INTERVIEW: Zimbabwean fashion photographer, model, presenter and artist, Kudzai Chakaingesu

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Meet Kudzai Chakaingesu from Harare, Zimbabwe. Looking at him, it’s hard to believe that this gentleman is only 22 years old.

Kudzai’s photography has been featured in Parade Magazine Zimbabwe and Jewel Magazine. He has also photographed major fashion weeks, such as Mercedes Benz Cape Town Fashion Week and Africa Fashion Week, as well as Zimbabwe Fashion Week 2014.

He has even collaborated with renowned photographer Michele Huddy Fortmann.

I spoke to Kudzai about his passion for fashion, his take on the creative industry, style and many more.

Hey Kudzai! Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi all. My name is Kudzai Chakaingesu and I am a Zimbabwean born artist who is know best for his Fashion Photography work amongst other creative works of art.

Talk me through an average day in the life of you?
My average day would consist of a numerous process and one day does not have a regular pattern as I am not a big fan of following protocol, I guess I am an artist to the core. It does however consist of mood boarding, scouting for locations and you will probably find me on my baby, my Apple laptop with multiple tabs open searching for new inspiration.

How did you get into Photography?
I used to be a model before I got into photography. Then when I was modeling, I felt as though I was big part of art making but as a model you are the art yourself. I felt as though I could express myself more through art by being a photographer and actually composing and engineering the whole process myself. I then started to shoot with my I phone and I progressed to a film camera which I got through a friend of mine who then I had chose to mentor me in photography, the rest is history.

What’s fashion to you?
Fashion to me is one of the most important words within my vocabulary. I believe it allows you to express your self exactly who you are and who you want people to know. Fashion to me is a way of self expression.

How were you scouted as a model?
I had always been fascinated by modeling .I informed my mother of the dreams I had and she helped and pushed me towards it. I did modeling classes with an Agency Named Model management and after the course I was signed, I started getting jobs from then.

I hear you also into music, is that true?
Yes I recently ventured into the industry of vocal artistry.. I have always been a visual person and I thought I needed an extension that expressed my thoughts directly from my brain and the fastest way to do that without leaving anything to interpretation that I know I can do is music. I am working on my first rap single which will be produced and be ready for sale and hearing end of this year.

What would you say is the main misconception the public have about the modeling industry?
I am lucky so far and I am appreciative of the public’s support for my work and how they have treated me thus far. I have not received bad press and I can gladly say that there are little to no misconceptions about me that I have heard of or felt about.

What aspect of the job surprised you the most once you started working in the industry?
I can not really say that there are certain aspects of the industry that surprised me or shocked me once I got into the industry because of my lack of being overwhelmed. One thing that might just have captivated or shocked me is the fact how that I gained traction within such a short period of time.

Which brands, designers, clients and models have you worked with?
I have had the privileged of working with different brands and individuals from all over Southern Africa mostly. I have worked with Edgars, Parade Magazine, Econet, Old Mutual, the talented Tapfumane Munenge, Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa and I am currently working on a couple of shoots with Ngugi Vere.

What has been one of the most memorable jobs to work on?
One of my most memorable jobs would be when I got the opportunity to photograph Tapfumanei Munenge’s brand label under the same . Up to this day I am happy to say it is still one of my favorites, but my mind is open to more greater experiences.

Who do you want to work with that you haven’t yet?
Since I am a brand that houses different talents within it would take most forever to jot down the people I would live to work with and Collaborate with. In Zimbabwe I would love to work with the radio station Zifm as a radio presenter, I would like to be able to have a shoot with Bonang Matheba who is based in South Africa ,be able to work with Bomb Productions as a Director. Yes my list is very ambitious but I believe if you dream, dream big and start working towards it.

Tell us two things people don’t know about you?
I think people do not know that I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth an that I like working with charity’s, I like to give.

You are from Zimbabwe, soon to be based in South Africa. How’s that working out for you?
Yes I am in the process of basing myself in South Africa though I have clearly stated that I will still be doing business with Zimbabwe. The moving process is really amazing as I am feel reborn again as I am building a new foundation and so far people have been very positive about wanting to do collaboration all different sots.

How would you describe your style?
My style is very urban and formal depending on the mood. It’s ever changing and not constant as I get bored very easily. One day you might find me in a bespoke tailored suit and another day you might find me in a cap with shorts and sneaker. I just like being creative when it come to fashion, that’s one thing about me that remains constant.

What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge has been trying to express myself through creativity especially in the Fashion Photography industry especially in Zimababwe as its still a very young industry. I had a problem where I wanted express my art a bit more on the edge but clients are mostly weary if the market is ready for that time of art.

Name your 5 must have accessories/essentials?
Sunglasses, bracelet a cool pair of sneaker or formal shoes, a killer classic watch and a leather belt.

What is your favorite local dish?
My favorite local dish if cooked just right is Sadza , beef stew and fresh fired green veggies.

Do you listen to African music, if yes which songs are currently on your playlist?
Yes I do listen to African tracks and I mostly like them when I am doing an outing. One of the tracks that’s buzzing in my head right now is Collabo by Don Jazzy.

Apart from fashion, what other projects are you currently working on?
I am currently working on building a team, my backbone for my presenting career and I am glad it is going well.

Seeing you’re doing your dreams, what advice can you give others to pursue their dreams?
My advice is that no dream is too big and anyone, considering my background, anyone can do it. Put in work and study your dream and anything is possible after. My final words will be “Live a life worth remembering”.

Any final words?
Thank you for the opportunity to reach out to your audience.

CONNECT WITH KUDZAI:
Email: kudzaichaks@gmail.com
Phone number: +263772538370
Facebook: hhtp://www.facebook.com/k.chaks
Skype: k.chaks

Kudzai has been nominated for the Fashion Photographer Of The Year Award at this Years Zimbabwe Fashion Week Awards. You can VOTE for him by Emailing Kudzai Chakaingesu ‪#‎fashionphotographer‬ to pa@zimfashionweek.com or Inbox Kudzai Chakaingesu #Fashionphotographer Zimbabwe Fashion Week1072 | Zimbabwe Fashion Week FACEBOOK Page.

First Published on Talk Media Africa

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