Cedrick Nzaka is a Kenyan-born and raised photographer, currently based in South Africa. He describes himself as a humanitarian, social documentary and landscape photographer, with a particular interest in fashion and portrait photography.
He is the Founder of EveryDayPeopleStories an online publication that allows young creatives a platform to showcase their talent through fashion editorials, poetry and short stories.
EveryDayPeopleStories mends the bridge between Local and International creatives and gives them a platform to interact and collaborate through different avenues the platforms presented for interactions are mostly through individual interviews which create insights into specific individual works and what projects they are involved in.
‘’I wish to retain the charm and mental purity of the youth, yet attain the virility/muliebrity and respect of maturity.’’- Cedrick Nzaka
Among other accolades, Cedric Nzaka has built a strong client base with clients such as Toyota, Fiat,
South African National Road Agency, Afro Punk, Sunday Times, just to name a few.
Click HERE to connect with Cedrick.
The Daily Maverick Gathering in collaboration with Nando’s and Eyewitness News was nothing short of insightful and shocking. Let me start by saying that while a conference on democracy is always a good idea. A conference in Sandton at R2000 is simply not. As part of the Youth I find it crazy to think that whilst we dominate the statistics, we are not included in conversations like these. After Sizwe Mpofu Welsch performance, the youngest speaker was over 40.
I don’t blame just the organisers alone, this is more a look into society that the have-nots are the biggest audience, biggest voting block, biggest opportunity and yet time and time again we are excluded, forgotten or just brushed aside. As a nation we need to do more to build more access.
Nonetheless, moments that stood out for me have to be the four ANC keynote speakers that pulled out of the event at the last moment. Namely Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Lindiwe Sisulu, Cyril Ramaphosa and Zweli Mkhize. I wasn’t even surprised because that’s how the ANC rolls right? Overpromise and underdeliver. Don’t get me wrong, this is not another attack at the ANC that will be met by retaliation, thinking I’ve been sent by Abelungu. Magoa a tenna, you and I both know that, but we will get to them later. The focal point is to break down numerous issues that stood out for me at the event that I hope will evoke a sense of urgency for us to do something and make you aware of the repercussions of leadership shortcomings.
Dr Makhosi Khoza’s words are still imprinted in my mind when she said that ‘’Corruption is not a victimless crime.’’ She couldn’t have said it more accurately because the damage done by #patronage and #statecapture is colossal. The lack of moral vision and ethical leadership has deeply affected the economy. All the money that is supposed to be invested in education takes a U-turn and falls into the pockets of friends, the politically affiliated and corrupt leaders alike. My dream was, and still is to go to University and attain a Journalism Degree with the sole purpose of dismantling injustices perpetuated by those in power and be a representative for the helpless. However as long as those who are corrupt remain in power, this dream, like a million others, will remain a dream to us. We constantly have to take short cuts, back doors and compromise to get close to the dream. All the parliamentary Gucci shoes, fireproof pools, luxury cars and lavish expenditures could be sending every poor black child to university. Educated enough to ensure and restore economic emancipation. If we are not empowered enough, how will we follow the right measures to acquire our land back, to ensure that black people have access, a fair share and influence on our resources. Corruption is indeed an enemy of black people’s progress. How did these leaders get to be an enemy to their own kind?
Furthermore, living in South Africa at the moment feels like living in a pyramid, with ordinary citizens at the bottom scourging for the scraps that the leaders at the top throw at them. Social grants recipients feel the most pain, as they go for months without receiving their government aid. More so, I would like to quote Mmusi Maimane when he said “we need to fix the state so that the Youth can have an interest in working in governance, and they currently have no interest at all, and that shouldn’t be the case.’’ We deem it as a place where moral decadence is the order of the day, where corruption and adequate service delivery to the normal citizen is underwhelming. We choose instead to express ourselves in song and drown our frustrations in substances every other day, in an attempt to numb ourselves from the struggles of our era that just don’t make sense. I am writing this because I feel that we have a responsibility as young people to voice out, blog about, speak out and express our disappointment in what South Africa is today. For what will be left for tomorrow when we lead? How will we be any different if there won’t be anything to lead? When it is our time to lead, what will there be when all those who are the beneficiaries of looting and white monopoly capital would have got what they want? A point where South Africa will have nothing left to give. And as ordinary civilians we will all be left in shame and poverty – lacking a foundation to build on.
