Imagine a street filled with vendors on one side; on the other side a barber is giving a young lad a fresh cut. Garbage collectors are digging in different bins looking for items to advance their business ventures, taxis driving in and out taking people to their desired destinations and playing on the pavement are a group of children with bright smiles, awaiting a bright future. These are some of the realities that form part of self-taught photographer Kgomotso Neto Tleane’s social structure: his photographic voice is reflecting a positive reality made up of everyday people that go unnoticed.
Although he grew up around photography culture, Tleane had no interest in photography until he got himself a camera in 2013. That's when he started taking pictures of his surroundings. As a photographer, he is driven by the unlimited inspiration of stories of black South Africans today.
I am inspired by documenting stories of the people we are and archiving the work as a point of reference for those that will come after us.
Photography continues to stand as one of the most powerful storytelling tools in society. With this understanding, Tleane uses his lens to showcase the positive side of black people in the townships and other spaces they occupy, displaying human stories that should lead to breaking stereotypes.
Tleane has also collaborated in projects such Intimate strangers
by Puleng Mogale and is also involved in the ongoing series The Honey
with Rendani Nemakhavhani. Looking at Tleane’s work, he is undoubtedly emerging as one of the young South African storytellers making their mark today.