Jordan Metcalf
Events, Features

Emerging creatives for Design Indaba 2020

Emerging Creatives for Design Indaba 2020

Design Indaba 2020 will be a 3 day multi-sensory, thought provoking and expansive experience that includes a series of captivating talks by day and festival by night, featuring live music, theater, exhibitions and masterclasses.

Design Indaba takes place 26 – 28 February 2020 in Cape Town and one of the highlights of the festival is Emerging Creatives, which brings together young artists and designers from across South Africa and places them in the public eye.

This year’s Emerging Creatives were curated by a jury of previous Emerging Creatives exhibitors: milliner Crystal Birch, art director Mokoena Kobeli and furniture designer Siyanda Mbele.

40 of the selected Emerging Creatives will exhibit their work at Design Indaba 2020 in Cape Town, and a further 10 young designers will showcase their projects in Johannesburg.

We’ll preview some of the emerging creatives taking part in different creative sectors including fashion design, jewellery design, illustration, photography among others.

Fashion, Textiles & Accessories

Phumelela MalingaPhumelela Malinga is a mechanical engineer with an incredible passion for fashion. His journey in the industry began in 2018 when he teamed up with a fashion designer to create his first clothing line.

Following a positive response to the line, he decided to undertake a part-time course on creative fashion design at the Lisof School of Fashion Design in Johannesburg. While studying, he launched his fashion brand ‘by Phume’.

He believes that having an African perspective gives designers an edge when producing innovative designs. Malinga aims to set trends that will take their place in the ever-growing South African fashion industry.

According to the young designer, the ‘by Phume’ brand mission is to provide quality, locally manufactured androgynous apparel for all body types. He uses fashion design as a platform to communicate a message and believes that for as long as there is something to stand for, he will always be working and producing art.

Ghilian Chevelu

Ghilian Chevelu is a design student at Inscape Design College in Cape Town, South Africa. As a child from a family of art jewellers, Chevelu spent most of his childhood searching the world for tribal jewellery. He spent many of his trips abroad learning about foreign cultures and studying the art of whichever part of the world he found himself in.

These experiences shaped him into who he is today as well as the art that he creates. Throughout his life, he has expressed himself and captured life through many different mediums such as photography, design, product design and art. Chevelu loves working with old objects that no longer serve a purpose and re-imagining them into contemporary pieces of art.

His latest venture includes a clothing brand that he recently developed, called Illucid Apparel. The idea to create this brand was formed out of his love for travelling, music, surfing, skating, art and all forms of self-expression. Illucid was created to allow people to embrace their self-expression, whatever form that may be.

Chevelu wants to create a sense of community with his brand, bringing together individuals with the intention of self-expression.

Emerging Creative: Keshia Smith

Keshia Smith comes from a family of creatives so, naturally she followed the path layed down before her. In 2015 she moved to Cape Town to pursue her creative goals and in 2019 she will be graduating with a Diploma in Fashion Design from the Design Academy of Fashion and has previously obtained a Higher Certificate from Inscape Education Group in Design Techniques.

Smith describes herself as personally drawn to psychological or conceptual ideas that underline function and artistic freedom because as she designs with emotional intent to better understand and take pride in the world that she lives in.

Her work focuses on both women and menswear and she often combines the two, both in her personal life and body of work, as she designs and dresses according to the philosphy of “If you feel good in it, you should wear it.” 

Her most successful project to date is her  graduate collection. The collection embodies complex emotions and topics in hopes to further understand human culture and what it means to be human, unfiltered from social normalities.

Robyn Agulhas is a streetwear designer from Cape Town.

The young designer describes her design journey as being routed in inspiring people and telling stories through her designs. Her work is inspired by her surroundings and the people she comes across in everyday life. 

Her most successful project to date is her graduate collection, which was inspired by our society’s attachment to social media and technology.

Agulhas believes that her designs reflect what life will be like in the future.

The work features functional streetwear with various technological adaptations and accessibilities. 

Emerging Creative: Robin Agulhas
Graduate Collection

Visual Arts & Photography

You Cant Have Your Art Back




To begin with is Bernice Mannie whose digital art focuses on relationships she has with people and the intercultural dialogues that exist within these associations.

Mannie is currently completing her Diploma in ICT and App Development at the University of Mpumalanga.

Some of her projects include the digital series “YOU CAN’T HAVE YOUR ART BACK”, which is inspired by African masks, ancestral blood and black royalty.

Her most celebrated project is ‘Talk Like A Painting, a poetry book written by the young artist and self-published in April 2019.

Brendon Kevin Pitt will show examples of his comic book-based stories and animations.

He is a South African Illustrator from Port Elizabeth. He attained his BA in Fine Art, with a special focus on illustration based art, from the Nelson Mandela University.

From an early age, Pitt found himself intrigued by comic book-based storytelling and animation. He was drawn to the dynamic nature of the art and the impact visuals have on storytelling.

Pitt’s work is mostly inspired by great Comic book artists and Illustrators such as Brian Bolland, Jim Lee, Joe Kubert, David Finch, Jason Fabok, Seung Eun Kim and Moebius. He uses a mixture of traditional and digital techniques to create his artworks.

The goal of his work is to capture the same spirit he enjoyed reading as a child and to bring the same joy to others. He dreams of his work being featured on a large platform one day in order to tell African inspired tales and to share the stories of Africa with the world.

Spiderman illustration

Photographer and visual artist Koketso Kutloano Matobako creates concepts, directs, shoots and edits everything herself. She believes that art is the best form of expression and once she has an idea in her head it needs to materialise.  

Ayanda Khumalo is a contemporary artist from Durban and is incredibly passionate about art and the work that he creates. The artist completed his fine art and visual arts studies at the African Art Centre in Durban.

Self-taught photographer Sello Stephen Johnson considers himself as a portrait photographer who is passionately working his way to becoming a fashion photographer and illustrator. In his work, he is inspired by how images can speak for themselves and tell their own stories.

Diana Seboke Zitha is a crochet artist from Limpopo who draws inspiration from the beauty of the past. In her work she collects old fragments and puts them together in new ways by breathing new life into something that would have been or has been discarded. 

Jessica Le Roux is an ideation student and designer from Cape Town. In her work she uses masking tape to create beautiful garments. She chose to embrace this material and made a whole range of objects ranging from necklaces to coffee tables as well as creating sculptures out of the material.

Visual artist and photographer Bontle Juku’s work is influenced by her love of poetry and spirituality. It explores narratives and socio-political discourse surrounding the existence of the black body. She recently completed a collaborative photographic project titled ‘My Skin My Logo’ which gained much social media traction, and which was featured in Iqhawe Magazine.

Self-taught artist from Johannesburg, Leigh Le Roux’s work is described as an honest reflection of his emotional journey of dealing with mental health issues.

Discover more emerging creatives at Design Indaba from their website  and check out Arts Thread as one of the media partners covering Design Indaba 2020. 

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