One of my biggest take outs from the event is that we need to understand that Zimbabwe’s economic status quo did not happen overnight. It all seemed like a joke, the same way that South Africa is spearheading. A fluctuating economy, self-gain and greed of political leaders, state owned institutions and services dilapidating. We have a perfect reference point down the border, on how our current President could have corrected the errors of other African leaders, but South Africa is worse than when the current leadership found it. If we tumble down the drain, we are tumbling with an education that is quantitative but not qualitative, with degrees that translate to nothing in a jobless state. This makes me echo Dr Makhosi Khoza’s phrase that is still woven into the fabrics of my mind, that ‘’there is no dignity in unemployment.’’ People get reduced to nothingness when they are not working, not able to provide for their families, leading people to depression and low self-esteem.
I am also pleased that the issue of ageism was addressed, although not fully. I believe that there is suitable and qualified Youth who should be taking up active leadership roles and dominating the parliament. A Youth that has a good grasp on sound policies to transform our country. And the fact that old civilians who should be at home playing with their grandkids full time are running the parliament is disturbing.
Furthermore, triggered by a female guest’s comment in the audience, she pinpointed how women still lack substantial representation. I have observed undertones of patriarchy in the system. How did we arrive at a point where ‘’flavoured condoms that don’t make noise’’ are much of a priority than a young girl’s sanitary towels. Tell me why sanitary towels in this day and age are still not free to all the young girls that cannot afford them? The ruling party and opposition alike in my view only want our votes when it is that time of the year, our voice when we speak against those who threaten their looting or capitalism? Again How SWAY? How do we cautiously choose people who have our best interests and have great foresight for our nation?
The only way to move forward in my view, is to take heed of Mavuso Msimang’s words which essentially echoed the sentiments of the numerous that took to the stage. He emphasised that “state capture should be taken very seriously, and we should hold the people that we swore in to accountability no matter the cost.’’ Mr Msimang went on to accentuate the importance of having a code of ethics that leaders should adhere to instead of having an individual running, hiring and dismissing who they see fit in an unconstitutional way.
Considering that we declare South Africa to be a democratic state, this shouldnt even be an issue. The former Minister of Finance in Zimbabwe Tendai Biti was a keynote speaker and couldn’t help applauding the South African Constitution and Judiciary system. Drafted and implemented so beautifully. But I fail to understand how it fails to make the corrupt weak on the knees.
So we cannot let them lead us anymore, and THEM in this context is inclusive of all the corrupt politicians who regard themselves as our leaders. As Bantu Holomisa said “… the problem started when they believed that they are our masters, when in true essence they are our servants elected to serve us. And it is time for the civil society to lead us.” We need people who have our struggles and needs at heart, people who will serve us and lead us to the ‘Promised Land’. I am a representative of every black child who has been hindered to fully reach their potential and we will not rest until we hold the faulty accountable!
And in the words of Julius Malema who was robust in expression “We must generate a new form of democracy, voters must exercise their power … voters must know the power they have. ’’ Therefore it is the time for the people to lead, we know the problems and how we plan to solve them. I am craving that Martin Luther King leadership, that Thomas Sankara and Steve Biko kind. Leadership which was only about the people. In my observation they have all failed us; anyone who will come after the current leadership will just preach the same gospel. We are sickened by having our country captured right under our nose, having the minority owning the greater fraction of wealth and the most corrupt running our law enforcement. In the end the black person feels the biggest pinch.
In the words of Pravin Gordhan “the majority have no assets; people have nothing tangible to pass on to their kids except poverty.” How do you think it makes us, the Youth, feel that we are still in the same place as we were in 1994 and we are going nowhere fast? So in conclusion I say corruption will fall, #statecapturewillfall, #whitemonopolycapitalwillfall, #ageismwillfall, #patriarchywillfall and the PEOPLE will rise, the BLACK child will rise…
THEY CANNOT LEAD US ANYMORE!
