Introducing Zhi Zulu

1. Introduce yourself to our audience? 

My name is Zinhle Zulu, I go by the artist name ‘Zhi’ Zulu. I am an illustrator and visual storyteller.

2. What era do your mostly identify yourself with? 60s/70s/80s/90s/00s? 

90s was the best era for me, for music, fashion, technological growth and art. I think so much change was happening in such a short span of time then. It was a colourful era and it is one that I identify the best part of my childhood with.

3. What got you into Illustration ? 

When I was a kid, I loved reading books and was always fascinated by the images that accompanied the stories and writing. I had always wondered how they got there and why those specific images were chosen. Most importantly, I wanted to figure out how they created these images without tracing. Much later in life, I started taking art a bit more seriously and ended up studying visual communication.

4. What’s your daily practice?

I illustrate daily, bit by bit. Usually Wake up, eat, plan, work, write, sleep.

5. How do you feel about SA currently? Are you positive about the current administration? 

I feel that South Africa is currently suffering from the realisation that the ideology of the ‘Rainbow Nation’ that we were force-fed during post-Apartheid is something that we would need many more years to reach. We are still very young in our democracy and the political havoc is a result of the inequality reflected in our economy. Our economy is definitely not democratic, but I believe that with the rise of technology and the new generation taking over, we are making strides to change the deep-rooted inequalities that were previously enforced by Apartheid. 

6. Current favorite song? 

D Smoke- Last Supper (the second verse is on repeat man)

7. Where would you have your last meal?

At home with my parents, I’d probably order in some chicken korma with naan bread from Bikaner.

8. Invite 5 people (dead or alive) to your last breakfast?

Gogo, Kendrick Lamar, Lupe Fiasco, Frida Kahlo and Jean- Michel Basquiat.

9. What needs to be done to change the face of townships?

A drive to pick up litter and plant trees on fertile soil, if townships were just cleaner and greener.

10. Best advice you can give to your peers? 

Success is not a destination, it’s a journey. But if it were a destination, you would never own it, it’s only up for rent. Rent is due daily.

Lastly, in whatever you do as a South African creative, it’s your responsibility to drive the culture to a more positive space.