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Namibian creatives make Vogue

Wilka Kayoko

Photographers and aspiring models from all around the world took on the opportunity to showcase their artwork by flooding social media with endeavours for the #VogueChallenge. One of these creatives is Namibian photographer Merja Iileka aka Tuva Wolf and the creative team behind her astounding photos who received a feature in the magazine and international media including Good Morning America.

The challenge started with a tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement in which Oslo-based student, Salma Noor who posted a black and white shot of herself by photographer, Angèlique Culvin, with the Vogue logo and a headline reading, “being Black is not a crime” as a type of protest to uplift artists.

The viral challenge on social media is aimed at uplifting black creatives that have been largely neglected by the fashion industry. The renowned Namibian visual artist who established her collaboration, ‘Shades of Industry’ last year took part in the challenge with her recent photoshoot pictures. The creative team comprises of makeup artist Renate Shikongo, stylist Jeffrey Hiuii and Mhudi Simana, Chelsi Shikongo, Naomi Nandjebo being the models.

“We never know what and where exactly we are going to create. It is really just a fusion of energies and passion. This specific shoot started at early at 7 am and ended at around 3 pm” she said.

She further added that Vogue Magazine was one of her inspirations growing up and it is an immense achievement as it means that her work is of quality and worth global recognition.

“As Namibian creatives, we have the potential and it shows that there are opportunities for us out there,” she said.

Additionally, she hopes to see more Namibian content out there as she believes that Namibia is rich in talent.

Makeup artist Renate Shikongo who was part of the team urges Namibain creatives to collaborate more on projects not only to unify the industry but to strengthen projects too.

“It will be nice if people understand the importance of collaborations because you can create a masterpiece. Let’s make it a culture to work together. That picture wouldn’t be anything without the yellow which was brought by the stylist, everyone’s contribution counts,” she concluded.



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