Written by Gugsie (Umuzi Copywriting Recruit)
Compiled by Mikey Mashila
Ofentse Mwase is a filmmaker who grew up in the great city of Rustenburg in the North West Province, and now resides in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Ofentse’s infatuation with film and cameras started in 2005 and led to his enrolment at AFDA (The South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance) to study film and cinematography. Ofentse graduated with an Honours Degree in Cinematography in 2011.
Ofentse was voted AFDA Best Cinematographer of 2010 for this work on the Short film IGOLIDE, shot on 16mm Kodak film. Further accolades include a nomination for AFDA Best Cinematography for his work on the short film “The Hajji” shot in in 2011.Thato, a Sterkinekor commercial shot in 2011 on 35mm Kodak Film by Ofentse was also nominated for the prestigious Loerie Award and went on to win a Silver Loerie in the Student Commercials category.
Greatest Achievement thus far as a Music Video director was winning Music Video of the Year in the 2017 South African Music Awards (SAMA) for his video for Miss Pru titled Ameni.
With over 9 years experience in Film, Commercials and Music Videos, Ofentse is set to be one to look out for in the South African film industry as he continues to be involved in great projects for TV and Commercials.
Here are Ofentse’s achievements thus far:
Ofentse Mwase is Umuzi’s ‘Creative Crush’ today – we are celebrating the work that goes beyond the hype. Couldn’t think about anyone else than Uncle Scrooch. He is changing the visual game in South Africa and he doesn’t seem to be stopping soon. Well done Ofentse for all your achievements, you are an amazing inspiration to the future of this country. To see the incredible work of Ofentse Mwase follow him here —-> Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo, Youtube.
Verona Banda is an Umuzi alumni, a freelance Art Director and self-taught Photographer. She’s also the founder and host of a project called ‘Play Again, Live Again’ a playful reminder of outdoor games enjoyed by children in and around South African townships.
One of Verona’s series which she recently created was nominated for a #COM. The Umuzi Creative of the Month #COM is a deliberate attempt to celebrate creatives within our community. We hope with each nomination and with each win, current recruits and our alumni are inspired to create and exhibit their best work!
The Behance published series titled ‘The Help’ is a celebration and appreciation of women who leave their own homes to go and take care of other families. One out of every five women in South Africa is a domestic worker and are predominantly found in middle class households – they’re often black or colored women.
Domestic helpers perform a variety of services for families who’ve employed them. They usually provide care for children and housekeeping which includes cleaning and household maintenance. Theirs is a selfless and demanding full time job, even though most times it is very undervalued and undermined. Many of them are live in domestics who spend most of their lives raising other people’s children.
Verona’s work seeks to summon attention and to humanize domestic workers not just as helpers but as partakers who play indispensable roles in society. They are entrusted with the responsibility of being caregivers who have a nurturing spirit, always offering a set of hands whenever traditional parents need them.
A lot of families can testify that having a domestic worker has brought them closer and helped them build a stronger bond, relieving them of pressures and needs that have well been taken care of by their helper.
We are super proud of Verona and her exemplary attempt to dignify this profession. You’ve done a great job. Enjoy your prize!
To check out the rest of her series, CLICK HERE.
