Art director at advertising agency Joe Public, Kgodisho Mowa, recently completed a coveted learnership with Umuzi Photo Club, graduating with a diploma in advertising and with a special focus on graphic design and photography.
“Being a student at Umuzi has taught me to push hard because the setup there is to learn as much as you can in nine months. This taught me to think quick and work fast but still have fun,” he says.
Born in Ga-Mphahlele, a town just outside Polokwane in Limpopo Province, Kgodisho’s projects are autobiographical, often exploring the slow pace of rural life. While other works go go head-on with politics, identity and more.
“I got the best advice from my Umuzi creative director and mentor, Nthabiseng Lethoko. She said to me, ‘Zito staying curious works for you. Remember to always reflect on your life experiences in everything you do especially when you are coming up with ideas because nothing can beat what you’ve experienced.'”
Kgodisho’s interest in graphic design and the visual arts started at a young age.
“In primary school every time we had work that required decorating and drawing my classmates would come to me to do it for them because I was good at it. I told myself that I wanted to draw for the rest of my life but I had no idea that the path towards this was called art direction or graphic design. In rural areas we are not exposed to those kind of career choices.”
Looking ahead he hopes to hone township and rural learners’ talents in art and design through art programmes.
“I see myself helping kids in rural areas and townships to pursue careers in the creative industry because growing up in these areas we are not encouraged to pursue art as a career. We see it as fun and not something that can put bread on the table.”