Mackson Gopolang Chirwa is a 25-year-old local photographer, events manager, fashion designer and model. Born and raised in Soshanguve, 1275 Block F East. “It started off in high school during my last year(2013) when we were asked to pimp/customize our uniform in any creative way we can to raise funds. I went through my closet and bumped into some old classical vintage blazer and decided to try it on, I loved how it looked on me and wore it for the occasion. I was a laughing stock at school but that never cornered me.” Said Mackson
Mackson was motivated when he realized that people outside his school actually loved the style. One person who he looks up to, Ahmed Keamogetwe Lamola, who is a fashion guru, had the same sense of style. Mackson also mentions that Lamola made him fall in love with fashion. The love grew, and he started wearing fashionable clothes full time, took pictures and posted them on social media. More people showed signs of love to the attires and he met the right crowd that groomed him into what he is today.
“I was exposed to fashion and art, and that brought me peace” said Mackson. He then started attending art events in Pretoria CBD and was inspired by the energy and passion put into the works. This made him aware of the gap between urban areas and the township regarding the Arts, so he started introducing those art markets in the townships.
The inception of the organization was inspired by the growing social markets in the Tshwane CBD which motivated his team to start the (Chilling with the Creatives) CWC initiative to occupy the social market void between urban areas and the township. Mackson fell in love with photography when they initially started hosting events, which led to him getting a camera to pursue his passion and he is now a full-time photographer.
The vision is to strategically distribute the movements artistic activities on a national scale to create cultural exchange initiatives, especially in previously disadvantaged communities which are rich in cultural heritage and diversity. This vision is inspired by a deep desire to promote domestically produced art commodities, both tangible and intangible. The aim is to create marketing opportunities for township based creative’s.
On the business side of photography, they are investing all their profit into building the biggest media production in Pretoria, with the aim of training young people in: graphic design, photography, filming, directing and video editing. The initiative has already started, the youngsters attend gigs and the skills are passed onto them. “We strive to fight social/economic issues through art, so in the process of having fun and expressing ourselves, we are also giving back to the community” Mackson added.
BY: THULI GALANE