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Front row with Mziyanda (Queen Lohaanda)

Photography by @willysheepskin

Front row with Mziyanda (Queen Lohaanda)

It's an extremely rare occurrence to meet someone so self-aware that their entire being translates into a life force which one can only refer to as electrifying. Lohaanda seamlessly obtains the ability to capture even the most uneventful, unplanned moments & reflect the slightest synchronistic details presented to us by the universe. Beyond their eye, we have to appreciate their face – from modeling for Wanda Lephoto for their Home Affairs SS22 collection, to Levi’s global campaigns & more – Queen Lohaanda is simply impossible to miss and possesses a face which one could simply never forget.

Photography by @nickvantiem

Lohaanda indulges in their multitude – through their progression as an artist, as well as their endearing social media persona of 'Parasite Hilton'. From a screen, I have been able to see the heart & skill of Lohaanda. From their ability to gauge an audience and deliver delectable DJ sets, to the duality of being a model and photographer – this multidisciplinary creative attempts to free themselves from the pseudo ideologies surrounding an artists bounds. Unraveling their being and sharing in the importance of moments, whether it be in photography, their memories and/or their destiny.

Photography by @carolinemackintosh

Lohaanda shares their vastness with us and allows the opportunity to talk less about their accomplishments & external attributes but more about their life and personal lived experiences, from tasting their first kota, to the moment they first found their spark. This interview presented us at FRM with the golden opportunity to briefly meet Lohaanda’s true self – away from their career and public life – and we very proud and grateful to share this conversation with you right on this platform. Enjoy!

Photography by @mike_bergh

Would you mind telling us who you are and give a short description of what you do?

QL: Always the hardest question to answer… I am Mziyanda. Some call me an icon, I call myself a superstar, my friends call me a silly bitch and the boys fall! I am an artist – I express that within everything I do in life, be that photography, DJing, modeling, styling or even creating content for brands. I am also known as '(Queen) Lohaanda', a moniker which I created almost a decade ago when I was young and expressing myself all over my YouTube channel. Creative outlets have always been around me and I’ve been fortunate enough to indulge in them from a young age.

Photography by @till.tan

So I follow your other page (@myicloudsucks) and saw that in 2021 you tried your first kota. Why, or rather how, weren’t you exposed to them growing up and what was going on that day?

QL: This question is hilarious. The kota being the take away after going through 1000+ posts of my photography is so funny to me. Well, Cape Town doesn’t really have a kota culture – we've got gatsbys. So I knew that when I finally moved to Joburg, I had to try one, especially after my friends kept raving about how good it was. All I remember of that day is that I wanted a second one immediately and I have been eating them ever since, wherever I can. Best so far is Bronkhorstspruit!

Photography by @myicloudsucks

Does the idea of a calling or destiny resonate with you within your work?

QL: I believe so. Since a young age, I have always had a sense of self-assurance & knowing who I was and what my interests and calling have been. When we look at photography, I have always been interested in photo albums and the capturing of a moment which can never be replicated. This led to me getting my first film camera at 8 years old and my photography has never stopped since then. My photography has a sort of emotional language that comes across and I feel this is a further expression of me communicating (through photography).

Photography by @myicloudsucks

Besides requiring a broad sonic palate and tasteful curation, what makes DJing an actual skill and talent?

QL: Have you ever left the dancefloor because the DJ was just doing their own nonsense? What they’re doing is not a skill – they’re just doing their own shit. Being able to read a crowd setting and building up the motions & emotions of an entire club/dancefloor for a whole duration of an hour is a skill. As Tiffany “New York” Pollard aka the HBIC once said: “Soon as I popped out of my mom, I was just in the know.” and that’s how I truly feel! Since a young age, I have always had an understanding of myself and who I was and that’s something that has really helped me to see the star within myself & know that I had something special. I’m thankful that it has played itself out in all its different mediums and ways, over the course of my life.

Photography by Luke Ncube

But when did your spark truly awaken? And what has been your most memorable experience as a model?

QL: Modeling has been one of those mediums and platforms in which I have been able to further express and find myself within. It has afforded me many dreams and goals that I would, at one point, never have even thought of dreaming and manifesting. My most memorable experience? There really have been so many, but I would say some of my top moments are: seeing myself on a billboard (it was deeply affirming), national Woolworths campaign, any job that my family back home can see in their everyday life, and having two Louis Vuitton editorials in the bag!

Image courtesy of @queenlohaanda

Thank you for sharing this, we wanna know, why did you accept being interviewed? Why are you here?

QL: I mean it’s about time Front Row Media and the Queen had a lil' bit of a kiii! I am here to be the superstar I know I am – to make my people everywhere proud, honestly to look good while having the most fun of my life and of course, documenting everything!

That Lohaanda reign just won’t let up!

Image courtesy of @queenlohaanda


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