In the spirit of ubuntu and of greeting, please tell the entire Readership your full names and where are you from: I am Kamo Tinyiko, a 20-year-old from Central Western Jabavu, Soweto. Writer and Director of 2 Fingers @work.
Tell us about yourself in five short artistic lines: I am unapologetic about who I am and the content I create. I am a strongly sensitive artist, my work is my baby, I love everything I do. I am a critical thinker, I question everything around me, and I am highly observant. Soul in mind; constantly aligning myself to be the best I can be.
Who or what inspired your passion of being in this field: Maya Angelou, not only was she a poet, but she was an actor, activist, singer, and memoirist. She reminded me of so many powerful black women in my life. She was the epitome of Black girl magic, an all-around performer plus she is born 1 day before me. I saw one of her performances, and I knew I wanted to do that, give that feeling I was feeling to someone else, I had to share, it is too good to keep it a secret.
And what does it mean to you to be in this field: Being in this field means I am living up to the promise I made to 8-year-old Kamo. This field gives my dreams and thoughts validity to not knock on any door but rather build my own.
“This field gives my dreams and thoughts validity to not knock on any door bit rather build my own.”
Please briefly describe (the name of the play and introduce your main character briefly) your play to the Readership across 2 Fingers @work is set in 2017 South Africa: In South Africa, Fingers are used as a signal whether for transport, communal communication or to offend, in the busy setting of the city, fingers work as a signal for something based on time and context. 2 Fingers @ work is a reference to how one’sone’s fingers can be a sign of either success or a great downfall. The story follows Lwando Mkhize from the Eastern Cape who is an excellent arts prodigy, whose talent is placed with his fingers, in his community he doesn’t fit the patriarchal figure of masculinity. He’s an artist; a gift he shares with his mother who is a clothing designer, him and his father and younger brother’s relationship is complicated.
What inspired your writing vibrancy in the direction that you have taken with your play: As a feminist, my creative attention is on the representation of women and more especially black women. A phone call with my dad brought the story alive. I knew I needed to write something I had the urge but no starting point, then my dad created this pictures of what would happen if a boy came to Johannesburg with dreams but found out not everything is black and white. That was my starting point in questioning certain norms about masculinity and the impact of the law on black men.
What does the play reflect about our immediate society, and also the global community: 2 Fingers @ work reflects the complexities of being a young South African man in the 21st century, how does crime impact societal views of manhood and what happens when against all odds crime is the only tool for survival. The play reflects on the narrative of ukuphanda, in the high rate of unemployment in South Africa what does it mean for someone to go out and chase their dreams, what is at stake.
What does this play mean to you at this stage of your career: I am still in the early stages of my career, this play means I am growing, listening, observing and reflecting. The future holds so much growth that this play is a brick in building the powerhouse I dream of becoming.
In this play is there a part of you that took character form: Do you know the saying that “you could sell ice to an Eskimo”? That’s Lwando he believes in himself and his dreams, and he’s not letting anything stand in his way. That’s a great lesson, “life is a journey; the ride is only worth it when we fight for what we want and constantly give our entire hearts to our dreams.”
So you are in the midst of a broad Readership audience, what inspirational energy drawn from your play can you articulate to them?
Don’t apologize for who you are and who you want to be. You can make you better. Educate yourself, your opinion only matters if it’s coming from an informed space. Last but not least listen to your gut, it can’t lie; it’s a great guide.
“Educate yourself, your opinion only matters if it’s coming from an informed space.”
2 Fingers @work will be at the Wits Amphitheatre
On the 30th of January 2019 and the 31st of January 2019 and 4 pm
Tickets are R15 at the door