Do you believe in you?

Good work starts with you. Don’t care what the naysayers and the haters may say. So long as you believe in your vision, your purpose and your talent, you’ll silence the doubters quick quick.

At ez’Ntswembu we celebrate those who believe in themselves. Believe is one of our core values, alongside Real and Flow. So if you have what it takes to believe in yourself, then we believe you belong with us.

We talk to three incredible artists across photography, fashion and design. Take a look after the video for more in depth insights into what they feel it means to believe.

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There’s no value in belief”, says Nkhensani Mkhari.

Reminiscing on his childhood days, Nkhensani - a longtime resident artist at August House - openly shares fond memories about how he has always been artistic. “I learn about myself through my art”, he reveals.  “I express all the things that lived within me.”

He goes on to explain why he does not believe in believing. He points out how every individual’s reality is different, and so having a belief is worthless due to it  being “intangible”. Nkhensani considers knowledge to be better than believing. He makes an example with water. He points out that water isn’t something you need to imagine as it can be engaged with, with all one’s senses.

Speaking of senses, Nkhensani shares how his photography  is an act of love.  He uses Instagram as a means to sharing this love with his only objective being to encourage upcoming black artists to chase their dreams.

He takes us through his journey of depression and anxiety post a break-up and how he had to find the strength to stand on his own.  His advice to anyone, young or old is to aim to stand out by daring to be different as well as to “never give up”. As much as this piece of advice is considered a cliché, he regards it as timeless.

“I believe my purpose is to inspire.” - Gaspa

Between outbursts of contagious laughter, 26 year old Matshepo Mazibuko opens up about no longer feeling reluctant to share her age. She says that it is good for her to remember how many years she has graced this Earth as it assists her in aligning her goals.

Gaspa, the name Matshepo is now known by, tells of how she almost lost her mother’s support chasing her goal to become a millionaire by the end of 2019.  She openly expresses how this was a defining crossroad in her life and she pulled through by refusing to fit in a box. “I have something to prove to myself”, she says with a smile, highlighting the importance of individualism.

Describing herself as “an entrepreneur at heart, writer in spirit and business woman in the brain”, Gaspa emphasises how she isn’t a jill-of-all-trades despite having expertise in various skill sets.  She tells the story of starting her clothing brand, GASPA Diamond Status Lifestyle and how it helped heal her low self-esteem.

Gaspa believes in being relatable in all the work she delivers. The two things that carry her through all her challenges in both career and personal life are patience and to always remember the reason why she began.  When the goal is constantly at the back of your mind, overcoming the stumbling blocks on the way is smoother.

Rofhiwa began chasing his graphic design and illustrating passion before the existence of likes, shares and online comments. This made his biggest career hurdle, cyber bullying, easier to overcome than it would have been had he started out with likes and shares as the only measure of success.

Rofhiwa timidly shares how his journey through bullying forced him to believe in himself. “You should get to a point where you believe in something that only you can believe in because only you understand the vision. The hardest thing will then be trying to explain what only you can feel”, he says. He explains how this helped him realise that what others think of his work doesn’t matter because their criticism can never be constructive when they misunderstand his goal.

Creating something that has the potential to provoke change is the biggest contributing factor to the Venda born artist. He says that constantly reminding himself that his designs are not about him but the greater good of his community is the fuel that keeps his engine humming. His strong connection to his roots accurately comes across with the colours and patterns incorporated in his work.

Looking back, Rofhiwa regrets having not invested more time at an earlier stage in perfecting his craft. He created Game Changers, a showcase platform, to encourage early skill development as well as the importance of not having just a single ability.

Rofhiwa has done some fabulous work in collaboration with brands such as Winston Cigarettes and Chappies. Check out his work, including examples of Game Changers showcases.

Clayton Bond