Sinenkosi Msomi leads a photography and clothing movement in Swaziland called Swag Syndroam.
He started Swag Syndroam while doing the second year of his associate degree in Business Management at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology and needed a way to help his mother fund his studies. Sinenkosi started designing bespoke clothing, and the response was amazing.
Armed with a small Sony camera, he and his partner, Clifford Dludlu, began to take photographs that would advertise their work to potential clients. He funded the brand’s startup with his small allowance, something he says taught him the value of making sacrifices in order to reach your goals.
He recruited people that shared his passion for the arts, mentored and helped them become leaders in the creative arts industry. Today Swag Syndroam is home to a collective of in-house photographers, graphic designers, fashion designers, models and fine artists.
Sinenkosi showcased at the SADC Summit fashion show, 2017. In the same year, he was announced as one of the winners of the Swaziland Beverages Kickstart initiative, which focused on helping to promote entrepreneurship in Swaziland. He describes this as a life changing moment, which enabled him to start believing more in his abilities and motivated him to seek out more opportunities for Swag Syndroam.
He has since then exhibited work in a local gallery alongside the best artists in the business, such as the critically acclaimed Ekhaya Kusekhaya. The exhibition explored the subject of rape and women’s empowerment.
Sinenkosi has also worked with leading brands such as Standard Bank, and collaborated with Minerva Swaziland, a European Union-funded project aimed at changing the way society perceives people living with albinism. In addition, Swag Syndroam has also had the opportunity to publish photographs in a United States magazine named Photographize.
Sinenkosi says when he started Swag Syndroam, he didn’t have a clear picture of what he needed and had to learn to formulate a clear organisational structure, with short- and long-term organisational goals. The experience taught him leadership skills as well as practical skills such as drafting business plans and proposals and putting together portfolios.
In the near future, Sinenkosi would like to see Swag Syndroam penetrate the African market. He looks forward to registering the company as an art agency that offers photography services to leading corporate brands. He is hoping to collaborate with international creatives on projects as a means of cultural exchange. In the future, he would like to see the southern African region penetrate international markets, as this will help tell
African stories as well as generate income. He intends to have his work exhibited in South African art galleries like his idols, Justice Mukheli and Trevor Stuurman. Sinenkosi is currently completing his Bachelor of Commerce degree and plans to give back to his university through giving motivational talks to students who want to pursue careers in graphic design, film, television and creative design.
Sinenkosi believes that African youth should be commended for coming up with very bright and innovative ways to find solutions to challenges facing the continent. He says that the economic impact of youth inventions that create employment and improve living standards of communities shows that the continent is heading in the right direction.
For Sinenkosi, TYI 100 is the best platform to showcase his creative journey and his efforts in ensuring that other young people use their talents and skills to make a difference in their communities.