Marcia Elizabeth is a 23 year old Johannesburg based photographer with a Fine Arts background. She started taking pictures from around the age of 5 but her focus shifted from being a toddler merely documenting life on a day to day to focussing on a single subject.
“I try to capture my subjects’ essence in what I do and believe that my photographs speak more about them than they do about me. I am in the habit of photographing friends and mentors as they inspire me. “
Who is Marcia and where did you grow up?
I would describe Marcia much as the definition of the name would suggest. I am a Goddess of war. I am a fiery spirit with immense passion. I grew up in the heart of Pretoria and lived there up until the age of 17 after which my mother got remarried and moved to Johannesburg where my career as a young artist began.
Why are you photography’s best kept secret?
I believe that you could say I am photography’s best kept secret because I have always regarded my work as very close and intimate. I do not share my work as freely as many other photographers do; not that my work is not accessible to those who would like to have a look at it, it’s just that not all of my works are published.
Do you feel that Photography is a male dominated space? If so how do you plan on changing that?
In many ways I do. I think photography is mainly male dominated. I think this generic has happened because of a long pre-existing gender binary on who creates and who cleans. The camera is also in its physical structure very phallic.
Tell us about your style of photography.
I think my photography style demonstrates an intimate and fragile understanding of human life and culture. I have an innate understanding of light, facial expressions and bodily movements. My photography aims to capture the essence of a person but as I have been told often it is also important to remember that a photograph says more about the person behind the lens than the person who is being captured. With that being said I suppose my work is an embodiment of me and the way I see the world.
What drew you to being behind the lens as opposed to being in front of it?
The relationship of being in front of the lens and being behind it has been a difficult one for me as I’ve been dabbling a bit on both ends. As a young kid just starting to take pictures I had no interest in being in front of the camera and was content with being the photographer. After high school I started doing a lot of modelling for various brands and photographers. I loved being in front of the camera but it could not compete with the satisfaction of creating and capturing so I fell back into old habits and stuck behind the camera; except for those “caught off guard” behind the scenes pictures and the occasional selfie.
Who do you look up to locally?
Locally I look up to photographers such as Aidan Tobias who I have had the pleasure of modelling for in 2014. His skill is beyond reproach.
I also look up to Kristen Lee Moolman. She captures African fashion in a way that is so quirky and honest yet artistic at the same time. She is a photo wiz of note.
What is your biggest dream with regards to photography?
My biggest dream with regards to photography is to grow my skill to such an extent that I will be able to shoot for brands from all over the world. I want my photography to take me all over the world, to help me meet new interesting young faces with the same hopes and aspirations as I have. I want my photography to speak to anyone besides myself. I want it to have substance and meaning outside of what I see in it.
Where can people get a glimpse of your work?
My work can be found on my Instagram @marcia_joy_elizabeth or on my Facebook page.
Turning Heads. A fashion film by Kgomotso Neto
Last night I waited with bated breath as Photographer Kgomotso Neto flung a carrot dead in front of our eyes and told us to wait. The “carrot” came in the form of captivating video snippets which featured models with rich brown skin draped in crisp pastel colours. The subjects all turned their heads to a nostalgic and at some parts eery mbaqanga song.
I scoured the web and stalked his social media pages in search of a stitch of clarity and finally clicked on a youtube link thinking I’d find a longer video or perhaps a better understanding of what I was experiencing. I was met by a black screen with a count down clock and at that point, I decided that I don’t like carrots.
Finally, the anticipation is over, the full video is out and it’s not about carrots but about a much more personal story that many black South Africans can relate to. The story of getting your hair done on the streets or a banged up salon so that you can turn heads in your hood, school or your fancy office block. Here’s what Kgomotso had to say about the story behind the beautifully captured “Turning Heads” fashion film.
“I’ve always had my hair cut in the streets or at a local barber in my neighbourhood. The experience is always similar and the process of getting my hair cut is almost always the same – paging through a fashion magazine while waiting for my turn, getting seated on a swivel chair or if I’m in the street, it’s most likely to be a small colourful plastic chair. Once it’s my turn, the barber would first throw a protective sheet over my shoulders before he proceeds to clean the clippers with mentholated spirit and a tooth brush. He would then begin to cut my hair, I usually go for a chiskop. When he is done, he would hand me a small mirror so I can look at myself and see if I’m satisfied with his work. This is just my experience with cutting hair.
A lot of people go through different experiences when grooming themselves in street salons. Some go to have their hair straightened with a relaxer cream such as Sofn’free, some to get braids/wigs, others to just wash their hair and the process is always different for what you’re getting treated for, but the result tends to always be the same – when you’re done, you leave feeling good about yourself and chances are you might Turn Heads along the way.” Neto explains.
