Home PEOPLE Ten industry leaders doing extraordinary things

Ten industry leaders doing extraordinary things

Sweet-Orr has partnered with 10 South African industry leaders to showcase their talent and celebrate their inspiring stories. It’s a salute to the hardworking men and women from different industries, who all share one common trait … they have a deep-rooted love and passion for what they do.

The #LoveWhatYouDo campaign will see each of these talented individuals tell their unique stories, and share what inspires and drives them, and where the love for their craft comes from.

Get to know the artists:

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For over 20 years David Southwood has been capturing photos that have asked questions with craft, humour, and empathy. Southwood’s work has been shown in The South African National Gallery, The Finnish Museum of Photography, The Christoph Merian Stiftung, the collection of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, The Goethe Institut, and The Spier Art Collection. Also, David’s work has been featured in numerous accredited publications, such as Adbusters, COLORS, ID, the New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, and Wallpaper. And he has been invited to talk at Yale, the International Centre of Photography, Ohio State University and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Founder of Bronze Age Foundry in Cape Town, Otto Du Plessis is a sculptor who is passionate about creating figurative bronze work. After collaborating with local and international artists over the past two decades and a bit, Otto has shared his technical knowledge and self-professed love of figurative sculpture. Otto’s passion for what he creates is embedded into every piece he makes, and over the years he has mentored all his employees, and more, to love what they do.

Contemporary artist Lyndi Sales has been creating a series of installations and artworks for the past 20 years. Her intricately made constructions shed light on the fragile nature of our existence and temporality. She is represented by galleries in Paris, San Francisco and Cape Town, participated in many group shows internationally and her works can be found in collections in the USA and Europe. Sales Participated in the 54th Venice Bienalle where she represented South Africa.

From an early age, Hiram Koopman has been passionate about creating music. Hiram collaborates with international artists from South Africa and around the world, including Ken Raynolds, Neville D, Emo Adams, Vicky Sampson, Elvis Blue, and Anton Goosen to mention a few. This love has driven the Capetonian saxophonist to pursue an illustrious career that is still being laid out. It’s the love for creating music that’s defined Hiram, self-described as a man with music coursing through his veins. We’re sure you’ll also agree, after watching Hiram perform, that he loves what he does.

Gino Lange is one of the founders of LA Customs. Lange and Bradley Abrahams collaborated and formed Lange & Abrahams Automotive MFG & Co. This shop was born out of a need for a space to work on vintage trucks the cousins had bought and wanted to fix up and build together. Lange and the team have a passion for what they do, putting in hard work, late nights, and growing LA Customs’ reputation in the competitive custom automotive world. Also, Lange lays the praise for all their success at the feet of their awesome team who work behind the scenes.

Bongani Mnisi is a passionate environmentalist who has methodically for over 13 years managed water resources around the Cape Peninsula. Bongani loves connecting social issues with nature – such as his project called the Stepping Stones. He headed this amazing project where he orchestrated the development of Nectar Gardens at schools that would attract sunbirds, and act as ‘stepping stones’ to larger, or smaller, natural spaces. He’s also a Board Chairperson and member of the Human Resources and Remuneration Committee of the Breede-Gouritz Catchment Management Agency. Bongani holds an MSc in Botany and an Honours in Sustainable Development Planning and Management.


Mixologist Leighton Rathbone’s passion is fuelled by the pursuit of creating a damn good drink that moves people. Leighton’s processes might differ from other creatives, but when he fixates on an idea, he’ll blend it into his next creation. As a mixologist, Leighton has been a competitor in many international competitions and he always plans on creating new concoctions. If you meet him at the bar counter, don’t expect him to shy away from banter, as his creations are always the best come back – every time.


Nomi Handmade, owned and founded by Thandie Dowery, takes pride in being a multicultural brand with Shweshwe roots in Sotho culture. Currently, the South African jewellery maker is targeting the American market and is making amazing inroads. Thandie’s company will always be a proudly South African textile-jewellery brand, and since its establishment in 2015, it has transformed the lives of countless. Nomi Handmade specialises in modern, minimalist pieces, and the brand’s go-to material is Shweshwe fabric, which features prominently in every design.


Jo Neser has a passion for wine that was refined during his final student years while living on the farm L’Avenir in Stellenbosch. His student job was to drive grapes to Nederburg in a bloupens Bedford truck, in exchange for a stipend, free student accommodation and wine. He always dreamed of being a farmer one day. For many years they farmed remotely, spending alternate weekends at holidays at the farm. The making of premium quality extra virgin olive oil from the olives grown in their 10-hectare olive grove is a key focus at Waterleliefontein.


Arguably South Africa’s smoothest, respected, aspirational and stylish BMXer is Buddy Chellan. Buddy’s passion for BMXing has inspired both his peers, and budding newbies to create their own professional journey in the sport and achieve their own high-flying dreams. During his formative years, Buddy was able to immerse himself in the BMX world, which opened doors that he had only dreamed of. As a professional BMXer and former Red Bull Athlete, Buddy is living his passion and love of pushing the boundaries.

For the next few months, this video series will tell untold stories, celebrate remarkable journeys, and inspire us all to find love in everything that we do. #LoveWhatYouDo

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