The documentarian: ​Andy Mkosi

Photographer, musician

Andy Mkosi is not afraid to lay herself bare through photography and music. The 27-year-old Capetonian has been discovering herself artistically since starting out in radio, eventually moving on to releasing EPs, iPressure and This Audio Is Visual.

The latter release is indicative of how she merges the visual with the sonic, while also finding time to manage Jam That Session, a multigenre event that runs in Cape Town. In addition, she is the co-director at Vocal Revolutionaries, an organisation that helps young people to discover themselves and others in various ways, including literary and performance arts.

Work and meaning

Her latest musical offering, Dry in the DMs, is candid. She addresses her love life and dishes out insights into the issues prevalent in her life — financial woes, career aspirations, finding inspiration and being an inspiration through fearless expression.

Mkosi always brings honesty into her work. Each song is a portrait of a black lesbian woman in the townships of a city that is strikingly unequal. She does not hide her identity and her surroundings play a role in her narrative.

One gets the sense that the “financial freedom in my lifetime” she speaks of in Opulence, Tu is more about rewriting the story that so many young people in townships are subjected to. Mkosi is the woman trying to reach her goals and being honest about who she is and how she feels.

She is aware of how her identity can be turned against her in a country where men brutally — and at times fatally — assault black lesbian women. Her voice is for the silenced, those who have shared similar experiences as kasi tomboys.

It is her willingness to be introspective that makes listening to her music and viewing her photographs an absolute joy. Within the rhyming over a beat and framing of shots, one finds sincere expression.

The intimacy of her story was best captured in Bedroom Tours. The private shows enabled a deeper connection and an opportunity to reflect on the messages in her work.

Future plans

After a few months in the United States, she has a photography project and singles in the pipeline. A live compilation of Bedroom Tour is also part of her plans.

“Financial freedom in my lifetime” echoes as she steps closer to the realisation of her arriving.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


Ramaphosa asks all South Africans to help to avoid 50...

Calling this ‘the gravest crisis in the history of our democracy’, the president said level three lockdown remains, but enforcement will be strengthened

Reinstated Ingonyama Trust managers hit with retrenchment notices

The effect of Covid-19 and the land reform department’s freeze of R23-million because the ITB didn’t comply with budget submissions are cited as some of the reasons for the staff cuts

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday