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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#SBSJA15 Young Journalist Winner and Finalist Feature Photo, Runner up in Multimedia Category #SANLAM

Last night was quite epic. There were two Journalism award ceremonies. I think I did pretty well.

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At the Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards, #SBSJA15, I was a finalist in the Feature Photography Category, and I walked away with The Young Journalist of the Year Award.

I ALSO was a runner-up at the SANLAM Financial Journalism Awards in the multi-media category.

“When Jay applied for a job at Forbes Africa he had been turned down by two newspapers. It was their loss. In just two years, he has travelled thousands of miles across Africa, slept in the bush on manoeuvres with anti-poaching squads, been charged by an elephant in Zambia, sailed through storms off the Cape, photographed mine detecting rats in Angola and marched with striking platinum miners. He is one of the most thorough, professional and energetic young journalists I have seen in 34 years in this business.” — Chris Bishop, managing Editor at Forbes Africa.

Here some shots from the portfolio I entered:

Dusi Marathon Emmarentia

From: Paddling through Sewage and Facing Guns

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From: Paddling through Sewage and Facing Guns

Dusi Marathon

From: Paddling through Sewage and Facing Guns

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From: Platinum Strike 2014

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From: Platinum Strike 2014

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From: Platinum Strike 2014

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From: A Rat Race Against Death

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From: A Rat Race Against Death

 

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From: A Rat Race Against Death

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From: A Rat Race Against Death

 

Chasing Shadows – Fashion Shoot with Forbes Woman Africa June-July 2015

Chasing Shadows – Fashion Shoot with Forbes Woman Africa June-July 2015, out now on shelves

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A behind the scenes set-up of the studio. GLADYS BROWN

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“The ‘Chasing Shadows’ photoshoot came together after weeks of meticulous planning. We wanted to merge the concept of black and white, the clothing style of the season, with photography. After much debate, and a few too many co­ffees, the team finally came up with the concept of using the shadows of the models to complement their bodies and the clothing. It was quite unique in this respect, as we were not only trying to emphasize fashion, but also capture the models in mid-motion, quite like they were chasing their own shadows.”

Thanks to all the people who were part of this collaboration:

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PHOTOGRAPHER JAY CABOZ

PHOTOGRAPHER’S ASSISTANT MOTLABANA MONNAKGOTLA

STYLIST JESSICA RAMOSHABA

STYLIST’S ASSISTANT NOTHILE KHUMALO

MODELS NICOLE VAN DOUWE AND GLADYS BROWN FROM ALUSHI MODELS

MAKE-UP PAULINAH MANYAMA

 

 

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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Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards – Feature Photo and Young Journalist Finalist Jay Caboz

I am pleased to announce that I have been selected as a finalist in the Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards. I am going to feature in the Feature Photography category among some of South Africa’s biggest hitters:
Brenton Geach
, James Oatway, Leon Sadiki, Alon Skuy and Paballo Thekiso.

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My story to feature in Feature Photos Category: Paddling through Sewage and Facing Guns. Nkosi Mzolo and the Soweto Canoe & Recreation Club (SCARC)

I am also a finalist in the Young Journalist of the Year Category that features a number of up-and-coming journos who have been  be kicking ass: Poppy Louw, Sihle Mlambo and my fellow MPW mate AlaisterRussell.

It is an honor to be named among such well known journalists, who I have looked up to since I began my journey into the field.

This was my letter of motivation: Dusi – Paddling Through Sewage and Facing Guns

It was an unimaginable story. A canoe club in Soweto were gliding through sewage and risking the wrath of gun wielding fishermen to triumph in an exclusive sport and smash stereotypes.

On any night, you will find Nkosi Mzolo and the Soweto Canoe & Recreation Club (SCARC) on the water.  Scholars, welders and clerks all paddle for the chance of a brighter future as a professional.  An inspirational tale that shows people can make it anywhere if they fight hard enough.

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It wasn’t an easy assignment. It took weeks to track Mozolo down; it was worth it.  He had quite a story to tell.

I spent two days with the club members at their home, at time trails, and at the Power Park Dam. It wasn’t enough.

At the time, the club was training to compete in the Dusi Marathon, I was told that several of their members were expected to do well. I needed to follow them to complete the story.

For three days I followed the race in the searing heat, treacherous rapids and hidden rocks more than 800 paddlers risked their necks on 119 kilometres of the rough white waters of KwaZulu Natal’s (KZN) Msunduzi River. The Soweto paddlers did well. What started as a small story 200 word story became a panoramic photo essay that took six months.

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For three days I watched them bleed and sweat. A large part of the story is who did not do so well. Jacques Theron and Shaun Griffen broke their canoe in half early on Day 3 and ran the rest of the way to Durban, carrying half each. They refused to give up.

This is what reporting in Africa should be; recognizing the value of a story, digging deep, sticking with it and shattering the shackles of stereotypes.  As a photojournalist for Forbes Africa it was a difficult one to capture. You are torn between spending your time waist deep in water to wait for a photograph and outrunning the leaders. Outrunning them means another wade in the water. You can’t drive to much of the race.

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Sometimes you get too close. In search of the shot I often found myself stuck in the middle of the river. I can still hear the scrape of the canoes on the rocks as they brushed by.

The story of the Dusi is of grit and determination.  It’s not your average feature story you hear but it’s difficult to tell without dedication and the taking of risks.

More new photos from Cape Town 2015 – Jay Caboz

Photo Excursion to Cape Town 2015 – Jay Caboz

Taken from my recent trip to Cape Town 2015. Thanks to my family for being so patient when I scream stop from the car!

I seem to be in the Mother City quite alot this year – here is a link to some older photos

Day Trip to Cape Point Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, 2015

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Scarborough, 2015. A delayed exposure using a ND Filter

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Cape Point, 2015

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Cape Point Reserve, 2015

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Panoramic taken while on the way into the reserve

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Cape Town’s Bantry Bay and Sea Point, 2015

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Snuck in some beach shots while everyone else was making supper.

 

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View of the ocean from the flat in Sea Point, a perfect place for sundowners

 

 

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The crips clear sea of Camps Bay,2015

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View of the Twelve Apostles and Camps Bay below.

Hike to the top of Lions Head, 2015

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Hike to the top of Lions Head

 

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Trip to Stellenbosch for some WINE, 2015

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WINE, 2015

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The Stellenbosch wine region, 2015

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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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Go on Your Own Power Trip – Fashion Shoot with Forbes Woman Africa April-May 2015

This was my first ever fashion shoot – a fun experience and I am sure I will be a lot more work with Forbes Woman Africa in the future.

“The African businesswoman is a woman on the move. For this issue’s fashion spread, I wanted to breathe life into this concept. We wanted the images to speak of the strong inner confidence that a businesswoman needs to make it as an entrepreneur, while at the same time looking fabulous. This is what the entrepreneurial spirit is all about, taking chances and putting yourself out there.”

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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

Selaelo Selothe