365 days of banana emoji

Maipelo Zambane

I’m falling in love with the many faces of the internet’s power. With Banana Emoji   recently turning a year,I had the pleasure of picking the brain of its founder, Tanlume Enyatseng.  We had a chilled chat about his blogging journey, his collaborative work with other African creative’s and he shared his plans for the future.

Tanlume, a self-proclaimed Third World Hispter describes himself as a bundle of contradictions who loathes anything mediocre. Starting his writing journey at 6 years old,  Banana Emoji became a simplified  platform for him to share his social commentary on pop culture.

Image Courtesy: Paul Shiakalis

When asked about why Banana emoji, he simply replied why not? ‘‘the banana emoji is always sidelined, it’s the underdog of the emojis with an eggplant used instead to express sexual innuendo. I am a banana of sort, delicious and nutritious’’.  (Sidenote, he gets this question a lot, and with each person asking, a new answer is given).

A cool and quirky blog paired with comically fitting images, Tanlume has worked with a handful of African creatives and is always actively seeking and reaching out to people with similar vision to his artistic work. “My long time collaboration is with Botswana based photographer Giancarlo Calameo Laguerta , I’ve also worked with Daniel Castro from Mexico and South African based documentary photoghrapher Paul Shiakalis.

His plans for the future is to have more impactful and meaningful collaborations and hopes of working with Kristin Moolman  and The Afroluionist (aye that’s us!) to mention a few. While Tanlume desires to step into activism particularly for same-sex rights,he plans to use his blog to address and  pertinent social issues ‘but not in a cliché way’ he added. When quizzed about his writing process, Tanlume expressed how he is inspired by his daily journal entries or random musing on his phone to conversations with friends, his writing and posts are inspired by his life and surroundings.

“I don’t want to be regarded as a cool kid or fashionista, I want my work to mean something and thus Banana Emoji will be shifting to more mature content going forward’’ he says, sharing that there will definitely be more mature and explosive content on the blog. We definitely look forward to a more ripened Banana emoji in 2018.