THABANG MOKOENA is a 22-year-old Social Work student in his third year. He describes himself as “a jack of all trades and a master of everything”. He is a singer, instrumentalist, poet, writer, athlete, photographer, videographer and businessman. Mokoena’s main passion, however, lies in singing. “I started singing before I spoke,” he said.
Mokoena and his close friend James Fatana founded a multimedia company called Painapple in 2014. The business focuses not only on art and entertainment, but also on healing social ills through art.
The name was derived from the biblical story of creation in which an apple was used to bring sin into the world. And so he and Fatana sought to create a platform that would give people a place of refuge. In a 2014 Standard Bank award ceremony for young entrepreneurs, they were awarded with a special recognition award for Painapple.
If there is one message that he wants people to take from his work it is that there are no limits. “Don’t think that you cannot come out of the box. It is as if we’re born a piece of paper and there are so many things we can do to this paper. Not only writing, but drawing, folding and so many other things.”