Written by Sakhile Masinda
Sometimes fairy tales are not stories about dashing hunky princes on horseback riding in to save the day. Sometimes, fairy tales happen in unassuming office blocks where dreams come true in a flash from a co-workers camera.
That’s the fairy tale of Sakhile Masinda, a realisation that age and circumstance are not a hindrance to grace big brand advertorials like Avon and Levis. A chance photo-shoot lead to the unfolding of a beautiful story of a young man from Orlando East- Soweto who loves fashion and fashion loves him back so much. He decided to set up a fashion label with a friend and called it House of SAXO, a play on the his name and that of his business partner- Xolile in 2016.
Sakhile’s fairy tale is not a story of fairy godmothers with magical wands and pumpkins turning into carriages, it’s a testament to hard work and determination, finding space and occupying it, learning and adapting. It’s a story of resilience from those Upendo Pictures photo-shoots, taken at Soweto’s iconic mine dumps dressed in a fusion of ibheshu and a tuxedo to the Prince Tribute. The stills are in black and white and grayscale that show his uncanny resemblance to the late true King of Pop.
At the height of the global pandemic brand Sakhile Masinda was unveiled – the logo subtle with a spherical image resembling the irises of his big brown eyes and the camera lens. Like all fairy tales this one too had its antagonist (the bad guy) lurking in the alleyways, intent on bringing harm and painting Sakhile’s rainbow black in an obvious homophobic attack that lead to a collapsed lung and months of slow recuperation. This attack is what gave Sakhile a renewed sense of being and like with all fairy tales, that storm washed away the darkness and the rainbow re-appeared in the form of the Levi’s advertorial.
Sakhile appears in a classic oversized denim jacket, his eyes fixed on the camera: his bouffant cut and well-trimmed beard showing his fervent determination to represent his tribe. The world stood up to notice and Cinderella was invited to the ball and in the words of Muziwamandla in his article written in June of 2022, Sakhile Masinda was indeed the NEW FACE TO WATCH OUT FOR.
This was followed by the Oak Magazine campaign for Avon and a bourgeoning relationship with Magna-Carta who are favoured story shapers who cultivate relationships with influencers through. By producing relevant and compelling content, this relationship resulted in Sakhile’s partnership with Clicks.
The Sakhile Masinda fairy tale continues in splendour…