Portrait – Ricky Ellis, Swimmer

Portrait – Ricky Ellis, Swimmer

Medals Galore Amid AK-47s On The Floor

Photographer: @JayCaboz for @ForbesAfricaMagazine

Despite seeing assault rifles stranded in the stands, the Africa Games in Brazzaville left swimmer Ricky Ellis impressed.

If you haven’t heard about it, you’ve already missed it. The 2015 Africa Games in Brazzaville, Congo, came and went without much ado. But, if you were South African swimmer Ricky Ellis, coming back with one gold and three silver medals from the small francophone country, it was a time of his life, in the pool and out.

“Obviously, Africa [swimming] is not considered great. But, the competition wasn’t as easy as we thought. We knew the Egyptians were going to come at us.,” says Ellis.

Buy this months magazine to read more.

Photography – Jay Caboz

Location – Virgin Active, Victory Park, Johannesburg, South Africa

Publication – Forbes Africa Magazine, November 2015 edition


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Cover Shoot – Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union

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Portrait – Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union by Jay Caboz.

Portrait – Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union.

Photography – Jay Caboz

Location – The Radisson, Sandton, South Africa

It isn’t a day like any other when you get to meet the most powerful woman in Africa.

I need to say off the bat that a photoshoot with such a prestigious leader doesn’t happen by chance. The Forbes Africa Woman team try to the best of their ability to plan for shoots and come up with concept that can both emulate the subject matter as well as make them look great.

Politicians, I suppose like most people who are famous, I don’t know why this is, have little time to spare when it comes to photographs. I have lost count the number of times we have dealt with figures in the public eye and they assume we can work magic in five minutes or less.  But we try our best to get what we can.

To reveal a little of what goes on behind the scenes: I had been on standby,  for this shot,  for several months. Literally we were told that this photoshoot could happen at any moment and that we were to drop everything we were doing and get it done. The only other time I have been on standby like this was when Nelson Mandela died. This was the level of importance we placed into this shoot.

Even still, it came as a surprise when at 6pm our editor Methil Renuka, calls us on from her holiday in Kerala, India, to tell us that the photoshoot would happen the next morning. Such is the dedication and drive of this team that we are always on our phones.

Over a scratchy public telephone line, from who knows where in the jungle, Renuka says: “It’s happening Jay, tomorrow. The shoot’s tomorrow.I can’t hear you but she’s coming tomorrow. Can you hear me????? Jay? …
” then line drop — received in a furniture store parking lot as we were closing up shop with the inside fashion shoot and squeezing lights back into the boot of Kris with a K, our art director’s, Renault Megan.

So the Forbes Africa Team had less than 24 hours.  We were to be given 45 minutes. Then the emails and phone calls began.

If you are familiar with the media business, it can take weeks to organize the personnel needed to organize a shoot. It is a near on impossible to organize lights, a stylist, make up artist, venue, snacks, photographer and an assistant in 24 hours. But we did it.

Luckily with such a big name many people are willing to drop what they are doing to collaborate. The Radisson, in Sandton, graciously lent us their penthouse suite for the day to set up lights and plan the shoot.

We were able to get into the venue, set up lights and be ready in time for her excellency. Time is the key word word here.

It took two hours to set up the lights, move the furniture and plan, shot by shot, pose by pose, how we were going to do this to maximize our limited time Dlamini-Zuma.

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Remember when I said that we had 45 minutes: Well it took the make up artist 45 minutes. Thus when Dlamini-Zuma came into the room, she should have already have left.

Dlamini-Zuma is wonderful lady, very polite and friendly to talk with. But, it is amazing that someone who is able to stand up in front of millions of people and make a speech can be shy in front of the camera. Our prep work had prepared us for this fact – she’s not a professional model.  That’s part of our job at Forbes Africa, getting the subject to come out of their shell and let their true self shine through.

We introduced ourselves, had a bit of a chit chat to release the tension in the room and got to work. I aim to get the subject to forget about all the people in the room and the bright lights. If you, as the photographer, act professionally, are composed, and act as if  you know what you are doing that confidence will shine through and you can get your subject to relax.

The time flew. We had managed to squeeze a half hour with several poses and interior magazine shots. Dlamini-Zuma shook our hands, said thanks for the photoshoot and ambled out the door.

