Top Upcoming Legendary Children: Bradley and Nkulsey
It's youth month. In cishet standards I am probably still considered very young. However, in the lgbtqia+ context, within the geighs to be exact, I am considered middle-aged. Google tells me middle-aged is between 45 and 65. I am only in my fifth year as a 21 year old but It's fine, I get it. Angisekho (as) frash, I guess.
Luckily, they say "with age comes wisdom" but from my observation with age also comes a nostalgic fascination with youth which I, Desire Marea, middle-aged aunty of the TL, suffer from when it comes to this pair of legendary children: 18 year-old Nkulsey (@nkulsey) and soon-to-be-17-year-old Bradley (@k.skits).
"I thought he was pretty hot for a kid, haha."
First noticed on twitter, via this post that captured a romance that reconciled urban scapes with softness, isolation and 'freedom' in a way that was new yet familiar, I could not help but obsess.
A few Saturdays ago, Fela and I had the honour of basking in Bradley and Nkulsey's youth for a bit, while shooting them for the first FAKA feature on our official FAKA website (flicks actual brazillian wig while laughing in siyakaka.com). Might I add that they were late, but easily forgivable - a superpower they share with their aunties.
After the shoot, I caught up with them via Instagram DM. Here's what went down:
Desire: How are you guys tonight?
Nkulsey and Bradley: We've decided we are just okay.
Desire: lol and that's okay; so am I tbh.
Desire: Who are you both vele? I know Nkulsey is the Maya Angelou of sucking dick, but how would you both describe yourselves to the world?
Bradley: I am the quiet one in the relationship. Loves art, music, and dance. Also really fascinated with fashion and minimalism.
Nkulsey: I am the face of the relationship, i love music more than I love people. And I'm a mini-witch stuck in the 90s grunge era.
Desire: Beautiful. And you met on Instagram, yes?
Nkulsey: Yes, he DM'd me a day after I saw him and funny enough he didn't see me. It was really a beautiful coincidence.
Desire: 😂 I wish everyone was as DM fearless as Bradley… and what would you say attracted you to each other?
Nkulsey: Hectic 😂
Bradley: I was drawn in by his personality. I mean, yeah he's pretty and stuff but I got attracted to him because not only did i find a love in him but also a friend and that makes him more attractive everyday 😂
Nkulsey: I thought he was pretty hot for a kid, haha. I got really attracted to him when I realised that even after I pushed him away (tried rather) he was still there, no one could do that but he did. He never gave up on me… And the fact that he reflects me ingshaya tigigigi fam.
Desire: I'm crying tears.
Desire: Nkulsey what do you mean when you say he reflects you?
Nkulsey: He looks like me.
Nkulsey: I'm kidding 😂 …
Nkulsey: He is the good in me and I'm the bad in him.
Nkulsey: The ying to my yang
Desire: Lol I was waiting for it to get to ying and yang. Sounds Perfect.
Desire: And where did you both grow up?
Bradley: I grew up in the hood (Alexandra)
Nkulsey: I grew up everywhere, my parents were vagabonds.
Desire: And how were your experiences growing up queer in the places you grew up in?
Bradley: It was quite hard, even though I hadn't come out yet, i was bullied because i was a male dancer which was considered to be gay so growing up in the hood and being already labeled as a queer boy was hard.
Nkulsey: I got all the boys because they thought I was a girl, but after realised i wasn't and they got homophobia instilled in them. It was hell, the names and the bashing led me to a depression ward.
Desire: Hectic. I'm sorry to hear that. You know, sometimes we ask these questions expecting answers to be different from ours because your generation appears to be more open, from the outside. Clearly that's not an accurate observation?
Both: The observation is inaccurate, regardless of the generation we are in, queer people do actually experience the same stuff, obviously it will not completely be the same but it's in the same calibre. The only difference is that we are more open about it because we are actually trying to bring about change to how people view queer people.
Desire: Brb I need to pee
"I mean, yeah he's pretty and stuff but I got attracted to him because not only did I find a love in him but also a friend and that makes him more attractive everyday."
Desire: I'm back 😇
Desire: So having gone through some of the experiences you described just now, I remember being liberated by my exposure to brilliant queer figures. It sort of affirmed me. Did you guys have any queer role models when you were younger?
Bradley: My dance teacher was my role model, he was quite fashionable and he embraced being queer. He lived his life regardless of what people had to say.
Nkulsey: I ran away from home a lot so I discovered this whole new Soweto is Burning place and literally everyone was my hero.
Desire: Am I right in assuming Soweto is Burning is some kind of ballroom scene? With families etc.?
Nkulsey: Yass. Everyone was so free around everyone, the nudity was liberating haha
Desire: Hahah! Sounds like a dream.
Desire: So to end it off, what would you guys like to manifest for yourselves in this life?
Nkulsey: We just want to be financially stable, to live a "money's not a problem" life, but at the same time not have rich people problems y'know? And mindsets. Some type of John Lennon and Kurt Cobain shit.
Bradley: To add on, like we just want to be able to not worry about how we're going to make it the following month.
Desire: Important 👆
Desire: Darlings, thank you so much. This has been so enlightening. Sending you both eternal good lighting.
Nkulsey: I need that 😂💕
Both: Thank you for the experience 💕
STARS: Nkulsey and Bradley | PHOTOGRAPHY AND ART DIRECTION: Fela Gucci | WORDS: Desire Marea | STYLING: FAKA | MUA : Aunty