about anything, if you have any)

You’ll just have to keep your eyes peeled

What advice would you give to other people? (Just about life in general - It could be about anything)

“Winners never quit, quitters never win”

Say anything you want, about anything (Last words)

My closet is always open for free merchandise :D (TO SHOOT IN)





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