Popularly known by his signature ‘DirxTope’, Temitope Ajileye is a Pretoria based filmmaker who honors his West African roots in his craft. He shares the journey behind his mundane yet captivating storytelling with us.
How do you define yourself as a visual artist and what inspired you to become one?
Film for me is being a custodian of time and I am still in the process of defining my artform because each project comes with different expectation and challenges. If there is anything constant that I always want my work to embody is truth in the sense that I always try to tell stories in a very honest manner. Which means adding very little to a scene, a turning of light rather than turning on light. I simply just want my work to be mundane and hold an authentic feeling.
What makes your art unique?
Whether its perspective or style I always look for something that would stand out and appeal to anyone on a worldwide level spear heading my projects with an identity of cultures, borrowing from the Western Africa and South African elements to create
visuals makes my work unique because this are two parts of the continent that has formed my experience of art and humanity.
What creative projects are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on several projects under my own production company that is self-funded varying from Documentary, Experimental films and Music videos which I share across my social media platforms and website.
What do you feel the next step should be for the art and entertainment industry in South Africa?
Many people in South Africa are still marginalised to the extent that they feel that their stories and art do not matter, I look at how storytelling in a structured environment can help these stories to emerge. By telling their stories, marginalised South Africans can become part of the grand narrative of post-apartheid South Africa and filmmakers can tap into this rich vein of previously-unheard narratives. In encouraging storytelling, art and filmmaking in grassroots communities, we can also build a film culture and the kind of community filmmaking that I mentioned before, not to mention building audiences for South African stories. So it’s a win-win.
The biggest challenge we still yet to overcome is that filmmakers in South Africa chase
the ‘great South African film’ and international recognition, instead of concentrating on telling our own stories in our own unique way, and developing a South African aesthetic.
What would you say to upcoming visual artists to inspire them?
Don’t over think your ideas just do it, when you have something to show people you shorten the conversation and you increase your chances of being trusted as a creative so I simply say
“BE A DOER”
Follow DirXTope on: