Lelowhatsgood, real name Zane Ntsikelelo ‘Lelo’ Meslani is a multi-talented creative. He’s a writer, DJ, digital marketer and content creator. The accomplished writer has enjoyed international recognition having had his work published in the New York Times. He has also written for Mail and Guardian and the Superbalist’s The Way of Us. As the founder of Vogue Nights Jozi, an inclusive intersectional movement redefining queer culture Lelowhatsgood advocates for the representation of the queer community. In this Q&A we get to know him a little better.
Q:What is your philosophy on creativity?
A: Creativity is something that’s innate. I believe every human has some creative flare in them, and some choose to express it in different ways, and some choose not to use their creativity at all. I’ve chosen to use creativity to interpret the world I live in to give things more meaning.
Q: Describe music to a deaf person/someone who’s never heard it before?
A: Music feels like your deepest memory of when you were probably most happiest. Feel the
vibration, because it can run through your body in very unexplainable ways.
Q: Given the chance to showcase one piece of creation you’ve created to the entire world which one would you pick and why?
A: My New York Times article. It’s a timeless piece, with each word or sentence and image weaving through each other and telling of a community of people that I care deeply about. I would showcase that, because everyone deserves to see it.
Q: If you met the president of our country right now and he said “sell me on why I should give you R1 million to use in your creations as you please, in just 10 words”- what would you say?
A: Education around LGBTQ+ issues is more important now than ever.
Q: If you had the power to change anything about the country’s creative landscape what would you change?
A: Paying creatives what they deserve. Crediting creatives for their efforts. Getting more investing/funding for [black] creatives and their passion projects.
Q:What would your autobiography be called?
A: “How to Snatch Wigs and Secure the Bag” by Zane Lelo Meslani.
Q: According to you, how big of a role does luck play in someone’s success story?
A: I’m not 100% sure about ‘luck’, but I do however believe in fate. Most of the time, things are
destined to happen or turn out in a particular way and our role in this life is just to work hard and keep moving [and looking] forward. But, to answer this question, I would say it’s a good 10%.
Q: If tomorrow is your last day on earth, what would you create to leave behind?
A: I would’ve created a space where individuals who are always ostracized by society in general for being ‘different’, to be freely express themselves unapologetically in the way they desire through any medium of art.
Q: Creatively, what’s your greatest strength and weakness?
A: My greatest strength would be being able to work under immense pressure and producing diamonds, while my weakness would be sometimes leaving things until the last minute.
Q: If you had to live the life of a creative that inspires you, who would it be and why?
A: Virgil Abloh. He has a great eye and is very multifaceted, disciplined creative.
Q: If you were stranded on a deserted island, name three things you’d make sure to have with
A: A knife, a big box of matches, and shades, darling.