WHERE’D YOU POP UP FROM?
My name is Tshegofatso Mosiane born and partially raised in Mafikeng, shoutout Bokone Bophirima! Ke motswana wa ko Maftown down to my blood and that hood girl is always and forever. Luckily, unlike most kids from my town, my parents were blessed to always have jobs or just made bad life decisions that had us moving around a lot. We lived in a lot of different places and it comes out in how I code switch. I started pursuing a career in media at the very ambitious age of 17 and just didn’t turn back – now I’m a Content Producer based in Johannesburg.
WHY MIGHT I RECOGNISE YOU?
Well… I may have a tiny bit of a reputation. In a Content Gods miracle, I became known for my red carpet commentary threads on Twitter.com. Honestly, to this day, I can’t tell you how it happened but it did. Back on the first Monday in May of 2016, on the closest thing I have to an annual Religious Holiday, my first thread on the Met Gala went viral. To be specific I mean 3,000,000 impressions with a 30% engagement rate in under 12 hours from a then starting point of 700 followers. That’s more than some major campaigns after AdSpend.
Throughout the 3 years I did them, I was South African Twitter’s go-to Joan Rivers when the biggest red carpets came up. I used to try shy away from what my internet persona became out of fear of getting even more hate in real life too. But now I’m just like, listen, who else do you know that can keep something she does from her bed going and relevant for 3 years without ever once doing a sponsored version in the land of Digital? Needless to say, though, it is a hard reputation to shake. I stopped doing them in 2018 because, a) I’m getting too old to fight with strangers over ugly dresses and b) it was time to evolve a bit.
WHAT DOES YOUR RESUME LOOK LIKE?
It’s been quite the journey, you know? Building this career thing is long, tedious and exhausting work. I’ve been working since I matriculated from high school because my family couldn’t afford what South Africa claims to be Higher Education, so my CV is a rather eclectic one. But I think I’ve done a decent job for a girl with parents who still can’t actually describe what I do for a living!
I started working in media when I was 17 years-old. From 17 to, like, 19-ish I was mainly a Contributing Writer for various Pop Culture focused magazines across South Africa, including the likes of Superbalist, Marie Claire and SA Fashion Handbook. I also got some international bylines in publications like SOLEXB’s print issue, The Fashion Law and Media Diversified. I mainly tried to specialise in Op-Eds because I love to over explain my unimportant opinions. I say try because in South African media, that’s a very shallow well in terms of subject matter and I was trying to get intellectual about red carpets so, it was a very slow hill to climb.
So slow, in fact, that I had to get off the train for a bit. At 20, I launched my baby REconnecteD Productions. I was living in Klerksdorp, working in Johannesburg and wanted so badly to figure out how to do video content on my freelancer off seasons. I started by teaming up with a few friends. That didn’t work and I had to start doing it all myself – shooting, editing, producing, concepts, alles. I learned how to use a DSLR by borrowing cameras from our church. I learned how to edit on my Acer Notebook that would crash each time the program opened. I was taught how to use Adobe and Premiere Pro by the tech guys at our church who make those weekly announcement videos.
As time went by, I eventually got better at this stuff. REconnecteD has given me a few stripes as an emerging Filmmaker, Producer and Director. We showcased a few of my short films and web series in a few countries. In our first year of existence, we got laurels from the Fashion Film Festival Milano in Italy, the Caribbean Fashion and Arts Feature Festival in Trinidad & Tobago, the Global Youth Film Festival Lakshmipur in Bangladesh and the Sarajevo Fashion Film Festival in Bosnia.
We later teamed up with the Caribbean Fashion and Arts Feature Festival in Trinidad and Tobago for the REconnecteD Showcase! Since 2017, we collaborate with the festival organisers to showcase emerging African fashion films to the kids at the free festival in East Yard. We pool entries from across Africa of emerging film makers to show what young independent creatives are doing here too. It’s one of my favourite thing I do, I won’t lie.
I guess my biggest achievement is having been nominated with 2 of my original web series’ at the Zanzibar International Film Festival in 2017. One was for SUBS, a collaboration with Tseliso Monaheng and Festival Politicos with Misa Mawkwakwa Masokameng. There’s more but that’s what usually gets the person who approves the content budget to give me a chance.
Hmmm… what else? I kind of tend to pick up whatever I want because.. you know… I can. I blame all the reality shows that my older sister made me watch. Those mixed with my just general lack of shame makes me pretty relentless in the pursuit of the glamorous life I deserve.
But like wow guys, styling is not glamorous! I tried my hand at Wardrobe Styling a bit as well. I had some experience doing quick change and running backstage areas of fashion shows (17 – 19) so I though I knew what I was doing? HA! To say I was rough around the edges is an understatement. Luckily for me, I worked for a very patient woman! I started working for her when I was, like, 21. Her name is Honey, goes by HoneyTellAStory, and she is a SAFTA nominates Stylist and Sangoma based in Johannesburg. While working for her, I’ve learned a fuckton and gotten to work on sets with Jussie Smollet (not joking), Sho Madjozi and Boity.
This year, at 23, I’ve mainly been focusing on the “digital” part of my job description. I just realised that this internet thing is way more diverse and is evolving so rapidly in Africa that I want to get ahead of it. I got the opportunity to work as part of an advertising agency’s mentorship program, the Hlumani Trust by Ebony + Ivory. I work on campaigns and have completely understood why most people I previously met who work in advertising were absolutely nuts. It’s not easy. I also was able to join the team in charge of one of the top 10 entertainment media sites in the country, ZAlebs. Doing everything from copy to video and social media for their 800,000+ digital community.
SO… WHAT’S NEXT?
Honestly, no idea. I’m at a point now where I want to have fun with my work. I love the world of digital content for the fact that it is literally limitless. So… let’s see where this goes, shall we?
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This is the first H&M collaboration with an African designer so it was a must to check out!