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Meet the Instagram Heroes Business Guest Judge for March, Theresho Selesho

Theresho Selesho is a dynamic creative entrepreneur at the intersection of culture and business. He’s the CEO of Matchbox Live, co-owner of the African Beer Emporium and heads up the commercial division at Nelson Makamo Studio – to name a few. But he puts it best, saying “My entire work life is a passion project”. As the business guest judge for the March installment of our Instagram Heroes awards series, we caught up with Selesho to find out more about his various roles in the creative industry (both past and present) as well as what he’s looking forward to in the future.

Theresho Selesho

For those who don’t know you, you’re a creative entrepreneur and Matchbox Live‘s CEO. Share with us a bit about your journey and what led you to this position.

I wear several hats, caps and bucket hats… I am involved in several businesses all within “culture” = mainly music, art, events and brands.. My journey started with me being part of TUKS RAG while I was studying at the University of Pretoria where I headed up the RAG Farm (events venue owned by the university) and organised multiple music festivals and events for the student community. This was where I learnt how to work with brands, sponsors, artists, production companies, metros etc. The main aim for the non-profit organisation was raising funds for the charities and homes that TUKS RAG supported, while training student leaders and having wheelbarrow-loads of fun. Those were some of the best years of my life.

I then moved onto interning at OppiKoppi Productions (which later became Hilltop Live) which was the school of hard-knocks… or rather, the “woorwoor school of business” as we used to call it. I started off in logistics, then ran projects, until becoming a director in the business. Hilltop Live owned several key national events and produced a significant number of international tours and made a huge difference in the South African live music scene. One of the hardest working crews that I have served along side. I then got head hunted by Ogilvy to form part of a team that would establish a strong experiential offering for the business. This was again a great experience – working with some legendary brands, we did some amazing work in South Africa and around the continent, with of the best people in the game. 

What is Matchbox Live all about?

Matchbox Live is a South African entertainment business, which owns several music properties, notably the OppiKoppi Festival, Alchemy Music Festival, Sonic Cities, and DRUMBeat Music Festival. We also produce and manage brand campaigns, mainly within the music industry.  

What passion projects are you working on at the moment?

My entire work life is a passion project 🙂 I operate across various environments be it music events, brand and strategy at the Nelson Makamo Studio’s, operating a mix use venue and eatery in Pretoria CBD – all of which require a lot of attention. I always strive to find new ways of pushing things forward within these environments which requires one to experiment, learn and grow, which is where the passion fits in.  Besides that, I am busy with a home improvement project… which is not for the faint hearted but has been very fulfilling. 

What are you finding inspiring in local creative culture right now?

There are a lot of things that excite me within the local creative culture right now, some of which are how creatives from different disciplines have seemingly found their collective voices and are producing some of the bravest, most honest and authentic work, while they are having fun, which is beautiful to see – because this is us! I also see a lot of creatives interrogating a myriad of social subject matters to address matters that are important to them and their communities. People are also collaborating with each other across various disciplines, from established creators, younger creators and everyone in between, which shows the development and maturity of our market.

Independence is also a very big theme which creators are exploring which is great to see, as people take full ownership and responsibility of their work and businesses. It is also exciting to see so much growth within the creative scene and market, be it the number of artists that exist, the growth of independent studios, the events boom (pre-Rona), and big revival of cultural exports that South Africa is experiencing. I salute all the creatives that have stayed in the ring and kept fighting and creating through this crazy time in the world… because creators and creativity has never been more important than it is today in the world… it’s a real thing!

What is exciting you about the year ahead?

I am working on a few exciting projects at the Nelson Makamo Studio, Matchbox LIVE and the Breakfast Club event that we host at our venue in Pretoria CBD… and just hopeful to see the world slowly start opening up again.

What do you enjoy most about Instagram as a platform?

IG has allowed people to create, dream and connect. The platform has also opened up new markets for so many people and has made the world a lot smaller which I enjoy.

How would you define an Instagram Hero?

An Instagram Hero is someone who truly understands the value of their product/business and what it offers to the world, and then harnesses the tools of IG to tell this story in their own way – connecting with people without the fluffy stuff. 

What were you looking out for as the March guest judge for Instagram Heroes award series?

I am looking out to be surprised and inspired by real people who do amazing things daily and serve their communities well. 

Follow @theresho on Instagram.

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