THE NEED for locally made T- shirts prompted Komani resident Mbulelo Mapolisa to start a clothing design.Born in Mlungisi, the 27-year-old rapper and poet said he started the clothing venture in 2015.
“I studied graphic design and marketing communication at Motheo FET College in Bloemfontein from 2011 until 2012 and due to financial problems I dropped out. In 2014 my mother passed away and I worked as a cook and did extra jobs for other caterers. I went to Mpumalanga to try and look for a job and I could not get anything for eight months, so I came back here and started with the T shirts. In 2015 I opened my own company called Self Made.”
He has his own clothing lines, Mind of an Art, Komani Ikasi Lam and I am Hip Hop. “I have a combination of many designs and I also print caps. I am interested in art and I used to love drawing so I came with the idea of designing T-shirts to sell on the streets after I saw the unemployment in Komani.”
Mapolisa said he wants to grow his business. “I would like to get my own printing shop, and employ other people and share my graphic design skills and help towards eradicating unemployment and developing the arts in our area.”
He also writes and records songs during his spare time. “I do Hip -Poetry, a combination of hip hop , poetry and pop music. It is about addressing the issues that we are facing in our environment and economic issues. Without music, life has no meaning. Everything that is made by our Father In Heaven is art, and through art and music I am able to uplift others whose spirits are down.”
He said he also enjoyed walking around the township and spending time with drug addicts and those involved in criminal activities.“They tell many stories about why they do the bad things, some have nothing to do after matric and there is high unemployment. Many guys are talented but are not getting any help.”