Letso Leipego and his company, Let’z Photography is on a mission to tell a different story about Botswana and her culture.
The local company is currently working on a project dubbed Tell My Story that seeks to tell the story of Batswana through the lens. It will give audiences locally and outside the country a glimpse of the culture and the people of Botswana.
Tell my story will be showcased in an upcoming exhibition in the coming weeks. Leipego, 26, a native of Hukuntsi tells BG Style that the exhibition will be made up of different works of art.
His biography explains that his photography is founded in a curiosity around light: an emphasis on contrast, and a highly stylised manipulation of light and shadow. “This playful illumination (or its reverse) evokes the artist’s motivation for creating the work. Leipego “makes pictures that call attention to things that the observer tends to overlook,” says the biography. His curiosity in light and darkness, the bio says, extends to a curiosity about people living “on the edge of mainstream society”, whose stories and histories are seldom illuminated with the same intensity as is present in his striking photographs. Tell My Story is a provocative series of portraits of people from the Kgalagadi area in Botswana. True to his style, Leipego has photographed all his subjects in “their own environments”. The influence of his extensive work as a fashion and commercial photographer is clearly evident in this collection; however the images, like the characters they display, are layered with hidden qualities and references. “It is this notion of revelation that is so central to Leipego’s photography: through tricks of light and innovative composition strategies, he brings a revelatory tone to a style of ethnographic photography that has often been marred by a shadowy legacy,” the bio says.
Leipego says in an interview that he fell in love with art in Primary school. His exposure to art, especially photography took a different turn when he was introduced to the subject as a module while studying Advertising at Limkokwing University. Initially, he treated photography as a hobby but soon realised that this was something that he enjoyed. And the rest is history.
A member of Thapong Visual Arts Centre, Leipego takes pride in capturing his subjects in potrait form. “After I took the deliberate decision to pursue art, I learnt different tricks of the trade on the internet,” he says. In his early days, he worked at a printing shop as a way of making extra cash in order to buy equipment. Today his company has two employees, including Leipego and a Graphic Designer.
One of his challenges are clients who don’t understand what photography is all about. But he says that all is not lost, as he is trying to educate them. “It is up to us to teach them,” he notes.