Time to shoot: 30 minutes

Time to prepare for 30 minute shoot: 2 hours set-up, less than 24 hours to organize a team of helpers, a 45 minute make over and a phone call from India to set it off.

Job done.

Publication – Forbes Africa Magazine, July 2015 edition

Photographer: Jay Caboz on Instagram


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Cover Shoot – Analjit Singh, Healthcare for Forbes Africa Magazine

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Portrait – Analjit Singh, Healthcare

Max India’s Analjit Singh Builds Grand Estate In South Africa — FORBES ONLINE

Words by our very own Editor of Forbes Woman Africa MagazineRenuka Methil

We step out of Analjit Singh’s blue Lexus into a picture postcard. Such is the scenic beauty greeting us. Singh is dressed in blue–shirt, turban and Nehru jacket–and poses with the panoramic mountains, also blue, in the background. We are standing under a benevolent April sun in Leeu Estates, Singh’s farm in Franschhoek, a picturesque wine town in South Africa’s Western Cape province. Singh points to a large white cross perched like a beacon on the slopes of the Dassenberg Mountain. “Everything below that cross is mine,” he says.

FA 2015 Jul OFCWe are on 68 hectares of farmland featuring vineyards, pomegranate and plum fields, oaks, olive trees and herb gardens. Men are at work laying bricks, building and restoring Cape Dutch edifices, putting together the many elements of what will be a boutique winery and 25-room, five-star hotel set to open next year as part of the Leeu Collection. “Leeu is our name [in South Africa]. In Afrikaans it means lion, just as Singh in Sanskrit means lion,” says Singh. For the record, the number plate on his Lexus SW is, no surprise, LEEU 1.

Singh says that the manor house under construction will also include a library containing both Gandhi and Mandela memorabilia. The manor house overlooks a manicured garden with art occupying center stage–life-size bronze sculptures by South African artist Deborah Bell handpicked by Singh. “I know all the people in the art world in Cape Town,” he says. “We have been acquiring art and sculptures, all of which will be displayed at our estate.”

Leeu Estates is a composite of three adjoining farms–Dieu Donné, Klein Dassenberg and Von Ortloff–that Singh bought in a year. The total investment in the development is $35 million.

The estate will include a gym and spa and a winery producing the Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines, overseen by husband-wife winemaking duo Chris and Andrea Mullineux. Winners of the 2014 Platter’s Winery of the Year Award, the couple will develop a Leeu range of premium wines for release at the end of 2016.

Follow the link to read more: Max India’s Analjit Singh Builds Grand Estate In South Africa — FORBES ONLINE

Photography – Jay Caboz

Location – Franschhoek, Western Cape, South Africa

So there we were, in the wine valley of Franschhoek, and we get to meet Analjit Singh. It might not look it from the photos, but I promise you that it was raining for basically the entire time we had with him. The sun came out for about an hour, and in that time, we had to drive to his farmhouse (which is still being built), set up and then shoot like mad.

No time, for expensive lighting. Nada. So I whipped out my trusty flash on wifi remote and we got going.

I remember telling the editor of Forbes Woman Africa, on our way back:

“This story is going to be cover material. I bet you its going to be a cover.” — Well I was right.

Originally we were only going to shoot for an interior story, so the fact that the weather came out to play for a bit was no real issue. BUT if there is one lesson you can learn from being a journalist is never underestimate the importance of a story. The same should be applied if you are a photographer along for the ride.

Everything came together for a few minutes just enough time to get the shots I wanted. What a miserable day it would have been if we couldn’t an outdoor portrait to drive the point home, who wants to do an indoor photoshoot when you are here in one of the most beautiful areas of South Africa.

So what did I learn from this shoot? — Shoot as if every photo you are taking is going to be seen on the cover of a magazine. No matter who is behind the lens, the fact that you are speaking with a Billionaire does lend itself to that but you just never know.

As far as my interaction with Mr Singh went? The saying “he is a true scholar and a gentleman” is meant for him.

Publication – Forbes Africa Magazine, July 2015 edition

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Portrait – Colin Nathan, Boxing Coach

Portrait -Colin Nathan, Boxing Coach

Article by Forbes Africa Journalist Thobile Hans

Colin Nathan is one of the few people who can say they are living the dream. As a successful boxing trainer, he wakes up every morning and looks forward to going to work.

He shares his beautiful house in Norwood, south of Johannesburg, with his wife Lara, his eight-year-old son Daniel and a new addition to the family, Jamie, who is only two months old. After settling in at his home, we get straight to where it all began for the man some regard as presently the most successful trainer in the country.

