Posted: 13 June 2020
GSA Files. Nhlakanipho Mashinini. ST #06. © Fred Swart

Nhlakanipho Mashinini
ST #06

Nhlakanipho likes to think of herself as a multi-faceted person. She is currently the co-owner and Creative Director of a creative agency called Nokturnvl which manages Grammy-nominated artists such as Moonchild Sanelly. She is also the co-owner of a restaurant in Melville called Bread and Roses. Her Architectural background has allowed her to create interesting art for brands and musicians. She was lucky enough to be selected for an Art Residency by Fak’ugesi where her work was not only exhibited at the BKHz gallery in Braamfontein but where she also had the privilege of presenting her work at DigiFest in Durban at D.U.T.


Q: What was your time at the GSA like?
A: Probably simultaneously the most fun and worst time of my life. It was an emotional roller coaster. I enjoyed every moment of it regardless.


Q: How has the GSA impacted your life?
A: It has allowed me to view the world in an entirely different way. It has opened my mind and my eyes. Over and above that it has made me a better person as a whole.


Q: How do you think the GSA is shifting the profession?
A: The GSA is producing non-conforming architects and that’s what the world needs. In an ever-changing world, we need new thinkers and people who view the world differently to solve issues by providing new solutions.


Q: Did the GSA teach you to be an architect?
A: No, it taught me to be something better. The ideologies I learned at the GSA allowed me to be an elite creative in a field I enter. That, for me, is where the GSA’s power lies.  


Q: Are you an architect? Do you make architecture?
A: What is architecture? I think I’m an artistic-architect. I don’t build or design buildings but use architectural concepts to create many other things in different creative fields.


Q: What do you have to say to future applicants and the next generation of architects?
A: The GSA is not child’s play. You need to be dedicated and self-driven. It can be both your worst and best time of your life. It’s all up to you. GSA is for people who want to view the world differently, a place where your individual voice will be heard no matter how soft.


Q: How do you describe the movement we are creating at the school?
A: I think the GSA is trying to build a group of architects who will change what we know as African architecture. The world is looking at Africa right now and this is the time to really show the world what we can do in comparison to the West. The GSA is producing people who will help elevate us to the next level.


Q: Describe the GSA in one word / one sentence.
A: Provocative.


Q: Which staff member made an impact on your life at the GSA.
A: Stephen Hobbs.


Nhlakanipho Mashinini- Alumni, 2018. Graphic Design: © DieAteljee

GSA Files is an initiative that tracks our past students, staff and critics, in an ongoing, live archive of works and networks. View more records on our GSA Files tab on our website: