musa likes PUNK

FOLLOWING current trends blindly might be what many young people do, but photographer Musa Nxumalo would never do that.

While his peers are into hip-hop and kwaito, Nxumalo loves heavy metal and punk music.

"I've done the kwaito thing and explored the hip-hop scene, but it lacks punk's vibe and the urgency. Punk is alive," he enthuses.

Nxumalo, from Soweto, uses photography to explore alternative culture.

"I invade the personal spaces of friends who are influenced by alternative culture and driven by rock music," he says.

Nxumalo documents rock bands that many people are not even aware of to introduce people to this growing movement in ekasi.

"I'm a rock fan and that is what I try to pull into my work. To keep it trashy, very vibrant and alternative," Nxumalo says.

His most controversial piece by far is a n arm tattoed with three stars with his hand pulling a zap sign away from a camera.

He says it explains how he feels about the Confederations Cup and Fifa 2010.

"I do not mean to offend anybody, but I am not a fan of soccer. This is for the hype of 2010 and the Confederations Cup to say, 'stuff the hype about soccer and 2010, I'm into music'," Nxumalo says.

However, is the punk and heavy metal scene not predominantly white?

"It is but through photography I managed to get an insight into this culture, which today I feel a part of.

"It is a close-knit group but they have accepted me for who I am.

"We must not be afraid to explore different cultures," he says.

Nxumalo, a recipient of the prestigious Edward Ruiz Mentorship for Photography, is at present holding a photographic exhibition at the Market Photo Workshop in Newtown, Johannesburg.