“I was only seven years old when I started nagging my father to take me with him to the boxing gym,” he says.

Nathan brightens up and become passionate when he talks about his formative years in boxing while growing up in Cape Town. His father, Stan, was a cutman and worked with boxers like the Whiteboy brothers Chris and Derrick, Sydney Hoho and Bashew Sibaca.

At the Sea Point Boxing Club, the young Nathan fell in love with the hustle and bustle of the boxing gym. His favorite activity was using boxers’ stomachs as punching bag, and the pugilists were happy to let him as he was too small and skinny to hurt them.

In 1988, while in the fourth grade at school, Nathan remembers yelling instructions at the sparring boxers, much to the amusement of everyone in the gym. Noticing his growing passion for the sport, Stan started taking his son to work with him in the corners of his boxers. This was illegal and when noticed in 1990, Stan was forced to register him as a bucket boy. This makes Nathan the youngest bucket man in South African history Nathan’s involvement in boxing deepened when he moved to Johannesburg in 1998 to double up as a television presenter on SABC.

This led to him becoming the youngest boxing commentator in the country at 20 years of age. Another milestone was in 2000 when Nathan, at the age of 22, became the youngest South African to own a boxing gym – the Hot Box Gym in Glenhazel, a north-eastern suburb of Johannesburg. After making a name for himself on television, boxers started approaching Nathan to be their manager. The first professional boxer in his stable was bantamweight, Andries Dick, who won his first five fights under Nathan. His second was Springkaan Khongoane who is still working with Nathan to this day. By this time, Nathan knew he wanted to become a fulltime trainer.

Being relatively young, it was tough convincing the boxing fraternity that he was the real deal. Boxing authorities used to mistake him for a boxer during weigh-ins and he found it difficult to convince promoters to sign his fighters. Around two years later, Khongoane became his first champion when he won the provincial super bantam weight title. With his growing success, former national champions like Tshepo Lefele, Mpush Makambi and Malcolm Klassen started joining his ranks and it became more and more difficult for Nathan to keep his head above the turbulent waters.

He decided to sign up with KO promotions and later with Branco Sports Productions, run by Branco Milenkovic. In 2005, he approached the biggest promoter in the country, Rodney Berman, who told Nathan he didn’t have any boxers he wanted to promote. Berman, however, had a change of heart the following year and signed up the young trainer in the Golden Gloves Promotions family. The rest is history.

“The last eight years have been nothing short of amazing,” says Nathan.

He has great respect for Berman, whom he says is one of his idols. Nathan rubbishes claims that the only reason Berman gave him a chance was because they are both Jewish. At one stage, people even said he was Berman’s nephew, especially when the promoter walked him down the aisle at his wedding. Berman’s faith in Nathan has paid off.

He has since produced world champions like Hekkie Budler, the IBO and WBA strawweight champion and the Ring Magazine’s No.1 ranked boxer in his division, and Zolani Marali, the former WBF junior-welterweight champion. He is also training the highly-rated Ryno Liebenberg who is undefeated in 16 fights. To take his training to the next level, Nathan spent two weeks with Freddie Roach, considered by many to be the world’s greatest trainer, in his Wild Card gym in Los Angeles. So, what did Nathan learn from Manny Pacquiao’s famous trainer?

“Commitment and responsibility,” says Nathan.

He has also met and taken advice from other renowned trainers like Angelo Dundee, who worked with Muhammad Ali, and Teddy Atlas, who worked with Mike Tyson. But does he consider himself the best trainer in South Africa? “In my eyes, yes, I think I am,” he says.

The latest success is Budler. The trainer considers Budler’s win over the dangerous Nkosinathi Joyi as his best achievement.

“Few gave light-hitting Hekkie a chance against the hard-hitting Joyi. But people didn’t know that I briefly worked with Joyi in my gym and I knew his weak points,” he says.

His biggest disappointment was when Budler lost his IBO light flyweight title, his only professional loss, by a split decision to Gideon Buthelezi. Colin Nathan says he was the first in the country to open his gym to commercial clients. He boasts training celebrities like musician Danny K, sport presenter Carol Tshabalala and President Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane. Although he now is well known in the country, Nathan has his wife and kids to ground him whenever he gets big-headed. To prove the point, he asks his wife who the best boxing trainer in the country is. With a mischievous smile on her face, Lara says “Nick Durandt?”

