Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Lense-man embarks on a project to document Botswana SMMEs

As the deadly disease – Covid-19 continues to hit hard economies a local photographer – Thabang “Frostbite” Kwapa has decided to be a light in these dark times. 

Kwapa intends to use his camera to assist and promote local products, suppliers & entrepreneurs through his 55K images initiative.

This is an initiative that Kwapa has set up with the intent to take 55 000 photographs across the country helping upcoming businesses that have always wanted to profile their products but never afforded a photoshoot due to financial constraints.

The 31-year-old who is famously known as Mr 20K and now Mr 55K from Morwa in Kgatleng is a Hip Hop & RnB DJ, photographer and RnB singer. 

Kwapa says he started shooting about 7 years ago and was mentored by his best friend, Kabo Olesitse of KO Photography.

When he came back from school in South Africa he had little to do and that’s when his best friend introduced him to photography by tagging him along to gigs. This on its own made him develop a passion for photography. 

In an interview with Sunday Standard he reveals that the reason he wants to put down his camera is so that he can focus more on his music as well as his family farms. And before he does that he wants to give back to SMMEs especially those that don’t have professional images of their products.

“Because of high unemployment a lot of people are really trying at business and when you are an SMME you do everything by yourself and sometimes you can’t afford something as basic as a P600.00 photo shoot,” he noted. 

He says having been in that predicament himself when he first started out he understands how tough it can get.

“I had to get new cameras and equipment to improve my business and I didn’t have enough money to do some of these things so this is a way of me giving back to people that are struggling like I once was,” he added.

All one has to do is to pay for his transport fuel and he will be right at your business doorstep. He says he recently got a call from Tutume for a photoshoot and that is where he is headed next. 

He enthusiastically notes that he does not mind travelling and documenting his travels to help people reach as many people as they can in the best way possible. The package can also include videos that SMMEs can use to push their marketing on various social media platforms.

He however notes that people are not calling as much as he thought they would. Having started this initiative last year in December he has only done one shoot to date with two pending for Simply Ginger and a skin care line.

“I went to the extent of sponsoring my Facebook page and reached about 16 000 people but despite that high reach I am still not getting enough calls,”  said Kwapa.

His intention is to end this initiative in September this year when Botswana celebrates 55 years of Independence. 

He says the name Mr 20k came up when he first started photography. He did a 20 000 photoshoot challenge where he challenged himself to take twenty-thousand pictures in a week. And just like now, in this past challenge he only needed his beneficiaries to pay for his fuel.

He managed to reach 16 000 photos and this was in the year 2016/17.  He went on to register a company and called it Mr 20K which he recently re-branded to bokeh by Thabang Kwapa.

In this current initiative, fifty-five thousand is the target for this challenge and it’s in celebration of Botswana’s 55 years of Independence.

Help him, help you reach his 55 000 target if you are an SMME by calling him on 75681848 or visit his Facebook page: Bokeh by Thabang Kwapa and Instagram: bokehby_thabangkwapa

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