Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Case Study # 29 - Khanyi Swinging on the Porch

Khanyi Swinging on the Porch - oil on canvas. 30" x 24"
Growing up in South Africa where Neurofibromatosis is very rare, or just goes unnoticed, and having gone to an all girls’ school, where one’s physical appearance is under constant scrutiny was a challenge for Khanyi Shabalala.

Prep sketch
Khanyi was the first and the only carrier of NF in her family so it was a new experience for everyone involved. The first time her mother noticed birthmarks on her was when she was five year old. At first her mother found it a bit peculiar but not alarming. She noticed that they continued to develop and multiply until Khanyi had all these birthmarks suddenly developing all over her body and yet her twin sister did not. She didn’t know what was going on so the marks were put under the broad “birthmark” umbrella. Around that same time Khanyi developed absence seizures but she is still not sure if there might have been a correlation between that and her NF. At 12 years old Khanyi finally went to the dermatologist the “birth marks” were continually growing, continually changing and now they were accompanied by tumors. Those "birth marks" are called cafe au lait spots and are one of the main indicators for a possible Neurofibromatosis diagnosis.

Eleven years ago while Khanyi was studying Political Science at the University of Westville in South Africa she came to the realization that it was not her calling, not something she was destined to do for the rest of her, life so she packed her bags and moved to the United States. When she arrived she enrolled at Otis college, a school of art and design and worked as a freelance stylist. At Otis she met her future business partners Amaka and Jason. Together they turned their innate creativity and vision into something that was truly their own, something they could be proud of. That was how Khanyi became the Fashion Editor and one of the founding members of Afrostyle Magazine.

No comments: