The photographer contrasting skin and soul


Reatile Moalusi has reached the next dimension. Beyond the confines of judgement and skin colour, the photographer strives to discern the essence of those he believes are seen as different. Renowned for his compositions of men and women with vitiligo, a disease causing loss of pigment on skin, Moalusi recognises that there’s value in diversity. “So many people see flaws where I see beauty,” he says.

Johannesburg born and bred, Moalusi experimented with cameras since childhood. “People tell you you can be whatever you want when you’re young,” he says. “But it takes a lot to get here.” He initially pursued a career in marketing, but always felt something was amiss. The stories Moalusi knew and his unique way of seeing the world were bursting inside of him. So he taught himself to channel his perspective. Having studied photography at the Tshwane University of Technology, he has since exhibited to a global audience. His series, Mollo Wa Badimo, was featured at the New York Portfolio Review. With each photo, he’s influencing mindsets. “My work is to break down stereotypes, inspire a kind of healing, and promote diversity,” Moalusi says.

The pulse of purpose beats in his every gesture. “It’s so important to believe in what you do and people you represent,” he says. Moalusi has become a celebrated photographer, acknowledged by both national and international media, including Vogue Italia. Striking and poignant, his work spins entire biographies without using a single word. With his camera as a window into the world, Moalusi absolves damaging perceptions. He’s revealing the beauty of South Africans in its most raw form: as something that is innate to the human spirit.