They say when one door closes another opens and this was definitely the case of Matlou Shaku (24), a young photographer from Ga Mphahlele. Shaku is second year a student at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), studying photography.
Recently Shaku started his project of shooting and editing photos, working with his lecturer who he has learnt so much from him.
However in 2015 a car accident resulted in Shaku making the choice to no longer take part in pantsula dancing, a traditional and highly energetic dance, but instead began to photograph it, sharing not only the unique stories behind the dance and its dancers but the community he grew up in.
“The community I live in influenced my decision to study photography. When I walked around the community and watched the people going about their daily lives, I realised there are so many stories to tell. I want to show people where I come from because my area inspires me. What we have is unique,” said Shaku.
Though his passion for pantsula remained strong, through his studies, the world of photography opened up for him.
“Studying helped me realise you can take photographs of flowers, buildings and so much more, my skill began to blossom and grow. I have learnt a lot and I took that knowledge to the street to help make my photo more unique,” said determined photographer.
“I wanted to show not only the dancing style, but the culture and fashion that goes hand in hand with pantsula dancing,” he said.
His family also support his work.
“I want to reach highest level I can with my studies. Then I want to take my knowledge and create opportunities for young photographers, who might not have the chances I did. If my doors can open, I hope to open door for others,” said Shaku