Photography – Jay Caboz

Location – Hot Box Gym  – Glenhazel, Johannesburg South Africa

Nathan’s shoot proved to be quite a challenge. The gym was quite “busy”, not unusual for a boxing gym, with loads of equipment and very low lighting. To eliminate this we went with a shallow depth of field shot and I used two portable flashes at a 45 degree angle to pop him out. It’s kind of standard lighting set up that I am comfortable with in low light situations.

He had these really awesome training gloves, the ones used by coaches for sparring, with his name on them that perfectly summed up who he is and what he does. We went for a strong body position and asked him to flex his muscles a bit.

Publication – Forbes Africa Magazine, December-January 2014 edition

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Portrait – Vernon Head, Bird Watcher and Architect

Portrait – Vernon Head, Bird Watcher and Architect

Guns, Bats And Biting Insects In The Steamy Darkness

Article by Jay Caboz

It was 6,900 kilometers from home in Cape Town in sweltering, overwhelming, heat of the inky black jungle. Architect and bird watcher, Vernon Head, stood with a spotlight in hand, on a remote jungle mountainside in Ethiopia’s Great Rift Valley looking for something few on earth had seen before.
“It’s a strange place at night… You know that not many people have been there, especially at night. Everything that comes into the spotlight, you are never sure it is something new,” he says.
It wasn’t easy in the darkness; the fluorescent light attracted a host of flying creatures. Bats flew in the air, insects stuck in Head’s teeth and stinging flying ants crawled up his legs. This was the hunt for one of Africa’s most elusive animals. Head and his team, carrying nets, looked over their shoulders as they risked gun-wielding villagers, who resented their intrusion. They scoured every bush. This was the hunt for the world’s rarest bird, the Nechisar Nightjar.
The hunt began with a phone call from England. Over the crackling telephone line, Head, who was in Cape Town, heard the story about a roadside relic in a paper bag; a muddy bird’s wing that was found by Cambridge based scientists on safari in 1990.
“On that expedition, three hundred and fifteen species of birds were seen; sixty one species of mammal and sixty nine species of butterfly y were identified; twenty species of dragonflies and damsel flies; seventeen reptile species were recorded; three frog species were fi led; plants were listed. And the wing of a road-killed bird was packed into a brown paper bag,” says Head.
The wing sent the scientific world aflutter.
“Normally to describe a bird species you need the actual bird, which means you need to have seen it. In this case they just had a wing squashed in the mud next to this smugglers track on a plain of the African rift valley in southern Ethiop It became known as the only bird species ever described to science that no one had ever seen,” he says.
For 20 years, experts have tried in vain to catch a glimpse of the nightjar. The wing sat gathering dust in the drawers of the British Natural History Museum in Tring, England. Ian Sinclair, a bird watcher, was on the phone to Cape Town and wanted Head’s help.
“In the field guides that list the birds of Africa, when you go to the nightjar section and get to the part where is says Nechisar Nightjar, you just see a drawing of a wing. Then you look at the map next to the wing [and] there is a little ‘x’ with a question mark. It’s quite exciting; you want to see it… [Sinclair] said to me ‘why we don’t give this a go?’”
It was an $18,000-voyage of discovery that Head, Sinclair and two other bird enthusiasts wouldn’t pass up. Their first port of call was protection; bird watching is strangely fraught with danger.
“In that part of southern Ethiopia, there are still a number of tribes that are remote and their cultures are remote communities detached from the modern world. They still traditionally fight over grazing land. These fights over grazing land, where in the past they used traditional weapons, they are now using AK-47s. It’s never a good idea if you are a bird watcher and you are driving through a valley and on either side are a bunch of people with AK-47s that have a disagreement with each other. You have to have some security. Preferably people from one of the tribes who understand the nuances,” says Head.
Many bird watchers have laid down their lives spotting birds. A tiger killed David Hunt in the Jim Corbett National Park in India; Phoebe Snetsinger survived being raped in New Guinea before dying in a road accident in Madagascar; and Ted Parker died in an air crash on route to Ecuador.
“[Bird watching] is a big ecotourism industry. It’s massive. Bird watching in America makes more money than golf; it’s a $60-billion business. There still are these weird things out there. Nature is quite resilient in our modern day. There are secrets out there in nature waiting to be unraveled,” says Head.
“When I was six or seven, on my grandfather’s farm, I learned to go bird watching on the wild open plains of Northcliff, before it became a city. It’s strange when you drive through it today and you used to run around here and see Burchell’s coucal and aardvark. There was even rumored to be a Leopard in the Roodepoort hills. That’s only some 40 years ago,” says Head.
A world away, in the heat under the stars in southern Ethiopia, Head’s spotlight falls on a very large thorny bush and catches a pair of a golden copper-red reflection: eyes.
“We knew what to look for. We knew it was going to be a nightjar. I mean we’d seen the wing. The bird we saw, funnily enough, was a male, but the wing itself was from a female. We were able to deduce this because of the white in the wing, it was slightly creamier. Male nightjars generally have bigger white patches. And it had this huge white patch in its wing. It made it unlike it was any other nightjar in Africa. There was no doubt.”
After all the 6,500 kilometers, mean insects and the heat, the men couldn’t catch it. The nightjar flew away into the night. Head and his fellow bird watchers continued to record the sighting, a precious notch in the bird watching community. Just another day in the strange and dangerous world of bird watching.

