‘As’gqoke’ – Bafana Mthembu on embracing the bhinca culture through his fashion videos

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Bafana Mthembu also known as Eezy Nkabi
Bafana Mthembu also known as Eezy Nkabi
  • Soweto-born creative Bafana Mthembu has become an online sensation for posting his unique fashion videos.
  • His alter ego, the Eezy Nkabi, dresses in looks inspired by the amabhinca culture.
  • He chats to us about his love for fashion, creating videos and his future in the content creation space.

“As’gqoke.” This has become a phrase many online users look forward to hearing every Sunday when Bafana Mthembu, who is popularly known as Eezy Nkabi, drops his unique fashion videos on his social media platforms.

In each of the weekly video, the 30-year-old Soweto-born creative dresses up in an outfit that showcases the style of amabhinca – a group of Zulu people who practice their culture by dressing in a certain manner and listening to Maskandi music. Bafana also takes viewers through the clothing items from brands such as Jonathan D and Brentwood, which are popular in the bhinca community.

Speaking to TRUELOVE, Bafana says that the idea of creating his fashion videos was inspired by his love for fashion and his admiration for the bhinca culture.

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“I’ve always admired how amabhinca dress. I have my everyday style, which is cool, interesting and a bit funky. I’ve been looking at how people have been doing their videos of getting dressed and I just felt like let me dress up as a bhinca but in a way that I will be able to include my everyday style and that’s how this content was born,” he explains.

He tells us more about creating fashion videos, his alter ego and his future in the content creation space.

What planning goes behind shooting your fashion videos?

If I could tell you that I plan a week before and change my mind on the day I have to shoot, you’d think I’m lying. Creativity comes in its own time but with preparation, you can be able to tackle any challenge. So, the process has always been making sure that there’s a Brentwood item, the rest sizobona phambili (will unfold on its own).

Which video would you say got you noticed and what’s the story behind that video?

The first video got me noticed and I just had to be consistent with dropping every Sunday. Well, I just wanted to showcase a look I just saw of a Taxi driver and that was it. Think of S'khaleni from Isibaya

What inspired the name Eezy Nkabi?

The word nkabi means hitman. I’m not a hitman but don’t push me (laughs). Nkabis are people who I used to get my fashion inspirations from when I’d come across them at the Noord and Bree taxi ranks in Joburg, and to me, the word NKABI is an abbreviation that stands for Noord Kings And Bree Icons. Eezy was just an add-on when Weezy and Breezy were a thing.

Would you say that the bhinca fashion look is your everyday style or just for special occasions?

Strictly for special occasions, the Brentwood pants require a lot of maintenance and I’d faint if I had to take them to the dry cleaners every day. 

With so many looks you could have gone for, why did you specifically choose to go with the bhinca style? What do you enjoy about it?

I’m inspired by the culture and the brotherhood of these guys, and I find that when I’m dressed like them, I get to experience that as well. I get addressed as uBhuti (a man) or Baba (father) whenever I’m dressed in my nkabi/bhinca attire and I really enjoy that.

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How do you incorporate modern pieces into the bhinca style?

Style is personal, you know when something suits you and you know makubheda (when it does not). Maybe there’s a formula but I can only style myself, people who are stylists could give a better reasoning. 

What would you say are three essential pieces one would need to rock the bhinca style well?

Brentwood pants are essential and are a must-have. That’s all I can say.  

How has your life changed since your videos went viral?

I’m answering these questions for TRUELOVE Magazine now so you tell me. I’m just joking, well I’ve been getting calls and I’m enjoying every moment of it I must admit. 

What future do you see for yourself in the digital and content creation space?

Let’s make money guys, I want 10k to buy McDonald’s (laughs).

What more can we expect from Bafana Mthembu and the Eezy Nkabi for the rest of this year?

More videos and where there’s an opportunity, I’ll definitely grab it with both hands.

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