…Arty high school and college dropout twins explain their dissimilar and inciting art
By Jeoffrey Mukubi
ROBERT and Gerson Ndongo, born and bred in Windhoek are a rare strain of artists, because not only are they twins they also create art together. The flamboyancy and nerve of their art is often mistaken as rough and dirty. Their art is often misinterpreted without being commended, envied by a few who have come across it.
As self-proclaimed creators of LeffacenLeLife, Robert and Gerson explained to Confidénte that art should not have a definition. Art has shaped them to be who they have become today they added. With a combination of instillation art, visual art, fashion designing, photography, videography, jewelry as well as music, the sky is clearly not the limit for them. Their fashion line LOVE FASHION LIVE LIFE, has been making waves on social media, with many spectators ridiculing the way their clothes look. Their clothing brand style can be associated with post-apocalyptic fashion. The overall look is typically unkempt, rustic and grungy. But they explain it as afro futurism.
Most of their clothing is inspired by their late aunt Aina, who according to them, always had to make a fashion statement wherever she went with them. “Waking up and seeing what she looked like is what inspired us, she was an amazing dresser,” said Gerson
They plan to sell their fashion as pieces of art instead of wearable clothing. “When someone purchases the art, they should be able to frame it and hang it on their walls.” said Robert. According to them, the best way to explain what they do is that they simply just do art. “We are art, because art is life, art is the phone your recording me with, art is a woman giving life, art is everything,” said Gerson. Growing up in Khomasdal, the Ndongo twins were like any other children and they said that their best memories were when they were young and disciplined, with no responsibilities. But that soon changed when they both decided to drop out of high school in 2013 when they were doing matric at Ella Du Plessis Secondary School to pursue their passion and love for art.
They said that drugs, alcohol and violence were the order of the day in their community and they did not want to be sucked into a life of being substance abusers. “Our only addiction is the art, we can never stop creating, that is why we dropped out and applied at College of the Arts,” said Robert, who seemed to be the more soft spoken out of the two. The twins intended to pursue a diploma in fashion designing at the College of the Arts Namibia in 2014, but because they did not finish their matric, they were forced to do visual arts. It was at that point where they saw the college as a place of inspiration rather than a place to learn art. Gerson dropped out at the end of his first year and Robert dropped out in his final year. “Our mother has been the biggest supporter of our art this far. She knows how hard life is, but she always got our backs,” said Gerson.
The twins have worked with both established as well as up-and-coming models, radio and television personalties, singers and musicians, including the likes of Lioness, Hansolo, Kwame Sankarra among others. “We want to work with any artist that wants to work with us, we don’t charge, but if you are an established artist then a cool drink should be enough,” said Gerson.
They say that sometimes they can come off as arrogant, “But it is only because it is a dog eat dog world” concludes Robert.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015