Funding threatens young photographer Kgomotso Tleane’s future

Kgomotso Neto Tleane
Kgomotso Neto Tleane
Image: Supplied

Young photographer Kgomotso Neto Tleane is once again faced with the possibility of having to put his dreams on hold due to lack of funds.

Tleane who was forced to drop out in his third year of law school at the University of Johannesburg, could miss out on an opportunity to learn from industry greats in New York if his fundraising efforts do not bear fruit.

The Alexandra-born photographer has been chosen to attend the New York Portfolio Review.

The event, taking place in April, is an opportunity for photographers to come together and have their work reviewed by successful people in the industry. The photographers will have a chance to network with industry creatives, art gallery owners and other up and coming photographers.

“It’s a big deal for a photographer,” he says.

Tleane is one of 160 photographers to be picked from over 3000 applicants from all corners of the world.

“A friend of mine from Nigeria, who is also a photographer, attended the review last year. He encouraged me to apply this year. I didn’t think I would get in and I almost missed the deadline”, he says.

Although excited about going to New York, the lack of funds for the expenses has been an issue for Tleane. He is now selling print copies of his work to raise the funds.

“The review doesn’t pay for the ticket or accommodation but I have been receiving a lot of support. Some people have been willing to donate, Mikey on twitter wrote a thread about me that went viral. Besides money, people are also being emotionally supportive”, he said.

The young photographer is most excited about his positive portrayal of black people, and black spaces being exposed to the global community. He also hopes to inspire young people from backgrounds such as his.

He wants to be an example of a successful creative that they can look up to.

Visit Tleane's website here for donations and to view his work.

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