It must be the perception that people in the rapping industry are bold and loud. Yet, when you meet up with him you find a man with his feet on the ground, a rather quiet and reserved man.
Let’s just say there are definitely two sides to Mpho Sebokgoe, better known as Atlas the Rapper.
The impression he leaves during our chat is that of a humble man. But when you put Atlas among children while educating them about the social ills they should steer clear of or speak out about, or on a stage, you see a different man – a man with a purpose to fight for the cause he believes in.
We catch up with Atlas from Joburg South to find out more about his passions in life and what being a father means to him.
The rapper dad
‘I have one child named Omolemo, who is an amazing and very intelligent lad. Omolemo is my love child and means more to me than life itself. Then I am also privileged to be custodian to my nephew Dante.
‘These two boys are the only fire which fuels me to build a legacy in this generation and spur me on to raise them to soar towards their own dreams one day.
‘But let me tell you, trying to balance both fatherhood and building a musical legacy is never an easy task because both the financial upkeep and fatherhood roles are required undividedly to execute all ends. Being an independent requires you to invest your time, energy and financial resources towards it.’
Apart from being a dad, he is also project manager of his NPO, Brother’z Keeper Foundation.
‘In a nutshell, the foundation is an educational movement tackling various social ills and imbalances in societies today. We serve communities across all walks of the nation through public engagements in the most unconventional ways possible such as community invasions, pop-up campaigns, anti-bullying school activations, charity work, prison integration and prison reform.
‘Our passion is to focus on the areas of mental health and trauma support for youth affected directly or indirectly by gender-based violence and many other social ills.’
But that’s not all, he is also campaign ambassador and chief mobiliser of Anti-Bullying SA working together with the Department of Basic Education.
He is self-employed and the owner of his registered record label, Static Quo.
Atlas describes himself as someone who has always been compassionate about humanity and that is the message he portrays through his music.
‘I have a passion for helping others and speaking life into their lives has always been my forte. I have also experienced growth in myself through the paths I cross with others while I am on my very path to redemption.
‘My mission is to impact others to aspire towards a change in attitude, to lead them unto cultivating love and peace and to open up awareness about how truly beautiful each human has been created by God.
‘I aim to raise an awareness of self-acceptance and to live nobly with fellow human beings. It’s almost more like touching heaven and igniting earth.’
On a personal note
Like with any other celeb there must be some things few people know about him as a person. When asked to share he laughed and said, ‘I know a lot of females see me as an alpha male but there is another side to me.
‘For instance, I love my white T-shirts uncreased, I talk to animals in goofy voices, I enjoy making up the bed, I have compassion for others and cry easily.
‘I am most definitely an introvert. I’d rather be home on the couch watching movie after movie on Netflix or YouTube or perhaps whipping up a new recipe since I love cooking. Come to think of it, I am actually quite good at that.
‘The whole nightlife parties and celebrity charades are really not for me. Apart from being on stage or in front of the cameras, I am really shy.’
And if you want to know about any side hustles, he is also a music producer, songwriter, poet, photographic model and motivational speaker who also designs and sells his ATLAS brand merch.
A message to our readers and the youth
‘As it is clearly visible in this generation that many have become slaves to vanity, I would like to urge the youth to turn towards truth. We live in times of various deceptions such as the deception of peers and worldly standards. They should always remember these four words, ‘Be true to yourselves.’
‘People must remember that there is power in gratitude. Walk humbly before God and be grateful even for the smallest of all of His graces.
‘And last but not least, I would be really happy if all your readers could interact with me on all my various social media handles @allthingzatlas.’
Do you prefer food, travel or art?
Indoors or outdoors?
- I like sunshine and road trips
- Toiletries, caps, cologne, shades and sneakers for days LOL.
Your pet peeves?
- Intolerant towards racism, child molesters and people who lie unnecessarily.
Who inspires you?
- My mama has always and will always be my biggest inspiration, she is wise. Amazing is an understatement if I was to describe her. That beautiful, strong, black woman. I can go on and on about my mother.
If you could do one thing before you die you would …?
- That’s easy, I would want to live, only because everybody dies but not everybody lives.
* Text: CARINA VAN DER WALT. Photograph: AFTERGLOW PHOTOGRAPHY.