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30 October 2017

Meet Mzi Kumalo: Living His Legacy

Mzi Kumalo (35) has big shoes to fill as the son of the late legendary documentary photographer and photojournalist, Alf Kumalo. Having travelled across Africa to create documentaries, and worked on big local brand commercials for the likes of KFC, DStv, Nandos, Samsung and many more, Mzi’s following in his father’s creative footsteps to carve a path of his own.

On Leaving a Lasting Legacy

I’m driven by the opportunity to continue the legacy that I come from – I want to have the same impact that my father had on society with his visual language. I’d want my children to be able to proudly point out my work some day and say “his work touched people”.

On Making A Real Difference

I once went to Rwanda to shoot a football documentary, showing how soccer was being used for social rehabilitation. It was probably one of the most moving experiences in my career – seeing how a game could effect real change for a people and a country. It felt great to show people that by virtue of a simple game, people are starting

On Celebrating Icons

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I really admire my father, Alf Kumalo, and Gordon Parks’ approach to their craft. My father had a true understanding of what can happen in a single frame; tell a story using one image. And I loved that he captured people in their candid moments; in their raw element when they weren’t thinking about being photographed.
There was something really special in the way Gordon Parks captured society. When you look at his images, they speak to you. Plus, he also made films – his work is truly groundbreaking.

On Getting An Early Start

Start as early as possible – it’s really hard to gain traction in this industry! Also, think beyond directing – a lot of people gravitate towards this discipline when they think film without taking the time to find out what could really work for their skillset. Immerse yourself in this world early so you can quickly find out where to channel your efforts.

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On Owning Your ‘YOU’

You are what you want – if you want to change the person you are, you need to change the things you want. You have power; you can steer your life and only you are in charge! We tend to relinquish a lot of our power, but you are in charge!

On The Odrin Difference

I love Odrin’s very clean and simple aesthetic and timeless staples, like chinos and shirts. It’s not fussy, making it easy to play around with and incorporate my own style. It’s a great base for any wardrobe.

On Dressing For You

There’s fashion, and then there’s style – style is you! Your clothes speak volumes about you, so always do you! I love classic style that doesn’t try too hard. David Beckham’s approach to style appeals to me – he strikes a balance between edgy and classic. I also loved my father’s style – he’d always seek my style advice before going out, as I would his. I learned a lot from him about style, and he was always well dressed, no matter where he was going.

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