“How do you change something you want to change? Instead of finding someone else to do it?”
That’s Abongwe Booi, who goes by Abo Booi. He’s a self-taught photographer, filmmaker and all-round visual creator who armoured up mid-pandemic to go behind the scenes of the filming of our #WeDeserveBettr music video.
But he didn’t start out that way.
He sits down with Marvellous Tshiunza to shine a light on his creative journey – from choosing a different path for himself early on, to drawing on his father’s wisdom on working hard and consistently, and ultimately, manifesting joy.
Marvellous: I am joined by someone I call the one of the greatest – honestly – the greatest visual artists –
Abo Booi: Stop –
M: That I know –
A: Stop 😆
M: If you don’t know this dude already. This is Abo Booi. Tell us a bit about yourself.
A: And like Marvey already said, my name is AboBooi. And I am a visual creator. And I like to use that to all-encompassing-ly, refer to myself.
M: Like what exactly you do, bro? And how did you get into visual creation?
A: Yeah. So I am a filmmaker and photographer. I like to call it visual creation because I don't like to limit myself in that sense – because I enjoy animation, too. I'm trying to learn visual effects... I like interior design – I just like aesthetically beautiful things. And so I use the phrase visual creator.
This sort of mindset started when I was young, because I enjoy taking pictures...drawing and designing things. My dad once came back from a trip overseas with a small camera that I still use now. 📸
Since then, I've been in love with making pictures and taking videos and just creating visuals, and in university is where it was really nurtured...and developed. I mean, I started off in the commerce stream, just because of fear, and anxiety...all of this stuff. But, you know, when you really love something, you're not going to waste it.
M: So you said you started off with the whole spectrum. How did you know filmmaking is the one [you’re] going for?
A: When my dad got a new laptop when I was in primary school, we used to make videos on his webcam every time he wasn't using it. And since then, I was like, “This my thing?!” I liked it. Even though it's just a webcam. But it started there.
That's how I knew I'm fortunate enough to say that I was in a position where I found what I loved a bit earlier than a lot of people do. But when I found it, I just held on to it and didn't let go.
M: So you have your own page, you create content, and I believe you also have your own startup – you're an entrepreneur. Did you know how you're going to do these things and how's that looking for you, bro?
A: Young entrepreneurship – especially in South Africa right now in the context we're in is tough, man. But it's just, I don't think I've wanted any, any other way. I was raised in a house that was very innovation-forward, and very innovation-focused. My dad is an engineer, so he was always about how do you fix the problem? Instead of finding someone who can do it for you?
A: How do you change something that you want to change? Instead of finding someone else to do it? I've always been about that. The young business environment right now is just about troubleshooting and finding different ways to innovate.
And that's really where I think I've connected with Bettr. the Bettr platform is a whole new financial institution – a kind of innovation that really aims for young people like myself: young creatives, who are financially aware that we need to be taking care of our futures – not just for ourselves – but for our kids.
And that's exactly where the meeting point comes in between myself and Bettr. This understanding of small businesses and innovation, making things better as you know. 😏
M: Did you rehearse that?
M: Thank you so much dog 🤑
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