Covid in the Kasi – Behind the Scenes: Cleopatra Matuwane

At the beginning of the lockdown, we launched the Covid in the Kasi social media campaign. The campaign’s aim is to show what the lockdown means for Diepsloot residents and how they are coping during these challenging and unprecedented times. We recruited a group of Diepsloot creatives (Wot-If? participants) to be our citizen journalists, bringing us authentic stories of the struggles and triumphs of the people around them. Now, we turn the cameras onto them to tell you the stories of the people working behind the scenes of #CovidintheKasi.

Cleopatra Matuwane is a photographer and filmmaker. Her company is called Khava Plus Media.

How has the lockdown affected your business?

I get my profit from shooting at events. Since the lockdown events have been cancelled or postponed, contracts with potential clients have been put on hold and it is hard for me to find clients and generate a stable income. I keep busy by taking time to dive into my creativity and work on projects that I have been wanting to work on.

What work are you doing at the moment?

I am currently working part time on the Covid in the Kasi campaign with The Wot-if? Trust. We are trying to tell personal stories of how the lives of township people are being affected by the pandemic and the lockdown.

What has been the biggest challenge you faced with running your business?

Finding new clients and expanding my services to reach a wider market. Limited resources and equipment makes production slower but we make do with what we have to keep afloat.

A wise man told me that if visual artists got paid every time someone views a picture of their work people would see the value of art and the need for paying for it. Right now all I do is post and share my work on social media hoping that someone will see it and book me for a gig.

What has working on the Covid in the Kasi project meant for you?

It has taught me a lot, especially how to work remotely and keep up with deadlines. I was pretty comfortable in my field of work and this campaign pulled me out of my comfort zone of being just a visual artist. It has enhanced my writing, narration and communication skills.

How has not having access to FLBC and eHUB impacted your business?

The FLBC has been a place where we are able to connect and keep in touch with our clients using the uncapped data and the office space . The services they provide have been very valuable for me, personally, as well as my business. Now that it is closed,  it is hard for me to stay connected with my existing clients and reach out to potential clients.

How has the lockdown impacted you personally?

There’s two sides to the coin. Lockdown has made me realize that life is short and I have been using this time to work on improving my craft. Business is not going so great and that is a hard pill for me to swallow.