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I tend to intellectualise my emotions, with the goal of translating them into creativity. The gift and the curse it seems with creative people is that we have often tortured souls one way or another. For me the point of all of this is to use your energy to change your reality, turning depression into a melody in one of my songs that makes you think of better days. Or turning anxiety into something photographers can work with. The point for me is not to create a vice to deal with your issues but, rather changing lower vibrations into higher ones.
Matthew, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Model?
I started with a photographer I met through a mutual friend. It was just very easy and natural for me to be in front of a camera. I was never one for pictures growing up, and my humility always played a part in that, but as soon as you get your first set of pictures back, you know this is what you are going to do for the rest of your life.
Who is your inspiration in life Matthew? How do you keep inspired?
I am always a product of my influences. Erykah Badu showed me what the true definition of a free spirit is. Pharrell Williams helped me understand the duality between my two loves, fashion and music. J Dilla did things that were revolutionary and ahead of his time for soul music. Virgil Abloh gave me the courage to start selling my message. KRS ONE taught me the significance of the culture itself, and why we do what we do. I have met none of these people; I am however a product of the work that they have done because they are a lot of the reason I am what I am.
We all make mistakes Matthew; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Model; you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
Mistakes are lessons. Unfortunately, the industry we find ourselves in is ruled by the ego, and this is a very dangerous set of rules to play with. I can only say that I wish I was more patient, more giving and that I listened more.
Matthew, when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Model, how do you go about prioritising your clients’ needs?
Two things are needed here, only two — planning and execution. Life it seems cannot be planned for in its entirety, but you'll be surprised how far you can go with a well-executed plan.
Please tell us, Matthew, about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities as a Model?
The answer to this is all the time; your strategy is a part of your plan, if you don't strategise, you will have nothing to execute. Without execution, we might as well stay inside and grow old, waiting for our demise.
Matthew, please give us an example of a time when you were able to persuade someone to see things your way at work successfully.
You have to understand how people see rewards; you have to make them think that you are holding what they want and make them persuade you into giving them something that they want. Then the world is yours, and you can have anything you want.
Matthew, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Model. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
My proudest moment is featuring on the Ellesse Heritage page on Instagram, showing me that modelling was a possibility. It was very touching to see that my work was recognised by a brand that I have loved since I was a child. It was a moment of manifesting destiny for me.
Matthew, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
There is no example of this. You have to be creative all of the time, that is the pressure of the day, create something. Something that speaks, something beautiful. That is the only way I've seen it done successfully.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Model?
Look after yourself, do whatever you need to get looking and feeling good. Love fashion that is a great way to go about this, but never loses your soul. You are the masterpiece as soon as you wake up and see things for what they are.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
I am always looking to collaborate, musically or with fashion. I would like to say I'm looking for something specific but I'm not, I enjoy working with people that think exactly like me just as much as I do with people who think 180 to how I do. The point is always to make something beautiful. The challenges you find on the way don't determine your work, the way you deal with the challenges is the true litmus test.
Photographer: Katlego Monageng @kg_dynamic