Meet ‘Bob the stylist’ – Q&A

By Drum Digital
11 November 2013

Born and bred in Soweto, Bobo Ndima, is the founder and the owner of the popular movement known as ‘Boys of Soweto’. We recently caught up with him to find out about his work and ambitions in the fashion industry.

Who Bobo Ndima is?

Bobo Vusumuzi Ndima is a very innovative and passionate young gentle brother, who looks at fashion and style from an inward point of view.

I was born and bred in Soweto, I've lived in almost all the areas of Soweto from Mofolo South to Dube, Orlando, Phefeni, Zondi, Sgodphola, Senaoane, Snake Park to Protea Glen. I'm practically a Soweto Nomad (he laughs).

Since my family didn't own a house at that time we resided in backyards and we were obliged to move from time to time and that experience gave me a psychological understanding of how powerful an environment is to those who reside in it.

Where does your passion for fashion and style stem from?

Honestly, I'd say the township itself, almost everyone uses the platform of style and fashion to express or extend their self-worth. My dad worked as a janitor but going through his photo album you wouldn't see that, he wore fitted suits all the time. He has always been my style icon.

You are now a freelance stylist. How did that come about?

To me fashion has been an innate ability to understand forms, patterns and colours which all are used to convey a particular feel or expression. I had an opportunity to work at various fashion retail stores which helped me to further extend my knowledge about fashion.

You use Soweto a subject for your work, what message do you want to portray about Soweto?

Residing in Soweto is a gift as far being a creative is concerned but it’s not the only source of my inspiration; I derive my inspiration from various cultures around the globe.

Soweto is not what the mainstream media makes it out to be, a lot of negativity has been perpetuated about Sowetans especially the boys. So my aim is to at least share a different story based on my experiences.

You recently worked on the DickiesSA campaign with the IseeADifferentYou crew how was that?

The campaign was fresh and amazing since we were given a creative freedom. Working with the Iseeadifferentyou team it's always inspirational and liberating. To me, they make it evident that it's not where you from but who you want to be that matters.

Highlights in your career so far?

All of the campaigns I work on are exciting. But the highlights would be when my boss lady, Jodie (owner of Lampost Production) gave me the opportunity to be a senior stylist for the Markham Campaign and ever since I've been working independently.

Do you have a platform where people can view and buy your clothes?

I sell tailor made vintage suits for men and currently pushing the BoysofSoweto t-shirt project which is gaining momentum every day. I'm normally at Arts On Main market every Sunday showcasing the clothes.

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-  Khwaza Tshisela

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