If you’ve ever been in a conversation about creativity, streetwear/culture or a conversation about those certain individuals that are considered to be spearheading “it” towards a brighter future then the name Tinuke Eboka will surely be mentioned at some point. Multi-faceted in all things creative, Tinuke Eboka’s influence within our innovational spaces seems to stem from a history of continuous development that concretely carries a commendable fashion background, for one… Tinuke’s presence is rich with a diversity of knowledge and drives to pursue whatever her heart desires and it’s this little understanding of her that has allured us towards exploring her further via our second #adidasFORUM editorial that also has Tinuke showing off that new “reimagined” adidas FORUM as well as answering some HYPE questions.
You’re a multi-talented individual that has influences in fashion, marketing, photography, literature, and we’re sure others we don’t even know of. Where & when did the love for your field of work develop?
I think I’m just an extremely restless person so at a young age I realised creativity was the only occupation that not only allowed me but encouraged me to constantly experiment and shift mediums.
Where does the drive to continue operating within the creative realm come from? Because as exciting and liberating as the creative industry is, it can be very difficult to navigate and become a success in.
I still get plagued with self-doubt but luckily I have a strong support system.
Redefined by a generation that effortlessly embraces a world of unknowns.
Thinking about your own creative works or those of others, what is your definition of creativity?
The Big Bang was the only true entity of creation, everything since then has just been innovations: upgrades. I even see evolution as a species update. Therefore, all artistic creation is built off the foundation of other work. A copy of a copy of a copy of a copy etc…
Who or what are your main influences and inspirations?
Fela Kuti, Kanye West, My Father, My Friends, My Enemies and Myself
You seem to have a front seat view of “culture” especially within African youths which means we trust that you’ve witnessed the progressions or lacks that exist in it. Can you briefly share your thoughts on the evolution of “culture” in South Africa specifically?
Scientifically, evolution can’t go backwards. We’re always evolving sometimes for better and other times for worse. I think culturally we are in a really promising space but we haven’t been able to reap the full rewards of this because of all the lockdown restrictions. Yanos (ama piano) would be the biggest sound in the world right now if it wasn’t for COVID, I still think it’ll hit that peak it’s just gonna take a little longer. The culture is always lead by music, once the music peaks all the other creatives around it get highlighted in the process.
You’ve got to constantly upskill in this industry – Tinuke Eboka
What do you do to get into your creative zone? Before working on projects for example.
I get really inspired by just going out and socialising. Partying is so fascinating to me. What are people listening to? What brands are they drinking? How are they styling their clothing? I draw from all of that.
If you could change one aspect of the creative industry in SA, what would it be and why?
There’s so much ego from the ground up. It’s really excessive. Creative spaces always breed some egotistical characters and toxic behaviours but as someone who’s had a taste of the creative scenes around the world, I can say ours is really bad.
How does Tinuke Eboka define success? How do you measure when something’s been done right, and the goal has been achieved?
Overall, as long as I make myself and my people proud, I don’t care what anyone else thinks. However, being acknowledged by one of my creative heroes would be very cool too.
I still get plagued with self-doubt but luckily I have a strong support system – Tinuke Eboka
The creative roles that you play seem effortless because there are embedded within who you are right? Do you think that creativity is part of human nature or is it something that must be nurtured and learned?
I grew up in a home where creative practices, thinking and conversations were the norms so I can’t speak to the contrary. I do believe everyone has the innate ability to be creative but whether they decide to nurture that skill and make a career out of it is an active decision that one has to make.
How do you pick yourself up when you fall? Where do you draw the strength to move forward?
My family and friends are one and the same for me. I’ve been blessed with some incredible people in my corner who really know how to keep me motivated.
Finally, what words of advice or wisdom have you gotten in the past that continue to guide you today?
Yes, and this one’s for all the creative freelancers that are getting frustrated with the crumbling entertainment industry and lack of work, “Part of being a creative is knowing how to create work for yourself.” You’ve got to constantly upskill in this industry. Even the top global fashion creatives like Virgil Abloh, Hedi Slimane and Tom Ford have three or more hustles going on at once. Just keep finessing!
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