[July 2018] We profile the life and hustle of a Fashion Historian, a Fashion Activist, a writer, Textiles Enthusiast, the host of the creative podcast @creativechatSA.. writer and producer of the fashion film ANONYMOUS SITTER...Nick Pagemat
Nick, welcome to the NGU!...
Hi, my name is Nicholas Ndingalinda Matambeka.
Okay, please tells us about Nicholas Ndingalinda Matambeka?
I was born in Mthatha on the 19th of November 1995, I have two cool siblings Bukiwe and Wonder, I am the Youngest.
I was raised by both my parents, but living in separate cities, so you can imagine how tough it was. From the age of 6 - 8 years I stayed with my Dad for two years, It was truly interesting because I now had my Dad's attention to myself and well, even the remote control because the only time he'd be home was after work.
From the age of 8years I moved to Cape Town and I lived with my mother, the setup was totally different because now one had to accept the fact that there are other children in the space so there will be a shift of living mechanism. I attended at the Cape Town College of Fashion Design and then moved to the London Institution of Fashion after doing 1year in Fashion Designing.
Living with my mother was truly a blessing, even though I felt the need of a father at times, but she tried her best to be there for us all. The most beautiful thing about how I grew up was the fact that it was a preparation for the path that I've been chosen for right now which is art through Fashion.
Now about Nick Pagemat, can you briefly tell us about Fashion Film and what you do basically?
Nick Pagemat is a Fashion Historian, Masterclass lecturer, Fashion Activist, Creative Entrepreneur and Musician. On a very normal day I spend my time researching more about the history of fashion and probably conducting classes or writing a lecture. There are also other priorities like the family business which is in the Glass space and also creative directing at a company called STANCOMP, but I've learnt to align my priorities well with the timing.
Where does the love for Fashion and Activism come from?
The love of Fashion films emerged back in high school when I used to watch Fashion TV quite a lot. I've always asked myself why the films were so melodramatic and boring? Until I matriculated and furthered my knowledge on fashion as a whole. I found that there was lack of narratives in most fashion films and they weren't resonating with ordinary people. I took the initiative to make fashion very simple for every individual through telling stories that they will relate to.
My idea or rather the definition of fashion has always been "Fashion is a fabricated presentation of the people for the people, by the people ". Fashion shows are exclusively in South Africa they do not serve the purpose of infecting the public with general knowledge spared throughout fashion education. I felt that it is my duty to create a fashion content that is inclusive.
Look.. If you are in the fashion space to be a VIP or to be an exclusive vessel then one is in the wrong space because fashion shapes society and challenges us to think better and think a new possible world of evolution. The only evolution taking place now is not a physical evolution that will allow the next generation to confirm that we have emerged from Apes or so but it is an evolution of intellectual property. So with the Fashion film industry in South Africa I am aiming to serve the fabricated presentation of the people for the people by the people.
Fashion is very basic when you come to think of it, it's a very complex thing at the same time when you apply your common sense but common sense is not so "common" after all. The masses are the biggest consumers in fashion, the not so fashionable people are the biggest consumers in fashion. They may not keep up with the trends, but they are fashionable because they contribute financially towards fashion.
My point is that my love for Fashion films allows me to have conversations with myself and the not so fashionable public over and over again through the stories they relate to. On the Activism side, I do not believe that one falls In Love with Activism, I simply believe that when you are positively active in a controlled space you are having an impact on premeditated fixed thoughts of the public and that makes you an Activist without you claiming the title. Because once we make Activism a title, then we are saying people can aspire to be activists instead of just being Active through whatever they are doing to better society.
The Anonymous sitter, please tell us about the project and how it come about?
Anonymous Sitter was inspired by an exhibition that a Visual Artist friend of mine Simphiwe Ndzube did in 2014. So I had a talk with him about how I could actually bring the exhibition to life through fashion. The project really had an amazing impact it truly represented the public on how basic fashion is when you understand its basics.
The film was written by me, produced by me and I called a friend of mine Bonga Mgidlana to direct it and it came out on the 15th January 2018. I didn't expect it to have such impact like it did and still will but I guess when you're really focused on perfecting the craft you truly aim for the stars.
How was the response to the project?
The response to the film was incredible, I didn't expect much as I was just trying to raise awareness that the fashion, film industry is alive in South Africa and it is used in a new way of reflecting on ourselves. A lot of amazing people in the South African Arts industry and fashion industry showed so much love and publications of course. The masses are still amazed by the narrative and even today I still receive a lot of messages from people glorifying the work I've put on the film with the team.
You also do Creative Chat HD, please tell about the podcast?
Oh yes.. Creative Chat HD is an audio blogging space in which is birthed by Creative Chat SA a creative platform founded by myself and Katlego from Mack Media SA. The platform gives uncensored voice to creatives and entrepreneurs to tackle issues of society and also embrace their craft and businesses.
We started the platform in February 2017 and we have grown immensely, we have Sistahood Hour under the umbrella at which we collaborated with Phumeza Langa for that, we felt the need to address issues that women face in the creative spaces and what better way than to allow another sister to triumph with that.
In August we created our first Annual event called The Gathering CCSA which featured a lot of business speakers and motivational speakers. Creative Chat HD has over 7000 listeners on Anchor FM only and the platform continues to grow. We are currently launching season 2 on the 11th June 2018.
South African or Africans are known to be very expressive when it come to dressing up but the recognition seem to lesser to the world. What would you say we are missing for our industry?
Honestly a huge part of me would have been very happy if we weren't recognized for our attires but economies thrive in the fashion space, the sad reality is that we are not less recognized we are definitely well recognized, if it wasn't so we wouldn't be fighting cultural appropriation daily.
The world draws inspiration from Africa and Africa seems to want to draw inspiration from the same countries that draw inspiration from us, isn't that ironic? The recognition is there, what's missing in our industry is job creation, role playing and paying attention to the basics of fashion which is the textile industry.
We can only do that by first understanding role players in our industry and applying Afro-synchronization which is a topic for another day. But the world is watching Africa and they are constantly taking what's ours and sell it back to us to construct profit.
What statement would like to leave in the Fashion Films stage?
I'd actually like for the fashion, film industry to be recognized in our country from all directions. This is not a selfish mark, but a mark that will open doors for many. Personally, I'd like people to remember me as that guy who told stories through fashion in a very strict and definitely instilled fashion, education encouraging your ordinary people to embrace who they are.
We all have that Creative Space of Thought, where do you find yours?
My creative space of thought is me, I have a lot of premeditated thoughts in me before executing them to the public. My first practice creativity in my mind before I reveal it to the world. I calculate words which allow weird to some people, but to me it me to question myself and surroundings also. So my mind is my creative space, I spend a lot of time thinking and second option has to be jazz music. Jazz allows me to be in a calm space to practice freethinking and to even meditate on the scripted lessons I have to give.
What is next now for Nick Pagemat? Any upcoming project to lookout for?
There is a lot of amazing stuff coming from me, season 2 of Creative Chat HD is coming on the 11th of June 2018, I am doing a fashion film series, which will occupy a month meaning I will be releasing 4 Fashion films in One Month. I have also decided to get back into the studio and give the people at least one song, And most of all its going to be filming all over the space and hopefully I can grab an award this year.
Favorite music/musician? This is a very tricky question because I love a lot of musicians, Nduduzo Makhathini and Zoe Modiga come up tops, but at this moment I am currently listening to You by Kanye West. I believe it is a very beautiful album because it tackles a lot of social issues like patriarchy, sexism, marriage, relationships, mental health, misogyny and many more. So definitely Kanye West at the moment.