Our Church Will Judge If We Dare To Be Bold

The duo models, MimixSetso, aspire to push and break boundaries. But there is one problem: they are Sunday school teachers. They would face serious backlash if they deviate from the principles of the church.

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By Mbali Nkosi and Tiisetso Tsambo
Images are supplied

We are members of the Old Apostolic Church commonly known as the church of uMzalwane no Dade (Brother and Sister). We were both born in the church. In fact, we met at Sunday school sessions. We’ve been staunch members ever since.

The priest realised how dedicated we were to the church and when we got confirmed – a rite of passage into adulthood for sixteen year olds in the church – we took on more responsibilities within our congregation and became secretaries.

Mbali Nkosi is also known as Mimi

In 2017, along with other youth members, we were asked to be Sunday school teachers. These were roles we never anticipated. At first, dealing and working with children, specifically teenagers, was challenging. We would get pushbacks from parents who complained that children cannot stand in front of other children and teach them. But with time, the anxiety waned down.

But there is something that we did not realise when we assumed these roles: how much of our lives would be affected. For instance, being a member of the church prohibits one from partaking in certain things, due to the integrity and social standing of the church. In anything that we did and by default, we represented the church and we were forced to be “put together” and “well behaved”.

We understood that we could not be seen doing what other people our age were doing. We understood that there would be places that we are not expected to be seen at.

We want to be bold

But there is something we could not foresee: that one day we would build a brand called MimixSetso. A brand that requires us to stand for those unable to fully express themselves. One that requires us to step out of our comfort zone, be bold and to try new things that are abstract and boundary breaking.

These are things that we knew would get us into trouble with the church. Some of the kids we teach look up to us and we are afraid of  “leading them astray”. Our modelling and photography will be perceived this way.

Tiisetso Tsambo is also known as Setso

We fear that if we execute some of the concepts we have, we would receive backlash and that feathers might be ruffled. We do not want to do boudoir modelling or something extreme. We just want creative reign over our projects without the fear of having meetings scheduled to discipline us. 

We love our church and all it stands for. On the other hand, we love and believe in what we do and we hope that one day the two can coexist without one interfering with the other. So far, the support and feedback we’ve gotten from fellow church members has truly been overwhelming. They make up a significant percentage of our support base. 

We are hopeful that one day we will get to a place where we push our brand to greater heights.

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