Photography – Jay Caboz

Location – Rosebank, Johannesburg, South Africa

Publication – Forbes Africa Magazine, February 2015 edition

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Portrait – Simmi Areff, Comedian

Portrait – Simmi Areff, Comedian

With just R30 in his pocket and a dream of being in the spotlight Simmi Areff moved to Johannesburg to become a comedian. A man never far from a hookah pipe or a trending tweet Areff looks for any excuse to get up on stage to crack jokes for his supper.

It’s a typical Friday afternoon for comedian Simmi Areff. He sits across the table in the Joburg Theatre Canteen, South Africa, with a hookah pipe in one hand and a cup of tea in the other. Every ten minutes his phone vibrates as his manager valiantly tries to track him down. Areff is surprisingly calm for someone who will in two hours’ time go on stage.  It even more surprising when he says hasn’t got a clue about what he will say on stage.

“After tonight I’ll be able to tell you if I was ready or not, but the only thing I can do wrong is disappoint them. I have about 30 minutes of the show, but it’s that last 15 minutes. I don’t know if I’m going to talk to people or what. Lots of people say that talking to people is not part of a one man show, but it’s what I’m good at. It’s what I’m known for, so why not. So I’m going to talk to people, I don’t know who yet but I’m going to do it,” he says through a cloud of mint flavoured smoke.

Photography – Jay Caboz

Location – Joburg Theatre, Johannesburg South Africa

Areff’s career has steadily taken shape. This photo was taken just before his first one man show at the Joburg Theatre. “HaHa-Laal” caused quite a stir in the Mulim community over the use of the logo. Regardless he has proven time and again that he is an up-and-coming in the South African comedy scene worth keeping an eye out for.

Publication – Forbes Africa Magazine

Simmi Areff comedian for Forbes Africa/Life Magazine before his first one mand show Its not Hahalaal

Simmi Areff comedian for Forbes Africa/Life Magazine before his first one man show Its not Hahalaal 2014

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Portrait – Edward Moshole, The Unlikely Millionaire

Portrait – Edward Moshole, The Unlikely Millionaire

Edward Moshole was destined for a life as a cleaner in a factory; until inspiration came on a breath of fresh cherry-scented air in a storage room surrounded by detergents. Last year the former cleaner sold 70,000 bottles of detergent a month to the largest retail shopping chains in South Africa, worth about R12 million ($1 million) a year.

“A broomstick is what started my business. It was the only thing that I owned… Getting a job as a cleaner at Enterprise changed my life; them giving me the boots and overalls and saying ‘here clean’. I could feel in my heart I wanted to be something more,” he says.

With humble beginnings in the small township of Gapane, a place few have heard of in the Limpopo province of South Africa, Moshole’s story is uncommon. He grew up without parents from the age of 16 and failed eighth grade five years in a row. Moshole says when he was young he never dreamed he could become a millionaire.

His life changed when he moved to Cape Town to live with his brother. He says the move woke him up. Moshole finished his schooling and became a cleaner in a factory run by food chain Enterprise. In this factory, in a two-square-meter storage room that smelled of cherries; among piles of detergent, bleach, cleaners and soaps, Moshole had an idea.

