This is the biggest photo project that I have orchestrated, to date. 50 Shades of Basadi is a visual representation of what 50 years of independent and liberal mindsets among different races and ethnicities of Batswana women truly looks like.
As my contribution to the 50 years of Independence that Botswana is officially celebrating today on 30th of September, I found it imperative to use my platform to showcase a visual art form of the manifestation of young women supporting each other in this peaceful, tolerant and united nation called Botswana – our country, our pride.
After seeing photos of Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 4 fashion show at Roosevelt Island for NYFW, I was deeply moved and inspired to create my own photographic album of women of all colours. This album celebrates the differences in skin tones, hair styles and textures, body shapes and sizes as well as tribes and ethnic groups.
In a spur of the moment I jumped on Facebook and created a status reaching out to women of all races and sizes to contact me with their full names and phone numbers so I could add them to a Whatsapp group to further divulge my idea with them. I was overwhelmed by the general response from women and had over sixty inboxes within the first half hour of the status being published.
The colour theme for the shoot is a black and nude palette thus enhancing the richness of raw differences among women that work together and rejoice in each other’s triumphs and successes. This alone is such a symbolic feat of what I was trying to achieve.
In Botswana alone, there is such beauty within each and every woman, these young ladies are the tip of the desert dune. I think that I tapped into the beauty of these women through identifying differences in their appearances and celebrating them, not condemning them. These women are from different walks of life, cultures, tribes and races, yet they are gorgeous in their own way. Just being around so many positive young women was such a surreal experience for me as a photographer. Everyone was really enthusiastic and amped for the shoot – we even had several vehicles filled with young men circle the location – these ladies literally stopped traffic.
Checkout the album below.
I am so grateful to each and everyone of these ladies for taking the time to help create my vision. In no particular order I will credit each lady in the above photos; Tshiamo Badisang, Seabe Ebineng, Emma Imsirovic, Rea Alice Ogotseng, Fifi Mathambo, Vanessa Masupe, Rose Tewami, Simba Moesi, Naledi Ramaabya, Mpho Ntsiki Moloi, Alabama Ray’al Miller, Tsholofelo Ramolapong, Kago Lonah Matshogo, Wame Batselelwang, Precious Mabutho, Thembi Be Letshwenyo, Nandi Claire Gleeson, Nollie Sewela, Polite Galaletsang Saulo, Candy Taboka Tapela, Claudia Kay Masupe.
Thank you for reading. Take care and stay blessed. Xx