Introducing Kopano "Ughh Frenky" Hlahane

How I got started 

I’ve always had a love for dance, it’s everything to me. I feel a sense of weightlessness and joy that can’t compare to anything else. My performances started as a form of entertainment- I’d dance for my family at gatherings, whether fun or serious because who doesn’t like to see a little kid dance? I was influenced by what I saw from my uncles and older cousins. They were part of the generation whose lifestyle in the township also showed itself in the way the clothes they wore, the music they listened to, their mannerisms and how they danced (which they taught me about , which at that time was Is’bujwa.

How I use social platforms

Like everyone else my age, I mainly used Tik Tok to seek out entertainment and connect with my friends to see what they were up to. That was until my close friend suggested that I check out other dancers who perform in local styles and encouraged me to start uploading videos of myself to the site. I also have an interest in music, as it informs so much of what I do. I seek to merge my influences from the past and modernize them for my audience. I enjoy dancing to the

music of local Sowetan artists because Is’bujwa originated in Soweto and their music is catered to my taste. I am also inspired by my friends, who were once my competitors when we were younger but have become brothers.

How streetwear influences my style

In order to perform at my best, I need to dress, look and feel the part. I like to support local brands as much as possible because my overall look will be a bit unique compared to my peers and I often am asked where I’ve copped this or that item. I need my clothes to give my confidence, because it’s a visual art form that I’m presenting to the world and it all needs to come together seamlessly.

My plans for the future 

I am open to collaborating with other dancers in the future. But at this moment I feel that working on perfecting my craft is ideal. However dance is not something I intend on pursuing for my whole life. When I am older, my body will not be able to perform at the consistency and intensity as it is right now. So I would like to learn how to DJ because I do enjoy the feedback that an audience brings .