“Getting into that store room, I could see that the quality doesn’t measure the performance of the cleaners. I could improve things. I could see myself becoming a detergent manufacturing champion,” he says.

It began with $6 and a broom stick says Moshole. The then cleaner went directly to a manufacturer and bought a five-liter bleach bottle. His first sales pitch was short and simple.

“I went to an ordinary person and said ‘look I’ve got detergent, I’ve got cleaner and they go for R15 ($1.20) a litre’,” he says.

Moshole’s part-time business took off. He targeted his co-workers who finished work too late to make it to the shops. A few months later, Moshole began selling door-to-door. He moved to spaza shops and sold to neighbors.

Moshole soon grew tired of the life of a middleman salesman and decided to create his own brand. With the money he earned, he bought a pile of 25-litre spice drums from Enterprise for around $1 each. He spent the following weekends churning detergent with a homemade metal mixer in his backyard.

“At the end of the day my hands were blistered,” he recalls.

For three years, Moshole toiled over his blue spice drums. His brand, Chem-Fresh, garnered the interests of supermarket giant Pick n Pay, owned by Raymond Ackerman, who is ranked 38th on Forbes’ list of richest Africans. It was the big break that Moshole needed.

The deal took seven years to sign. Along the way, Moshole learnt some hard lessons about mass-market production. One of them was to change from an informal backyard business to a formal one. He named his company ‘ebinter’ and started selling his Chem-Fresh products through it. Moshole also learnt he needed to become an accountant as well as a salesman. But it was the competition in the detergent business that was hardest to handle.

“Retail must retain a formal market. It’s tough. You negotiate with a buyer who takes 300 calls a day from others who supply the same product as you. Then there you are competing with the multinationals and then you are competing with the companies who own no-name brands. Your product needs to be cheap and needs to be of a consistent high quality,” says Moshole.

These days, Moshole’s factory in Wynberg, an industrial sector a few kilometers outside of Sandton, is a far cry from his backyard. Thousands of plastic bottles are piled to the ceiling. A $90,000 mixer churns bath soaps and hand wash. Another mixer prepares bleach for the day. Moshole says it takes half an hour to produce 500 liters of Chem-Fresh bleach.

His clientele has now spread across supermarket chains Spar, Pick n Pay, Massmart and Dischem.

Despite landing these promising contracts the detergent maker remains humble. He keeps the broom that he started with as a reminder of where his dreams began, minus the brush which fell off a few years ago.

With $6 and a broomstick, Moshole began selling detergent to his colleagues, bottle by bottle. Now, he sells them in the thousands. What’s more, Moshole proudly claims he has never missed a delivery.

Photography – Jay Caboz

Location – Chem-Fresh factory, Wynberg, Johannesburg South Africa

Moshole’s story is one of those rare finds that kind of writes itself. He is one of the most humble men you could ever meet and I wanted that to come through in the image. Moshole had an incredibly genuine smile so we went with it. The background, filled to the rafters with goods, made a convincing setting to speak of where Moshole began and is now.

Publication – Forbes Africa Magazine

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Portrait – Jeanine-Dee and Clint Hartog, Cosplayers

Portrait – Jeanine-Dee and Clint Hartog, Cosplayers

Article by Jay Caboz

It’s a typical Johannesburg day in the suburbs. People are walking their dogs and men sell feather dusters on the sides of the road. A big story here is when the garbage truck comes late. But knock on the door of number 26 Heathfield, Fairlands, and out comes a married couple fully clad in pink and bone armour and ready to battle dinosaurs or gigantic monsters should they threaten this fair land.

On a scorching Johannesburg summer’s day, this was the meeting of Jeanine-Dee and Clint Hartog, a graphic designer and salesman, just two of the many devotees of cosplay. Cos What? Cosplayers are the following who dress as their favorite characters from the ever-growing gaming, anime and comic book industry.

“If you think this is bad, try walking around the whole day at KinCon. Clint sweated so badly people were afraid to go near him by the end of the day,” says Jeanine-Dee.

Cosplay is an idea born in Japan, but took off in America at comic book conventions. The gaming characters rarely fail to turn heads.

“I think it’s becoming a character that you’re ideally a fan of. Mainly cosplayers with other fans that have the same love of games or an anime character. At the end of the day you are a cosplayer,” says the 27-year-old game fan Jeanine-Dee.

“It’s fun to be in the life of that character for that day,” says Clint.

