Tshego Koke living his dream

Tshego Koke has emerged as a pop culture force in his own right.
Tshego Koke has emerged as a pop culture force in his own right.
Image: Supplied

Tshego Koke finds himself at the intersection of TV, radio, music and fashion.

Not too bad for a man who was unemployed and slipping into depression, before his big MTVBase VJ Search win a year and a half ago. Now it's a case of catch him if you can, because he is running with it.

Koke, 27, from Ga-Rankuwa north of Pretoria (now based in Johannesburg), has set himself apart as one of the most influential in youth pop culture.

His crisp street style, charisma and smooth demeanour have endeared him to many social media followers.

"When I joined MTVBase I didn't want to be like any other presenter, so I explored my fashion tastes which are not high end, but vintage and urban.

"People relate better when you look like them and being on a youthful channel, I needed to reflect that," he said.

Koke presents NewsISH, an insert about the latest entertainment news, and What Went Down, a show about behind the scenes access to industry parties and events.

"It has been a beautiful journey which has seen me grow in my craft and on a personal level."

He is also a presenter of Boom Wave on Massiv Metro 7pm to 9pm on Wednesdays, a gig he landed last year after he ambushed DJ Sbu.

Not that he's lost to TV. Koke also just finished shooting the MTV Shuga: Down South season two preview that he co-presented with Bontle Modiselle.

"I have never worked with five cameras and an audience and this experience stretched me. I realised that presenting is a lot of work. It takes precise effort because you need to understand the etiquette to keep the viewer engaged."

To further entrench his influence in fashion, Koke says he will be working on a blog to share his insights, as if that is not enough, he will also get into studio, and teases that his sound would have an indie feel and is inspired by the works of Una Rams, Frank Ocean, A-Reece, Nasty C, Riky Rick and Big Hash.

Looking back over his career, Koke says he feels finally unchained to be his real self. "Everyday I find a piece of me, I'm not altering who I am but I'm unlocking elements about myself and I like that people are accepting and loving.

"I see young kids pose with the peace sign like I do, they pierce the nose, dye the hair and tell me that I have changed how they look at their dreams. I feel like I'm living, ke a phela and I appreciate people who support me."

Tshego's favourite things

What's your wardrobe staple?

Shirts, classic and matured in different colours.

What makes a good Instagram post?

It's about translating a feeling and showing off what I want to show properly.

Pretoria or Johannesburg?

Johannesburg for the aesthetic. It's a beautiful city too and cultural things happen here.

Where do you shop for accessories?

Downtown Jozi. I go with my squad, we leave our phones behind and find good places for rings, necklaces and pieces that give life.

What's your dream holiday destination?

The Maldives, that's where I'd go to honeymoon.

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