The Johannesburg CBD is cramped with people who come from all over the continent; they arrive in the City of Gold with aspirations of creating better lives for themselves. They leave their hometowns or home countries with very little, hoping that their journey into the unknown yields superior opportunities.For many of these off-comers, a trip that might have started with anticipation and weighty conviction usually ends with homelessness and extreme poverty, forcing them to survive under really devastating conditions. Many of them end up living in the cheapest and sometimes the most harmful buildings in the city. These sometimes range from debilitating or illegally occupied and hijacked buildings. These are the same buildings that some residents have recently been forced to move away from when the city decided to revamp, leaving the poor battling for housing.When photographer and storyteller, Tshepiso Mabula, heard about the evictions, she says she rushed to Doorfontein hoping to capture the evictions with her camera. Tshepiso’s visit ended up documenting what’s become a riveting photo essay that followed both those who were forced to move and the people hired to make it happen.The 25-year-old writer and photographer self-identifies as someone who captures the dignity of ordinary people, far removed from the glamorous or ideal atmospheres of high-profile photography.Tshepiso is a visual observer of Bantu living as well as a storyteller who believes that her calling is to produce work that promotes equity and social unity, seeking to correct the injustices that exist in our everyday culture. To her social justice means being able to embrace our similarities as a people while working towards creating a society where all can live freely without prejudice.‘This essay looks at the relationships people create with the spaces they inhabit using the recent evictions of residents in Johannesburg buildings.This essay looks at how people from the same socio-economic spectrum were pitted against each other in a single day, how one group moved from evicting people who are as poor as them to playing soccer in the street and cordoning off the building, and how the other was left homeless and hopeless after being evicted from the homes they created.The purpose of this essay is to highlight the housing problem in Johannesburg inner city and how it affects the relationships that people build among each other.’ – Tshepiso
She also points out that her passion to tell this type of story through her work was inspired by the fact that ‘As a child of a working-class family from the rural Eastern Cape, I know all too well how it feels to have to recreate a home, far away from home.’Tshepiso’s photo series scored her not only a nomination but also a big win in our #COM. Creative of the Month is a bi-monthly competition that is meant to celebrate creatives within our community. We hope with each nomination and with each win, current recruits and our alumni are always inspired to create and exhibit their best work!
Congratulations Tshepiso hope you enjoy your prize!
To see the rest of the photo essay, visit her Behance website here: https://goo.gl/8aEKmU
If there ever was a way to bow out of Youth Month with a bang, landing a feature on Mail & Guardian’s Young 200 Leaders list would be a great attempt and that is exactly what photographer and Umuzi multimedia recruit, Tshepiso Mabula has done.
A Design Indaba Emerging Young Creative 2017 member, Tshepiso Mabula is a Soweto based photographer born in the Lephalale district of Limpopo.
An encounter with renowned photographer Santu Mofokeng’s book Bloemhof, during a family visit in 2012, ignited her passion and intrigue for photography and there has been no stopping her ever since.
After completing her course at the Market Photo Workshop in documentary and photojournalism, Tshepiso joined the Umuzi Academy in 2016. She later went on to participate in Intercambiador ACART artist residency programme in Madrid Spain, where she produced and exhibited a body of work as part of a group exhibition at the Quinta del Sordo.
Reflecting the times and spaces she occupies in various bodies of work such as Makoti Kapa Lefetwa and her ongoing series Four Room, Seven Colours, Tshepiso captures ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances while concurrently commenting on societal ills and challenging various forms of systematic oppression such as patriarchy.
From all of us at Umuzi, wishing you more prosperity and light as you continue to use your voice and photography as a tool for advocacy and resistance.
To follow Tshepiso and keep up with her latest work follow her on:
Instagram: tshepisomabula and kasinomics_ 101
I call Madrid the home of PDA (Public display of affection), because the first thing I noticed when I arrived there was that people were never too shy to express their love for one another. Everywhere I went I saw people holding hands, kissing passionately or just sharing subtle moments while they loved each other loudly. Puerta de Toledo, Calle General Rodriguez and Plaza de Mayor quickly replaced Noord, Bree and Jeppestown. As a temporary citizen, they became my common spaces and I spent hours observing people living their lives.
It was here that I witnessed young fathers taking care, and nurturing their children effortlessly, where I experienced an environment with a little less violence; I experienced people living life and not surviving it. The city buzz, loud street vendors and crowded streets were replaced by Christmas lights, people walking dogs and cyclists. It was a huge contrast being in a city where the Vrr Phaa did not entice pedestrians and where every building had a cross on its roof top. I spent most days walking on Calle General Rodriguez which was the street between the apartment where I lived and the studio where I worked, a street with no more than 5 or 6 people of colour who all felt the need to give a slight wave or a salute as if to say ‘Aluta Continua mntase’.
