Gaborone-based writer, content producer and creative Tanlume Enyatseng describes himself as “a cool African boy who loves cool things” and a “third-world hipster”. Tanlume works a nine-to-five in PR but lets his creative side loose on his blog, Banana Emoji.
“My blog is pretty much a reflection of myself,” says Tanlume. “The blog illustrates today’s evolving culture through art, social commentary, fashion and humour. I look at life and culture through a completely unique lens: creative, with an artistic edge.”
The blog is a conduit in which Tanlume is able to connect to others like himself. “My readers are anything but the normal. They’re bold, free- spirited life lovers who recognise that perfection is boring.”
And the name? “I have a different answer every time someone asks me this question,” says Tanlume. “There’s no grand story behind the name Banana Emoji. I wanted the title to my blog to sound different and not too serious or stuck-up, like every other blog I’d seen in my country at the time.”
The name does have a bit of thought behind it, though. “It had to somewhat be a reflection of my personality, which is quirky and carefree,” he adds. “So, I chose the first two words that came to mind: A banana and an emoji.”
Tanlume’s latest content series, Sound Advice, explores Tanlume’s “favourite albums of all time”, including Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black and Solange’s A Seat at the Table. The series combines writing and collage work of the different artists and their cover art to create work that captures each artist’s vibe and and Tanlume’s own experience of their music.
As is characteristic of Tanlumes work, the collection explores self portraiture, parody and maintaining its strong undertones of vulnerability and authenticity.
Tanlume uses his blog to explore various artistic mediums. Having already experimented with photography and illustration, Tanlume recently directed a collaborative project that culminated in a series of collages. Photographed by Giancarlo Calameo Laguerta, the collages were produced by Cape Town-based artist Trotse Tert, who Tanlume met on Instagram, to create the collection Corporate Fish.
The collection, which speaks to the idea of a young man needing to learn to blend his “own personal style with the atypical ‘working class gent’ look” and early 2000’s aesthetic seems to poke fun at both corporate fashion and youth culture. Follow Tanlume.