The Hartogs are not your average married couple; their home is like entering a temple to the gods of gaming. Piles of DVDs ring the lounge. Boxes filled with colored materials reach the ceiling and a spare bed is littered with Pokémon plush toys. The crowning glory is the couple’s two TV sets, enshrined by PS3s and gaming gadgets.

“For me, it’s improved my confidence. I used to be very shy. It’s improved my creativity. It’s something that if you are interested in dressing up like Dr Who, then do it. You don’t know where it will end up,” says Jeanine-Dee.

Their custom outfits, made from 3mm to 10mm thick EVA foam, was painstakingly moulded into Helms, Plates, Gauntlets, Waists and Leggings as per the game. In Monster Hunter, ‘Kali’ and ‘Squall’, as they are known in the PSP game, are bounty hunters that take down the monsters to earn rewards. The couple are such big fans of the game they even run their own guild, where they link with other fans on weekends for multiplayer game.

“You can make your outfit from scratch. Or you can buy your costume online or you can even get a seamstress to make your outfit for you. Creating this armor was like a puzzle. We dissected each armor piece and then worked from there. There are basic patterns like for a kimono or a jacket. But basically you have to go from there to make it suit  your own character,” says Jeanine-Dee.

The armor took two solid months of breaking their backs on their lounge floor. It’s a common night for the pair to crawl into their bed with burnt fingers from their glue gun called Grimer, a goo-like Pokémon; covered in layers of paint; and their eyes square from playing games.

For the Hartogs, the blistered fingers and long nights sewing armor were all worth it. At the August KinCon convention, held in Edenvale, Johannesburg, Jeanine-Dee’s outfit won whilst Clint’s placed third in the gaming category.

“It’s nerve-wracking. Normally you have to do a two-minute skit. Basically you have to become the persona of your character; you have to show yourself as that character. When you enter you have to give a reference picture to the judges so that they can see where you are from and if you have the correct detail…Some rules only allow you to enter a cosplay outfit once. At another competition you would have to make a whole new one,” says Jeanine-Dee.

“A lot of guys struggle with their first time. We encourage people to just try it once, even if you just go as a casual cosplay. Just try it once and see if you like it. We look at our first cosplay pictures and we think to ourselves why did we wear that? It was so terrible. But we’ve grown our skills since then,” says Clint.

If nothing else, Jeanine-Dee and Clint are dedicated. They have been fans of cosplay for several years. The couple even went as far as taking a road trip to Port Elizabeth (PE), a 1,000 kilometer journey, for a convention. The drive down was an unusual affair as Jeanine spent most of the trip embroidering their outfits. When they emerged from the parking lot, their cosplays nearly blew away in the city’s notorious gusty wind, a hazard for any want-to-be cosplayer.

“We were the only ones from Jo’burg, so when people were asking us where we were from, we would start by saying ‘we’re from a game called…’and they would say ‘no no no, like where are you from in South Africa’ and we would say Jo’burg. They were really excited. We were the only guys who said we would go and we actually managed the distance,” says Clint.

“I suppose you could say we will go the distance for cosplay,” says Jeanine- Dee with a cheeky smile behind her Rathian Heart U armor. In the meantime, the couple has lots of work to do. Plans for an outfit that will show in Cape Town in the first Saturday of May have already begun.

“Clint and I have done a lot of gaming characters this year. A lot of people say we are gaming cosplayers, so next year we are going to spice things up. It might mean a female Loki popping up,” says Jeanine-Dee. Their neighbors will surely be on the lookout to catch a glimpse of the couple on their next adventure in the ever-safe suburb of Fairlands.

Photography – Jay Caboz

Location – Kali Kitty Cosplay  – Fairlands, Johannesburg South Africa

I will proudly admit that I am an Anime and game lover. I go absolutely gaga when it comes to watching the stuff. So when you get the opportunity to feature something in a magazine that you love, you put in that extra effort.

I met Kali Kitty Cosplay at rAge 2014, they had dragged two of their friends to the event to make a quadrofactor of Legend of Zeldas. AND so their story began. Cosplay has without a doubt exploded in South Africa. Every rAge I go to there are more and more people dressing as their favorite characters, who knows maybe one day I will don a Naruto outfit and strut around.

Jeanine and Clint were awesome to work with. Trust me when I say their outfits are no joke. Every piece of armor is painstaking made form scratch.  So it made complete sense to do the photo shoot in their home, where it all takes place.