My time in Madrid was the first time I really felt alone, the first time I had no choice but to be an adult and be strong. On my first day I found out that there were few people who cared for the English language and that my inability to speak Spanish would result in my total alienation from most conversations, while I recovered from that I had to deal with the fact that I would have to survive two months with no atchar or vinegar on my chips. Before I left I did not think about the culture shocks I would experience while I was there and I did not imagine that they would cause extreme anxiety on some days. What hit me hardest was adjusting to living in a country that was also a former colonizer because after all I had come from a former colony, and the contrasts were obvious. The first was the many monuments that still hailed people like Christopher Columbus as pioneer navigators who discovered unknown lands, leaving out the fact that those lands had people, natives occupying them. I was often struck by the somewhat ignorant attitude that the locals had towards the historical effects of European colonialism, I found myself often being corrected when I used the term ‘we were colonised’ instead of saying ‘we were conquered’ which was the more acceptable term. I spent most days comparing the differences between where I had come from, a former colony and where I was, a former coloniser.
I lived near the Rio del Manzanares River which is right across the home stadium for Atletico Madrid, the view from my room seemed too good to be true, magical sunrises and mesmerising sunsets. The energy from the stadium during matches was electric, though often times I felt like it lacked ‘that thing,’ perhaps due to the lack of vuvuzela sounds.
The studio was spacious and easy to work in despite the cold; it quickly became one of my favourite spaces because I could get lost in the work while I was there. Taking pictures was the most liberating thing I did while I was there…because it was the only thing that was familiar to me. It was the only exercise that did not require much conversation and it became my relief, I set up a makeshift studio in the space that was provided to me, I got the other artists from the studio to pose as models for my shoots and just like that work was underway. Everyday my main focus on most days was to get to the studio and get work done.
The idea that working class people in the Spanish context are considered to be at a lower class even if they can afford to ride on hover boards and buy soccer stadium tickets any day of the week to support the working man’s team, Atletico Madrid, took me a while to grasp. Because where I had come from, working class meant living on an income of less than R2500 a month and being thankful if you can get to eat meat for more than once in a single month. I was often conflicted because even though I was told that the barrio I lived in was made up of predominantly working class citizens, it still had some aspects of a middle class neighbourhood in the South African context, I felt more like I was living in the Hyde Park of Madrid, with its self-conscious citizens who went on jogs twice every day, fur coat madams who dressed to kill for a walk to the local store and dogs and their masters taking strolls through the Rio del Manzanares park on an average weekday.
Being a temporary citizen in a foreign city helped me grow more in two months than I could have in my whole life. I learnt that language though sacred, can also become a form of oppression in some instances, I learnt that even though people look different, even though we speak different languages at some point our different experiences shape how we see the world and how we interact with other people. As an artists I learnt that you will not always have what you need to produce a good body of work but at all times you must do what you can with what you have, I learnt how to passionately produce a body of work in a short amount of time whilst also curating and installing an exhibition in an unknown and unfamiliar space. More importantly I learnt that the world is not always willing to learn about our continent and the beauty and wealth it holds, thus as African creatives it’s important for us never to filter our voices to suite the world and that our stories are just as important and that they need to be told by us, now more than ever, and I can only hope that I will continue to produce from Africa, to the world.
Countering the exclusivity and inaccessibility of art, First Thursdays is a free cultural exploration of art galleries, live music events and reclamation of the city. Last night academy recruits, alumni and community members infiltrated Braamfontein to attend Umuzi’s very first pop up exhibition at the popular First Thursdays art walks.
Curated by american based photographer Moyo Oyelola and Umuzi creative directors Nthabiseng Lethoko and Odendaal Esterhuyse, the thought provoking exhibition presented an opportunity for new and old Umuzi community members to come together over a glass of wine and thought provoking art.
Forming part of a host of exhibitions and activities for the first First Thursday of the year, Umuzi recruits exhibited a series of multimedia installations and artworks around the themes of spiritual deprivation, gentrification and addiction.
