Towela Chawezi Tembo (also known as Towela Kams) is an 19 year old girl born and raised in Botswana. She is a documentary photographer and blogger who works earnestly to raise awareness towards social issues stemmed from her experiences. As a young African woman, Towela is concerned with effective projection of African identity in media and therefore, has made it her mission to rewrite the African narrative and do her part in improving the social welfare of Africa[ns] in that sense.
She is the CEO of PBTK Media under which runs her photography business Photography of Photography by Towela Kams (PBTK) that specialises on providing photography services for families, couples and corporate businesses in Botswana, South Africa and Zambia. PBTK is known to maintain a level of professionalism from point-of-service to point-of-delivery. It pays attention to detail in a way while exercising effective communication of the right messages for her corporate clients –which is a critical aspect of brand image that she takes into consideration.
Since she was 15, Towela has successfully released four documentaries covering colourism, toxic masculinity, sexual assault and immigration. Some of Towela’s documentaries have been featured on international websites such as AFROPUNK in America as well as Botswana newspapers like the Botswana Guardian, Mmegi Newspaper and the Weekend-Post Newspaper. Furthermore, Towela has done National TV interviews and radio interviews in both Botswana and Zambia to discuss the growing impact of her work.
Towela owns a website – misstowelakams.com – that not only has her work but includes a blog where she gives her personal opinion and advise that assist creatives in being more true to themselves and using their craft to better their communities just as she has. Other part of the website feature her projects – both past and present. She uses the website to display other work she does as visual and social activist alongside her primary skill as a photographer.
Under her website, she launched Creative Connect – an exciting initiative with Sweden-Based Botswana-born Creative Research Artist Maipelo Gabang under which they seek to assist in strengthening the ties between the contributors to the Botswana creative scene by providing opportunities for them to connect with each other and discuss critical issues that affect them. Moreover, the #CreativeConnect initiative includes a laser focus on providing each creative with the necessary support for their creative journeys in it’s multi-faceted mandate.
Towela is the Founder of the Her Body is Not Yours (HBINY) Campaign which is aimed at improving consciousness about sexual violence and all other violence against the girl child through photography, art and social media to engage with members of the public. The campaign was launched in April 2018 at the Botswana National Museum and ran for a week during which attendees spent one hour sessions psychoanalyzing the photographs. This exhibited resulted in thought-provoking conversations with attendees who were challenged to align their actions towards solving the social ill of sexual assault.