Born and bred in the dusty streets of Roma-home to the country’s main university- Khotso Maphathe known simply by many as Jaden is one of the youngest creatives in the country, and unlike many in his, is self-taught.
Seeing him in action or judging by the breathtaking work of his craftsmanship, it is almost impossible to believe that the 22-year-old last tasted formal learning in a school setup when he completed his secondary education no more than five years ago.
Jaden lives by a code, which is that he will not let his current situation determine his future and that his inabilities will never be his downfall in the journey of making his dreams a reality. That is why today his name carries a weight which causes even corporates to take note when it comes to the photography (both still and motion).
“Although I did not have the best of formal training when it comes to what I do, I made sure I acquired as much self-taught education through a number of people,” said Jaden in an exclusive interview with Newsday Arts.
He said he draws his inspiration from a number of greats who came before him both locally and internationally.
Jaden said he always knew even from a young age that he wanted to be into photography although it was in a subtle way and the love grew when he was in high school.
“My dream when I got in the field of photography has always been about personal fulfillment in regards to my abilities in the industry while my vision has always been to make a contribution to transforming the arts and entertainment industry in the country,” he said.
The 22-year-old said the unfortunate part about being a creative is that it is part of an industry that is not as broad as others since it is still at infancy stage, although he was quick to mention that there is, however, better future ahead for the younger generation.
“Our art in the country is not valued, in fact it is taken for granted and highly undervalued so the journey is a bit challenging but I love challenges,” he stated.
Having worked on multiple big projects such as the Bokamoso 974 documentary series titled Metlakhola currently airing on Ltv Channel 292 on Tuesday, he believes he has abright future in the industry.
He also got a chance to be involved in the shooting and editing of adverts for the Dreams project run by PSI as well as big occasions such as the Moroka Pula production on the Moshoeshoe lecture.
Jaden mentioned that he took up this career after doing a lot of self-introspection; hence he does not have anyone who inspired him per se. He said due to lack of funds and other factors that hindered him to pursue tertiary education, he was on shut down mode but decided to evaluate himself.
“I decided to look at all the gifts that I come bearing when I realized I could not study further, then that is when I realized what I have to offer as service to the people while creating an income,” he said.
Encouraging other aspiring photographers he said they should not be motivated by money as the field does not have money but they should do it out of love and passion.