This week we are looking into the impressive resume of a talented young Motswana, Nick Bonte’, founder of Senepe BW.
You may have seen him on our very own FB page showcasing his ‘It Is What It Is’ segment.
Having a chat with Mr Bonte’, we find out what he’s been up to, currently working on, and his future plans.
Q: Nick, give us a brief background of where you’re from and what you’re about.
A: My name is Nick Thabiso Mmopele AKA Nick Bonte’.
I am 30years old, born and raised in Gabz.
My mom and dad are from Dikhukhung and Kumakwane respectively.
I’m an artist by nature, and have always loved creating since I was a little boy.
Being an only child for 17years forced me to keep myself entertained in my own head.
I also watched a lot of TV, memorizing and reciting my favorite ads, or scenes from my favorite shows, which developed my love for the camera.
My mom also had a lot of photo albums that I kept myself entertained with.
They were basically my magazines!
I guess those 2 things subconsciously made me fall in love with photography and video production.
When I got to high school I developed a passion for art and creating with my hands.
It felt like my life purpose.
I would spend sleepless nights doing my art projects and building models.
However, I then decided to study Electronics Engineering, which didn’t work out so well, haha!
From that I decided to study Industrial Design, so I now hold a bachelors degree in Industrial Design.
Q: From being an industrial designer by profession to being on camera, as well as behind it, how does one juggle these careers?
A: I started my photography business about 2years into my degree.
The camera was a coping mechanism for me when school became a bit too much to handle.
At times it was a distraction but I had to learn to use it to my advantage.
Design is basically communicating ideas in visual and physical form, and photo/videography are critical tools in that communication, so I am glad I got to learn fundamentals of design that I can apply to my content.
I use design approach in my videos and photos, and now I’m applying video skills to get into design spaces.
Its like a Win Win for Me!
Q: Having an immense passion for photography, name-drop a couple of familiar individuals or brands that we may associate with, that you have worked with
A: I’ve had the pleasure of working with a few prominent figures.
Jazzelle Kebakile, Mrs Thea Khama, Khuli Chana, Dj Root, MduThaParty.
I’ve done some work for Table52 & Room52, and I have some work in the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel.
Q: How did you get your pictures into the Hilton Garden Inn?
A: I won! haha! The hotel ran a competition for photographers to interpret a themed brief.
As I mentioned before, I had to interpret briefs at varsity, so I knocked that one right out of the park!
Q: Now that we are done behind the camera, let’s get in front of it and talk about “It Is What It Is” (IIWII) how did that come about?
A: One of my many passions is travelling, and I love phone photography.
The Hilton winning images were taken with a phone btw!
I just wanted to travel and take selfies and videos of myself during the experience.
I loaded the videos online when I was on a trip to Namibia beginning of 2017.
The reception was crazy, and from that I saw the potential and opportunity of what can be a great show and contribution to the Industry.
Q: Your Euro trip documentary was refreshing to watch. Was the idea intentional, to travel and vlog the experience?
A: The Euro trip was a result of my doing well at school.
I was selected to represent BW at a design conference in Switzerland.
I had already started IIWII a few months before the trip, so I saw it as an opportunity to shoot the show, but I had NO IDEA it was going to make such an impact on my life.
I just wanted to stunt in style, but something more meaningful was born and I’m grateful!
Q: Share your Mercedes Benz experience
A: The Mercedes experience was life changing and so surreal.
Being able to create history by being The first Motswana registered in the Museum of the worlds biggest automobile brand, and driving the worlds first registered automobile, documenting it through a show that I literally just birthed?
For an industrial designer, a content creator and someone who loves history, the Universe couldn’t have been more kind.
Q: Back home, currently the movement is support local. How are You doing so?
A: Well firstly before we support local we have to make local.
I’m using my skills to help create local content from behind, and in front of the camera.
I am lucky enough to be friends with and involved with a lot of local movers and shakers.
We are creating visuals and sharing a lot of content to help build our creative industry.
Personally, my images have contributed to the start up of a lot initiatives, which are now doing well, and are a pivotal part of the creative industry, such as, Naked Soul Sessions and Chill Step Sundays.
Q: What are you currently working on?
A: I’m working on a lot right now, loading the next season of IIWII for one.
I have a production I do with a creative agency called Bullsheep, we’ve created a show called the #CellCityStreetTalk that I host and direct.
I also have a show with MduThaParty called #DriveSlow, where we catch up on our jobs, latest trends, and have chats about the creative industry.
I’m also looking at jumping into national service delivery, because I’m very passionate about that as well.
I have been doing audio visual work for SA artist Khuli Chana for a few years now, and we are currently working on promo for his upcoming album and did a Bots birthday tour about two weekends ago.
Nick has the ideal resume for a success story in this 4th industrial revolution.
As a creative to survive in our economy means having multiple incomes, sharing ideas and collaborations creates employment amongst youth, an ongoing topic in Botswana.
Check out his work @nickthebonte on instagram, and on Facebook @Nick Bonte’
Follow me on Instagram @palesa kasale