By REFILWE MEREYOTLHE
Nthabiseng Segobela and Lebogang Ikageng hosted their 1st Feel Good Fashion Campaign, a gallery exhibition in Mapetla,Soweto where young aspiring photographers showcased the ‘before and after’ pictures of the underprivileged identified by the photographers as beneficiaries of donated clothes, shoes and jewelry.
The two organizers collected clothes from people who were willing to donate; and thereafter organized the gallery exhibition working in conjunction with local designer Gift from Rip n Sew, who have showcased at SA Fashion Week; he donated clothes from his previous collections, together with Sthe from Vintage Fruitcake; a stylist who came on board to style the recipients for the ‘After’ makeover pictures. “The garage was filled with clothes” said Lebogang, clothes are given to the identified families and the rest is taken to neighbouring Protea South in Soweto and also to churches around the community. “We had to deliver more clothes again the following day as there were still more left” said Nthabiseng.
Some residents of Protea South donated clothes to make the fashion campaign a success.
The organizers say their purpose and aim is to show how different people feel when they are looking and feeling good; it boosts their confidence and self-esteem. They hope that this will also inspire others in privileged positions to give.
Amongst the photographers was Puledi Mabitsela 15 year old Grade 10 learner at Mapetla High School. She was responsible for ‘before ‘pictures of a house that had burned down in Meadowlands, Soweto. “The house is the reason why we started the Feel Good Fashion Campaign because everything was burned down; they were left with nothing to wear or eat” said Puledi. “Having friends who were photographers helped me learn more about Photography as a Profession” She plans to pursue a career in photography after High school.
Burnt house in Meadowlands, Soweto
Lindile Hlatshwayo 25 year old aspires to be a good photographer in the future but now enjoys capturing kids more and says they inspire him. “I’m inspired by how happy and playful they always are and don’t have any worry in the world; their carefree spirit is worth a million photos“said Lindelo.
“The campaign is aimed at giving people confidence through the way they look” said Lesego Mohasane, 19 year old matric learner. She did a makeover on a child in Protea South who she says she found her playing on her own and that alone made her choose the child as a beneficiary. She decided ‘to be the rainbow’ in her life. Lesego plans to study something in the lines of arts and/or photography. “It does not matter what I study between the two, as long as I inspire the next person” said Lesego.
Left (Lesego the photographer) , right (attendee of the event)
For kholofelo Madingwaneng, a Human Resources student at Dobsonville College, believes his communication skills he’s acquired while doing HR helps him communicate with those he photograph but the most powerful message is conveyed through the pictures.
Nthabiseng is in the process of registering her Non-Profit Organization. When she’s not devoting her life to the community, she’s organizing workshops and mentorship programmes for the photographers where they are taught about the different opportunities within the visual art and photography career, the business, advice for artists, copyright of their work, the law, courses to study, and how to sell their brands.
Partner, Lebogang Ikageng co-owns a company Uziri Kwa Akili which means beauty with brains where he works with former Miss Sleet 2016 via charity work like the Kliptown youth Programme; where on her birthday they took the kids from that centre to Vilakazi street for a Vilakazi workshop.
Both Nthabiseng and Lebogang have been able to secure bursary to the amateur photographers with the one 50% coming from Market Photo Workshop and the other 50% from the National Arts of council. The pair run their projects and campaigns from their own pockets so for anyone who’s willing to make donations or help in anyway please contact:
Nthabiseng on call : +27 64 855 4460 and Lebogang on cell : +27 64 470 3001.