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The tale of Half & Halve

Brothers in visual production, Shakeel and Tashreeq Toefy have spent the last six years building their business. Picture: Supplied

Brothers in visual production, Shakeel and Tashreeq Toefy have spent the last six years building their business. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 19, 2022

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From shooting content for micro-influencers to doing the lead visuals for major fashion brand campaigns, brothers Shakeel and Tashreeq Toefy have reimagined being creatives in Cape Town.

What started as a small stint at SA Menswear Week, has now become the visual production team that is Half & Halve.

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Shakeel, 25, is a film director and photographer and manages the operations of Half & Halve. Tashreeq, 24, heads up the creative side from photography and videography to post-production.

When they founded Half & Halve, Shakeel was 19, and Tashreeq, 18. The Toefy brothers said being able to understand their individual strengths made them realise the potential impact of working together.

“We’ve always been creative in different ways. I have a more of an analytical approach,” Shakeel said.

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Tashreeq added: “I started taking photos when I was 13, with my dad, Salie Toefy, who is a sports photographer. I’ve always leaned more to the creative side.”

“He took us with him to cycling events and we got into the visual side of things because of him.”

Brothers in visual production, Shakeel and Tashreeq Toefy have spent the last six years building their business. Picture: Supplied

The business idea started in 2014 when the duo wanted to be involved in the fashion industry so badly that they applied for media accreditation as photographers for SA Menswear Week.

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“The smart decision was for us to use photography as an entryway into fashion. We couldn’t believe that we made it into the event with one small camera and not much experience,” Shakeel added.

He recalled how fashion was an intrinsic part of their family and was always attached to memories of their childhood.

“I recall seeing my aunts and uncles making outfits for weddings or even their houses, there was always a creative eye,” Shakeel said

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“Everything was always thought out so specifically, a love for clothing and tailoring but our family could never turn it into a business due to socio-economic circumstances,” he added.

Shakeel said it had always been their aim to prove that it was possible to pursue non-confirming career options and have it be their primary source of income, instead of a side hustle.

“We wanted to make a mark for our family who couldn’t do what we are doing,” he said.

Tashreeq said their brand name, Half & Halve means that “we’re brothers, part of the same industry but have traits that distinguish us from each other”.

Today, the Cape Town creatives have worked on commercials and campaigns for major brands such as Converse and Puma.

Tashreeq said he’s so grateful each time they get afforded the opportunity to work on big brands because this was a difficult space to break into for previously disadvantaged people.

“I’m glad we stuck to what we knew and what we believed in. As two coloured guys from Cape Town, we could infiltrate the market,” he said.

Their most recently released work includes being in charge of the visual production for Russell Abrahams’ Yay Abe and H&M collaboration. The Toefy brothers said the campaign was one of their favourites that they’ve worked on.

“It felt so amazing walking onto a set where everyone on set is a person of colour. This rarely happens. I felt respected and like there was a connection of family and friends,” Shakeel said.

Tashreeq added: “Working with people who understand you and people who you feel free to be your authentic self is an amazing feeling.”

In future, they want to continue empowering and promoting creators of colour and expand their offering to full-scale productions like series and feature films.

“We watched Euphoria and knew that is the kind of work we want to produce.”

Tashreeq added: “We ultimately want Half & Halve to be the holding body for other creative ventures.”

Weekend Argus

Keshia Africa

Related Topics:

Cape Town

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