Can you unpack who Brian Mokhachane is?
I am passionate soul, a multi-discipline artist and social entrepreneur; born and bred in Soweto.
Can you tell us more about the Soul Art Foundation?
Soulart Foundation is a social enterprise based in Soweto. The core of the organisation is skills transfer and collaboration. It’s here that we let our creative juices run wild and manufacture products including bags made from recycled and upcycled (creative reuse) materials, sketch books and canvas made out of paper smash (this is using discarded newspaper).
What is the inspiration behind it?
The inspiration behind the Soulart Foundation is the freedom to create and collaborate with like-minded people, who contribute to society with the same vision.
When and where was the brand established?
The brand was established in 2010 in Soweto, as a passion project and grew into a sustainable and profitable business.
What has been the response from audiences thus far?
It has been awesome, the enterprise has been funded through sales from the public. The audience love and support the vision of the brand too.
Where can people get your products?
We distribute via online RHTC STORE and physical stores like Krag Drag and Woodiz at 27 Boxes in Melville, the Neighbourgoods Market in Braamfontein, Arts On Main at the Maboneng Precinct, and the Watershed Waterfront in Cape Town.
How was it displaying your creations at the Design Indaba Emerging Creatives 2016?
It was an awesome experience, I’ll forever be grateful for the opportunity to exhibit my work at the Design Indaba Emerging Creatives Exhibition. Connecting and making friends with fellow emerging creatives was inspiring; people buying and loving my work was an out of this world experience; networking and connecting with creatives from all over the world was awesome; exchanging business cards with influential creative’s was inspiring too; and just being part of that energy was a stamp of approval.
You play a big role in tackling unemployment and drug abuse in your community including the Red Bull Amaphiko Academy 2015. What brought about the initiative? And how is that coming along?
After seeing close friends I grew up with falling victims to a drug called Nyaope, which is killing our communities, I realised that many of them are using the drug because they have a lot of time on their hands with being unemployed and out of school. There were no alternative activities in my community to inspire and empower the youth.
Some youth would always ask me about my art and how they can join, and that’s when I realised I have a part to play in fighting drug abuse and unemployment. It’s been coming along well but we can do better – our mission now is getting land and creating a space that will accommodate more people in the project.
Where to from here? Are you looking into other ventures?
Yes, I’m a curious soul. So, the next step is setting up mobile retail spaces in townships and Joburg CBD. This will help us to distribute our products, export them and create more products around South Africa.
What are your favourite hangout spots In Joburg?
Maboneng Precinct – Art on Main
Braamfontein– Neighbourgoods Market
Melville– 27 boxes
Soweto – Vilakazi Street Precinct
Newtown – Newtown Junction
What advice do you have for our youth? More especially, those who have talent but don’t do anything with it?
It’s all in your hands and it starts with your mind. The sooner you realise that the world owes you nothing, the better. You are here for a purpose, find that purpose, use it, contribute to it. The universe will always make a way for a hard working and willing soul. And lastly, be the change you want or need to see.
By Neo Sesinye