… Vilho turns neg
By Jeoffrey Mukubi
BORN and raised Windhoek, 29-year-old Vilho Nuumbala, who is a passionate skateboarder at heart, as well as a punk rock enthusiast, always felt isolated, because of the way he thinks and dresses.
He decided from an early age to pursue photography and his inspiration came from a very negative time and place in his life.
“I started Defeat Hate photography, because I was dealing with many things at home. I felt like I became everyone’s scapegoat, so when I started taking pictures, it was because I wanted to take all the negative energy and change it into something positive,” Vilho said during an interview with Confidente.
In 2007, he tried to enrol at College of the Arts in Windhoek to study Media Arts Technology, so he could major in photography and graphic design.
However, because of his poor Grade 12 results, while he attended Acacia High School in Windhoek, he could not pursue the course he wanted to graduate from.
Instead, he spent his time learning from students and lecturers at the college, who he started networking with.
He did this for a full three years, as he would not let go of his dream to become a professional photographer.
“I was already doing photography in high school, so I just went to hang around the college to go learn more and network with people in my area of expertise,” he said.
“I didn’t do well in high school, simply because there was no provision for me, as an artist at that age, to excel in school.”
He engaged with photography, when he felt he could create something for himself, without anybody judging him.
Vilho has turned his love for pictures into an income-generating job, through hard work and perseverance. “Failure was not an option for me, because I was already considered a failure by my family and neighbours, but today I sit here as an award-winning photographer.” In 2014 Vilho won a merit prize at the Bank Windhoek Triennial. The Bank Windhoek Triennial is hosted by the Bank Windhoek and the National Art Gallery of Namibia (NAGN), and open to all professional artists, with Namibian citizenship, domicile or permanent residence. The categories include two-dimensional art drawing, collage and mixed media, painting, print making, carving, clay sculptures and casting, photography and video and installation. An official exhibition at the NAGN forms part of the competition. Vilho specialises in street, music and art photography. “I always felt like an urban soul, so being from the city, I would go around and take pictures of people or things I felt told a story”. “I enjoy working on pictures, but it would make no sense if I go to the funeral and take pictures, simply because that is not my type of space.” Vilho added.
He said that his photography is not always about money, but that he takes pictures primarily for the love of it. “When I work, I also want to have fun at the same time, because I would never want to be bored,” he said. Vilho has freelanced for the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre (FNCC), the Goethe-Institut, Spoken Word and the City Flea Market. He has also worked with music artists like Elemotho. He’s inspired by Namibian photographer and filmmaker Reniure Andrey de Bruin and South African photographer Liam Lynch, whose work initially moved Vilho to pursue a career behind the lens.
ativity into a positive life journey
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015