Publication – Forbes Africa Magazine, December-January 2014 edition

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Portrait – Luke Callcott-Stevens and Gavin James, Rainmaker Energy Projects

Portrait – Luke Callcott-Stevens and Gavin James, Rainmaker Energy Projects 

(2013) For the owners of Rainmaker Energy Projects it’s hard to imagine what 40 towering wind turbines will look like, Luke Callcott-Stevens and Gavin James are spending R2.5 billion ($274 million) to find out.

Many scoffed when 28 renewable energy tenders were put out by the South African government.  In 12 months’ time, the programme  breathed new life into an energy starved country that faces tough times.

In just 18 months a few modest farms on the plains of the Eastern Cape, South Africa were transformed into the third largest wind farm in sub-Saharan Africa.  The Dorper Wind Farm will produces 100 megawatts (MW) of energy a year.

“You build a wind farm in 18 months…after four or five years of hard work,” says Callcott-Stevens.

Photography – Jay Caboz

Location – Juta Street, Johannesburg South Africa

I dove into the archives for this photo. It was one of the first stories I did for Forbes Africa in 2013. At the time the Eskom’s Renewable Energy Project (REIPPP) was just a flower blooming, renweable energy was the South African wild west. Now it is one of the few good stories to tell when it comes to South Africa’s power producer.

Because their wind farm hadn’t been built yet, we went conceptual on the shot and I asked them to include the small model wind turbines.

Publication – Forbes Africa Magazine

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Portrait – Selaelo Selota, Musician

Portrait – Selaelo Selota, Musician 

At 17 years old, Selaelo Selota, set to work toiling under the earth risaking his life for $500 a month  at the Deelkraal Gold Mining Company in Carletonville, west of Johannesburg.

“I started earning about R25 ($2.50) a week and later R320 ($32) a month… The di­fference is a loaf of bread was 50 cents then and to catch a bus from Carletonville to Johannesburg was R1.20 ($0.12),” he says.

That was the pay for eight hours of digging in the dark by the light on your helmet. All around are toxins that can kill you. In the darkness you listen for falling rocks that can crush you.

“You learn many things underground, like when you see a snake, you run after it because when it’s running away, the mine is collapsing,” he says.

Here Selota took a great interest in the theater. Through it all, he learned the vibrant music and dances from the many men of the mines.

“There was this old man, I liked the way he was always so well dressed because he was from the city… He took me to Johannesburg where I sat in a few theory classes at the African music and drama association.”

Selota registered for music lessons at the Federal Union for Black Arts (FUBA). Back at the mines the talk of strikes and wage negotiations was a distraction from music that would force him from the mines. During the rise of the National Union of Mineworkers, under Cyril Ramaphosa, they went on strike but were overpowered by soldiers in 1987.

“After a long day of being exhausted with tear gas fumes and waking up from the ground my head became sober. I was like ‘What am I doing here? I’m still young… and I paid money in Johannesburg to study music and I have never been to the music school.”

The next morning Selota took the first train to the city to start classes at FUBA. By day he was a music student; by night he was a miner. He wanted to leave mining to concentrate on his music, but it was not easy.

“I told the manager that I had decided to go to school to study mining mythology so I could come back to work at the mine.”

Johannesburg may have been an escape but the streets of the City of Gold were far from paved with it. Selota spent his first few nights on the floor of the FUBA dance school where he used a curtain as a blanket. For a while he struggled to sleep as all he could feel was the blood pounding in his swollen arms from the years of laboring underground. Playing music came naturally to Selota and before he knew it he was playing at gigs and earning money. After the course he took on a few other small jobs, which led him to the University of Cape Town where he studied Jazz Composition.

Photography – Jay Caboz

Location – Pixley ka Isaka Seme Street, formerly Sauer Street, South Africa

Selota’s career began in the mines and Johannesburg. Located in the hert of Johannesburg, close to the Chmaber of mines there is a mine shaft stautue that we though would best reflect the journey this musician has gone through. For the shoot we asked Selota to bring his guitar and suit and he kindly broke out a few chords. I lit him with a portable off camera flash using a wireless trigger, making him pop in the photo. Luckily the weather was overcast which agve me some nice flat even light.  Selota’s shirt and guitar really stood out in the bland facebrick background.

Publication – Forbes Life Africa Magazine

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