07.07.2017 * By Aneeqah Samsodien
South Africa’s creative community is thriving; it’s an ongoing process focused on building a strong foundation, challenging companies’ strategies and pushing the creative scope by moving away from stereotypical ideas and thinking. Mosa Hlope, founder of visual content creation brand, These Are The Streets, is one individual that has decided to choose his own creative path and shape his future, his way.
The enthusiastic 24 year old is originally from Soweto and grew up around different surroundings as he lived in areas such as Hillbrow, Turffontein and Linmeyer in Johannesburg. He went to three primary schools and two high schools. Between the years 2000 and 2006, he lived with his mom, stepfather and two brothers. He then moved back to Soweto in 2007 to stay with his grandparents after his mother’s death. After matriculating in 2010, he moved to Pretoria to further his studies.
The determined youngster did a bachelor’s degree in Statistics and graduated with a distinction in 2014. This was around the time he started getting into photography.
What started it?
Two of my friends and I wanted to start a blog and use it to tell our visual stories through a medium. We wanted to use photography and fashion as the two main elements. We had a photographer doing our shoots; he was based in Joburg at the time (2014) and couldn’t come up to Pretoria as often as we would have liked so I hustled cash to get a communal camera.
The plan was for us to take self-portraits but this didn’t work out so well as I didn’t know much about the finer details of photography. Instead of taking self-portraits, I challenged myself to learning the photography skill through Youtube tutorials. I started shooting more and more and fell in love with the art. We didn’t go through with the blog though but shout out to my friends nontheless, haha. So that’s how it started.
The real world
Mosa entered the working world as a trainee menswear buyer at Sportscene, a division of TFG, in January 2015. He did an 18 month programme that gave him access to the know-how of the retail industry and it’s operations from the inside out.
After his run with Sportscene, Mosa joined the Kartel Distribution, an accessories distribution company based in Diep River, where he was appointed as a Brand Strategist. Six months into his new position, he got promoted to Brand Manager and directed a print campaign and event exhibition/ launch for Flexfit, one of the brands he managed. Check out some of the visuals from the event here and exhibition content.
So how would you describe what it is that you as Mosa Hlope, does?
I just work hard for my stuff and I think it’s very important for one to get into the business of what one wants to do or is doing.
What was the deciding factor to go on your own?
I wanted to get my value’s true worth, but the 9-5 wasn’t really giving me that, so I took the road less travelled. I’m grateful for the exposure I got in those spaces because that’s what pushed me to believe more in my craft and myself.
Where do you see your brand going?
Work will be my travel ticket, so I see my brand gaining a global presence, in my world.
When asked if he ever reached rock bottom, he says: I think rock bottom is a relative concept. I see it as a point where one stops persevering after a series of events, or even one event. I think that if you look at every “rock bottom” as one less than the actual rock bottom, then you can never hit rock bottom.