‘No Modern Slave by Kgosi’ invades Maboneng Precinct
“No Modern Slave by Kgosi” is a fashion movement that aims to encourage African pride and to celebrate kings and queens of Africa. The march was filmed to create a motion exhibition.
The fashion exhibition started at Bertrand Cafe. Models, who wore his designs, some of which he created while on Project Runway SA, walked/marched on Fox street, sparking huge reaction along the way with people stopping, turning and taking photos and videos.
Kgosi first spoke to me when he was eliminated from Project Runway SA in 2018 while many of his fans felt that he deserved to have stayed much longer on the show.
I wrote an article on him titled: ‘Unapologetic about my truth’ – kgosierileng speaks after ‘Project Runway’ exit.
During our interview, then, Kgosi spoke about the influence his late mother had on him pursuing his dreams, despite obstacles he might encounter on his journey.
“Before she died, my mom made me promise her that I would always believe in ‘a dream’. So I think, with that, it became my comfort that I would develop myself and learn everything that I love, which is creativity and expressing myself through art. I became very addicted to my expression and I knew that it was not only a dream I had, it was beyond me.”
He added: “And South Africa has been so slaved mentally and even creatively. We always think that America is at the top of the chart, not realising that Africa is where it started.”
About his experience on the television show he said at the time: “In some episodes where I was guided to design according to what they wanted I somehow struggled but in challenges which I stayed true to myself, I conquered.”
In Maboneng, marchers held placards reading: “Let You Talent Make Way, Great in Africa, Part of Something Bigger, It’s a Purpose not a Hustle, We Are Africa, Camacu, and No Modern Slavery, among others.
Kgosi basically dressed models in his designs and created a fashion show, right there in the street to showcase his work. Most designers would have had to find a venue, probably find a sponsor, create the perfect ramp, get the red carpet, hire the models, and everything else that goes into creating and hosting a fashion show. But Kgosi did it his own way, seeking no one’s permission and using what’s at his disposal – Fox Street in the buzzing Maboneng Precinct as well as the people who know him and support his work.
Visitors to the vibey area stood in awe and took pictures and videos as we walked along the way. The march was an inspiring and empowering experience to witness and to be a part of. So bold!
Kgosi told Art of Life and Style: It’s important for us now as Africans to recognise our greatness. Before they validate us, we have to know that it’s time for Africa now to retain and hold on to its greatness. Let’s be careful that we are telling our own stories. It is important that we do.
After the march, Kgosi thanked everyone and said: “I am humbled by so many people that came to the march and formed part of it. We might not change something now but we are definitely changing something for the future. ‘No Modern Slave’ is a legacy. I have dreams for Africa to be more conceited about the African identity and today I think by 0,0,3% we achieved that.”
Pictures by @johnnygred_sa.