Fitspo: Hakim Malema

Hakim is all about making fitness accessible through gear and apparel

Hakim Malema

Words: Phendu Kuta | Photography: Lesedi Mothoagae

Hakim Malema is a multi-disciplinary artist who crosses over between music, visual art and has now added clothing design to his set of skills with his involvement in emerging fitness brand Method Mode. 

Hakim’s everyday pursuit is to achieve the highest level of human experience through the body by eating well, drinking plenty of water, exercising, training and competing. 

“I believe that in the body lies the arena of the unknown and that through it, the tapestry of life unfolds.”

A competitive sprinter throughout his school career, Hakim was a regular on the track participating in the 100m, 200m, hurdles, long jump and high jump. 

“I'd stayed away from longer distances until sneakers and social running culture made running long distances appealing to me. Since then I've made some really awesome friends through running, and building a team with people is inspiring. I also found Eliud Kipchoge and Nike's attempt to run a sub two-hour marathon earlier this year extremely motivating.”

Hakim Malema

Social running has become a trend the world over, and Hakim, who wrote about the phenomenon for TWoU here, is now coach of Joburg running crew, Run SL. He finds the experience richly rewarding, and says that watching people get faster and improve their times is motivating. 

In terms of fitness equipment, Hakim states that “utility is by far the most necessary and the product needs to fulfil the need it was created for. A rain jacket needs to be water repellent, that goes without saying, but then the colour and style have to make an impact, too.” 

On the importance of being fit, Hakim says that it's about breaking the boundaries of one’s comfort levels and moving beyond a set of beliefs, enforcing upon ourselves that no human is limited. Proving to ourselves that we are capable of feats that we once thought were unreachable is in itself gratifying, whilst physical breakthroughs are life-changing. 

Hakim's view of the fitness industry is that it's an open game that while previously dominated by white males is now seeing diversification with women at the forefront of some big fitness campaigns in Africa and the diaspora.

Hakim Malema

Involved in the creation of fitness brand Method Mode, which Hakim is modelling here, the brand's goal is to offer high-quality performance gear suited to various body types, having identified that at each level of fitness there are different requirement. This hybrid clothing, for example a sports-shirt you can work and workout in, aims to make fitness accessible through the gear and apparel that they create. 

"We want people to feel confident enough to push themselves to the limit. We want more people to become active, despite their age or fitness level. We believe that the more people who are committed to improving themselves there are in the world, the better the planet becomes. And we want to accelerate this process through the story and the gear itself.” 

Hakim Malema

With a fitness routine that usually starts off with a meditation followed by light Qigong breathing exercises, which sets the tone for the day, regulating the breathing and assisting him in remaining present throughout the day, Hakim also runs either 5km or 10km a day, of which most are speed runs to try and keep his time under 4:20 per/km. Light martial arts training improves his core strength, balance, and flexibility. 

In referring to his diet, Hakim quotes JME...

"No meat, no cheese, no milk, no eggs. Don't believe me? Ask Sarah"

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