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Saturday, 7 April 2018

UP CLOSE & PERSONAL: LAVERNE HIPPKHOI


1. Who is HippKhoi?

HippKhoi is a multi-talented individual who wears many creative hats. She is never one to settle for one specific art form. HippKhoi is a jack of all trades born and raised in the Cape Flats. She is like potjie kos with a mixture of all things nice met n klom spice. LOL

2.You’re known for your character modelling. How did that start off?

It all started on social media actually when I posted pictures of my hair and the way I dress, people started to follow me and photographers started contacting me to do some photo shoots. People really liked it and next thing I know I’m being requested to be in ads, music videos and character shoots.

3. Was it something you were always interested in doing?

To be honest, no. I never ever thought that I would be doing anything like this. I honestly didn’t think that expressing myself through my physical appearance would catch this much attention. I always thought I’d be singing, doing poetry and theatre production because that’s what I did when I was younger it was my passion and it still is. Sometimes God has other plans for you and you just need to go with the flow in order to find or live out your purpose.

4. Have you worked with anyone known is Cape Town or SA? If not, who are you dying to collaborate with?

Yes I have, I was a feature character in Pure’s music video for her solo single called no secrets,  Pure is the lead singer of one of my favourite local rock bands call the Pranks . This was my most memorable experience because I always wanted to do something with her.

I actually have a list of artist I’d like to work and collaborate with. They are mainly artist from the Cape Flats Emile Jensen, YounstaCPT , Patty Monroe, Frankie Herwels, Jill Pillay and Jitsvinger. I just want to create magic in any art form that will tell our stories and inspire the Cape flats homies .

5. What has been the biggest highlight of your character modelling career thus far?

I think my biggest highlight is yet to come. It would be when my own people give me recognition for the work I’m doing. Not that I’m seeking it but it would definitely take the “biggest highlight spot”

Some of the big moments in career were being featured on international platforms such as Afro Punk which is one of the biggest Urban black alternative music fest and online publications in America. I was featured twice as “eye candy”. I was also featured on Hello Giggles which is an online publication founded by actress and musician Zooey Deschanel who stars in the America sitcom “New Girl”. I was featured as 1 of 12 woman of colour rocking alternative beauty looks.

Last but not least I had the honour of being a character feature in Laura Mvula’s music video for her song “ Phenomenal women” Laura Mvula is an award winning British recording artist and songwriter.



6. You’re a wardrobe stylist and founder of the Cape Flats Fashion Council. With styling how do you express your art there?

With the personal wardrobe styling that I do I aim to let individuals discover their true authentic self through expressing who they are and to bring out there personality in what they wear. Most of the time people have some kind of idea of what they want to look like however it’s a bit difficult for them to put fashionable outfits together that will look funky , fit their body type and accentuate there curves in a comfortable way while matching their personalities so that’s where I come in. I simply assist and guide. Being comfortable in your body and feeling good with the things you choose to decorate your body with is an art in itself. We are all walking pieces of art.


7. Tell us more about the Cape Flats Fashion Council. How did that start off?

Cape Flats Fashion council  was create to celebrate and support the Local fashion brands, clothing designers, shoe designers, jewellery designers, bag designers, stylist, makeup artist, photographers, bloggers, models, up and coming fashion shows, events and workshops on the Cape Flats.

The aim is to establish a Cape Flats Fashion Week, whereby we will have fashion shows, events and varies workshops all over the Cape Flats. We want to get as much people from the cape flats involved, especial the unemployed youth. With the workshops we will teach varies skills that will enable people to make and sell in order to generate an income for themselves and their community.


8. Do you find as a Coloured female you have to prove yourself even more in all of your industries that you’re currently in?

Yes, I do. I constantly have to proof myself in a very racist and body shaming industry. Being a mix race coloured is difficult, People want to put me in there boxes without my permission. All the coloured stereotypes automatically becomes my story just because of my accent it’s ridiculous how judgmental some of jokes that’s casually being thrown at me just because of my look, accent and hair. Being a mix raced coloured woman is even more difficult because the men  don’t respect you Men think they can touch your body and make sexual remarks and expect you must just laugh it off and then you also have to work with women who think everything is a competition and a race. So on one side you have to fight off men and overly competitive women and on the other side you have to prove yourself and fight the negative connotations of your race, cultural background and upbringing while navigating and readjusting in these spaces outside of your hood.

9. What is your take on how the media portrays Coloured people as a whole in South Africa?

I hate how the media portrays Coloured people. The media portrays us as gangers, people with the passion gaps who are lazy uneducated.  Our stories are not being told by us. We don’t even feature in subjects that are being taught at schools. Nothing about our accessorial heritage no mentions of Khoi or San people.  In primary school I learnt about Jan van Riebeeck , in High School I leant about Nelson Mandela and while I was going through an identity crisis at a young age after school. I got educated about Ashley Kriel not by the media or school but by my elders, finally a hero that looked like me and was considered the same race as me. This was very problematic to my young mind back then and it’s more problematic to the young minds now. The amount of gangsterism news outweigh the almost not existent “coloured hero” media coverage it’s sad that we don’t get to see much of our own people flourish in the media.

10.  Do you think of yourself as some sort of inspiration to people out there who look to you?

Somewhat yes, or so I’ve been told haha! People say I inspire them; I have over 50 painting, drawings and illustrations of me done by people from all over the world; more than half of whom I do not know personally, they happened to stumble across my social media platforms and decided to creatively immortalise me; I guess some are inspired by the way I choose to decorate by body and some are inspired by what I share on my social media platforms and in person.  I am as open and honest about my experiences as I can be because if I am not then people won’t be able to learn anything fruitful from me.

11. Oh, and you founded Kwaai Kolour as well. Tell us a bit about that.

Kwaai Kalour is a non-toxic “no chemical” cosmetic hair dye that has a range of funky, bold and vibrant colours. Founded by me
It started off as an experiment because I always wanted green hair, my favourite colour is green. The dyes that I use to purchase at the shop were too expensive I couldn’t afford to spend R400 on hair dye every month so I did some research about nontoxic dyes and  Kwaai Kolours was then birth into existence. The rest is history.

Photography: Yumna Scheepers & Alex Floyd-Douglas

 What’s next install for HippKhoi?

I'm currently working on my extremely long overdue EP with Evan Murphy and Samphiwa Nzimela and hopefully it will be done this year. I’m taking my time with it because I don’t want to rush the process. Music is actual my first love. Many people don’t know I’m actually a vocalist. I started of doing music and ended up in fashion hahaha.
I also have a publication called Engrave Magazine that’s going to drop on the 30 June 2017 so keep your eyes on my social media platforms if you are interested in knowing more about it. 
Engrave Magazine is a fresh new voice for innovation, freedom of speech, creatives and dreamers. I am here to create a platform for all up and coming creatives who want to engrave a permanent mark in society through creative expression.  I want to assist, I want to help and I want to build.