We all at one point must have heard our parents or elderly family friends utter phrases similar to this, ‘you could never do that back then when I was growing up’ or ‘the support was not there for us to pursue these kind of ambitions.’ One can get a sense of restriction and higher occupational targets that young people of previous generations were set. If they did possess creative ambitions like music making and novel writing, they were given little or no encouragement to make that creativity thrive.
This was particular in the African community both home and abroad with parents or other family members wanting their children to possess doctorate and law based degrees, or venture out into colossally profitable business schemes. Going home and telling your parents back then that you wanted to become a dancer or an arts designer will have been treated as though you have made the decision to stop schooling and chosen a path to career ruin. This mentality was still pretty rife up until recent times, where most young creatively talented Africans have been able to get the support and blessing of their family to go ahead with their innovative career plans.
More so, black youths of today seem to have more means and opportunities to put their talents out there for the world to see. Be it through educational means like gaining a degree in that creative area, or occupational opportunities from established individuals who see the potentials of these black youths. These opportunities and the fact that their talents are being put into implementation makes it easier for young people like Celso Zaqueu, to gain more achievements, recognition and definite success for their creativity.
What physically defines Celso as an individual is his fashion sense and personality. A fashion sense that shows inspiration from 60s’ and 70s London Mod and West Indian immigrant culture. We see Bowler hats, lace up boots and done up shirts. His dress sense exhibits a fashion consciousness and originality, which ultimately distinguishes him from the rest of the black London boys around. His personality is a perfect mixture of lively and friendly which comes off naturally as you interact and get acquainted with him.
Born in China but originally from Mozambique and studied contemporary media practice at university, 25-year-old Celso derived the interest and zeal for the art of photography through the influence of images from magazine spreads to posters, music videos and other creative mediums he stumbled upon.
In terms of accomplishing goals with his entrance into fashion photography, Celso notes that “if there is one thing that I keep staying proud of accomplishing, it is the idea of progress. When I feel like I’ve progressed I can only be better and that’s all it takes to become great at what you do.” His progress has not come easy due to setbacks experienced along the way. One of the toughest ones is being black and venturing into fashion photography. “I remember having a conversation once with a friend about black fashion photographers and somehow she couldn’t mention any. There is a lack of them and I wonder why it is so. So in reality, a setback already is believing a young black photographer can do such a great job. I know I’m not great but I’ m working towards that so that this image can be overcome.”
Celso explains that his progress and opportunities has been able to help him keep on striving for more because “photography like any other creative field is competitive, as everyone is trying to be great and surely there are a billion good people out there too.”
The competitiveness and support from his father has only made him stronger and given him the hope to “influence somebody as it feels tremendous to me when someone’s work does something special to me and I will like to do the same too.” Aside from enjoying “doing nothing” in his spare time, Celso is at the moment involved in collaborations with stylists and people from other creative fields striving to come up with interesting results.
You can find him on twitter, @Origimoz.