This film is far from a one-man project and was pulled together by this powerhouse of a crew, check them out on IG:
Production : @ubuso.tv
Director : @Kgomotso_Neto
Music : @mvziou – Stimela SeGolide
Editor : @superfortyfour1331
Stylist : @didintlen
MUA : @mamello_mokhele
Model 1 : @dimpho.mashile
Model 2: @zoe_pluto
Producer : Chris Briggs
Grade : @nic_apostoli
Mix : @audiophilepost
Mobu by Melo presents the Seilatsatsi range for curvy women
Born Mamello Mosase and tenderly known by her pseudonym Melo – is a 25-year-old founder of a brand called Mobu by Melo which directly translates to “Soil by Melo”; a phrase that resonates deeply with her roots as a firm yet cheeky girl from Qwaqwa in the eastern Freestate.
“I was born into a world of art, music, hard work, community, resistance and beautiful things; these are all gifts I received from the two women who raised me, my grandmother and late mother”. After being a causality of a degree and the lack of job opportunities. Melo decided to take matters into her own hands and leave her humble beginnings in the Freestate and head out to Johannesburg to honour her and to realize her dreams.
“I spent days with my father in his garden, watching him mourn the death of the love of his life and finally having his full attention without him randomly getting distracted by mothers’ beauty and theatrics. He taught me about soil as God, I listened and Mobu, which translates to “soil”, was born to sum up all I gathered from my father: Mobu- Modimo, Badimo. God, the creator. God, the Gods.”
This shoot features the Seilatsatsi range and is shot by Kgomotso Neto in the township of Daveyton. Kaffein Magazine assisted with creative direction and the locations that boast a variety of classic 4-roomed houses which fearlessly bare different textures and colours that played as a backdrop to this vibrant, timeless and finely crafted brand. The range was recently launched through an exhibition by His and Hers Jams called Woman and Art.
Check out what this beautiful collaboration of passionate people yielded.
Follow Mobu by Melo on IG below:
Cleanse them in the sea,cleanse them in the river,cleanse them in the dam.Purify them,purify them till they glorify the woman,the name,the spirit.” -@Andymkosi : Anelisa’s spirit Clothing: mobu_by_melo Photographer: @kgomotso_neto Make up: @khanyifiona Creative direction: @kaffeinmagazine Models: @thandananimaluleke @2wi_ltb Location: Daveyton, South Africa
Words by: Lethabo Ngakane
Kgomotso Neto Tleane’s S-Mag Editorial Shoot
Over the years we have seen Photographer, Art Director and Photo journalist Kgomotso Neto Tleane‘s masterful eye go on to capture some of the most nostalgic and breath-taking images that encapsulate “both the grime and glory of the city he inhabits”.
Hailing from what I can imagine as super humble beginings in Ga-Maja village, Kgomotso was determined to shoot his way to, through and beyond the city of gold, Johannesburg.
The early stages of his work displayed “informal and underrated aesthetics, taxis and everyday people” and later he joined forces with Graphic Designer Rendani Nemakhavhani to create one of our creative culture’s most memorable project called “The Honey”.
Today on behind the lens, we zoom in to Kgomoto’s latest editorial that he did for S-Mag. Check it out and let us know what you think.
Written By: Lethabo Ngakane
Check out more of his work here.
We Should All Be DEAD
Thabang “Bangy” Rabothata is the founder of the clothing brand DEAD. In his own words “People don’t really appreciate you when you’re alive, they wait till you’re dead for them to tell the world of how “great” you were or whatever. So rather I be DEAD. so I can be appreciated while I live.”
In this collection – “Comes Back Around” SS 15/16 he explores a variety of textures on simplistic designs.
Check out the rest of the look book at anthonybila.com and follow Thabang on Instagram below.
Instant Kaffein: Phindi Thengeni
I want to change the world through art by making those who live in it happy, content and unapologetic about being themselves.
Phindile Thengeni is known for her instabitions (exhibitions on Instagram) which capture style, culture and trends in an artistically modern way, when asked what she is all about she responded “I am a conceptualist but mother first… I create art from my mind through photography, design and words”.
The 25-year-old grew up in Welkom in the Free State and remembers her first work of art being on her grandmother’s concrete wall bathroom where she scribbled everywhere with wax crayons. “I was 6 and the amazing thing is that it’s still there.”
Who is Phindi in 5 words?
A PORTAL OF CREATIVE GENIUS
If you had to start a civilization on another planet and could only take 3 items as history of “Old Earth” What would they be?
My son, technology and music.
Why should the world be looking at Africa for creative talent and inspiration?
The world should look at us because we have deep stories to tell. Stories of our past, present and future. We can manage to turn negative into positive, nothing into something and pain into victory through our art forms.
In one sentence, how do you want to change the world through art?
I want to change the world through art by making those who live in it happy, content and unapologetic about being themselves
Briefly tell us about your instabitions and how one can get to see them?
My prior instabitions were a close collaboration with Liam Lynch and we had intended for the work to be controversial but we instead focused on aesthetics. This year however I’m spreading my wings and rerouting the original reason why I started these instabitions so follow me on @uphindi_wasenexdoor on Instagram for the real juice.