Following a successful showcase in December, the second showing of Lost in the World boasted a surprise performance by writer, multimedia recruit and all round creative Ramoloti Kganakga. Dressed as a vagabond, Kganaka tackled issues of gentrification and other forms of systematic oppression in a commanding spoken word piece. Caught off guard, audience members were challenged to interrogate their own prejudice towards marginalised people.
Despite a downpour of rain,the night was a great success that saw new and old community members network, share ideas and socialise in the name of art.
We would like to thank Southpoint Central for helping us host a spectacular first First Thursday exhibition and look forward to working together and making creativity more accessible.
On the 9th of December 2016, Umuzi Academy hosted a year end exhibition titled Lost In the World.
Curated by american based photographer Moyo Oyelola and Umuzi creative directors Nthabiseng Lethoko and Odendaal Esterhuyse, Umuzi recruits created work that reflected the themes of spiritual deprivation, gentrification and addiction.
From conceptualising, producing and having their work printed and displayed, the exhibition was the first time many of the recruits had organised an exhibition, something they will surely be accustomed to in the future.
Boasting an edible social experiment and selfie station the multimedia exhibition was interactive and encouraged audience members to make their own impressions on some of the artwork.
We spoke to one of the participating multimedia recruits, Jabulile Hlanze’s whose artwork revolved around the theme of nature as a conduit of spirituality, she spoke to us about her creative process and her experience partaking in the exhibition.
What theme were you doing and why did it resonate with you?
The overall exhibition was titled “Lost In The World”, which explored the idea of a lack of direction we all may experience. Under the theme ‘Spirituality’ – I explored the way I take in and experience the concept of spirituality. It resonated with me because spiritual presence is something that is important to me.
Can you explain your piece to us, the name, your intentions with it and what you had hoped people would get from it.
My piece was titled Rooted in Spirit. Not only do trees provide oxygen and shade but they bring comfort as well. Whenever I need to connect and balance my energy, witnessing a person (or beings) and being under a tree to connect with self helps to rejuvenate my soul, it allows me a moment to engage with the present moment – even in the simplest of surroundings.
In the madness of the everyday, spirituality tends to be the last thought that is fully acknowledged so I hoped people would be able to take a moment and absorb the different textures, conclude what would resonate with them within the piece and grant a moment to appreciate the spiritual calmness that trees bring.
What was your creative process in putting together the piece.
Looking at the space that was offered, I wanted to create a mixed media art piece (which is something I’ve never done except in print exhibitions) that would offer the printed image room to expand into a tangible experience. Entering the space the viewer would walk on the African mat ‘incansi’ which lead to the printed art piece framed by actual grass cuttings which were placed inside a circle of different color candles that were lit. Hanging above the grass was, ‘isimbhatho, a traditional church regalia used and worn when prayer.
How was your experience of the whole exhibition?
It was interesting to note and experience the way other people express their spirituality and addictions. It was also interesting to consciously note the different expressions of gentrification and areas going through such transactions.
The thought-provoking exhibition was rounded off with tunes, dance moves and laughter as current recruits, alumni and industry friends bid the year farewell.
It’s a new day, a new year and no better time to Make It as a creative. In our latest campaign, Make It, we focus on the physicality and craftsmanship of creativity as well as the personal achievement of “making it” in the creative industry.
Making it as a creative in South Africa is no easy feat as many young creatives find themselves discouraged by a number of factors such as accessibility to resources and affordable creative education. Yet, despite these challenges the South African creative industry has never been in more need of young, black creatives than it is now.
But how do young creatives who have no access to information, equipment and finances make it in such a specialised industry? By accessing the necessary skills and resources required to enter the industry through affordable creative education.
The creative industry is full of opportunities and our department managers have compiled some amazing content to help upcoming creatives learn more about the creative industry and how their skills and talent can be turned into a sustainable career. From copywriting, and graphic design to digital marketing and multimedia we’ve got the lowdown on what it takes to Make It as a creative professional.
Try our “What Kind of Creative Are You?” quiz and find out how your creative flair can be turned into a creative career.