Interior designer, Simphiwe Mlambo.
Interior designer, Simphiwe Mlambo.
Image: Suppied

Design Indaba, Africa’s top creative conference, has been drawing creative minds from across the world since 1995. The annual event, based on the idea of making “a better world through creativity”, opens on February 27 in Cape Town.

The Emerging Creatives programme – the Design Indaba platform created to provide support, education and mentoring for South Africa's future designers, is always a must-see. These are the up-and-coming creatives not to miss at this year’s event.

1. ZINHLE ZULU: Illustrator

Zinhle Zulu’s comic book-esque illustrations feature brightly coloured, African-inspired characters and stories. “Illustration as a medium has so many possibilities of preserving culture through the colours, textures, variations and the different things that symbolise parts of our cultures,” Zulu explains.

Zinhle Zulu’s comic book-esque illustrations.
Zinhle Zulu’s comic book-esque illustrations.
Image: Supplied
Zinhle Zulu’s comic book-esque illustrations.
Zinhle Zulu’s comic book-esque illustrations.
Image: Supplied

2. MADRI SCHERMAN: Leather accessories designer, Masch

Madri Scherman’s brand Masch produces leather accessories, including bags, visors, bow ties and wallets. Scherman, who has a background in molecular science, started Masch to create environmentally conscious everyday luxury pieces that are timeless and ageless.

Masch leather accessories from Madri Scherman.
Masch leather accessories from Madri Scherman.
Image: Supplied
Masch leather accessories from Madri Scherman.
Masch leather accessories from Madri Scherman.
Image: Supplied

3. TAZ WATSON: Jewellery designer, Kirra Jewellery

Jewellery designer and gemmologist Taz Watson is the founder of Kirra Jewellery, an authentically African brand, producing one-of-a-kind pieces created with hand-selected gemstones. Everything is sustainable and African, from sourcing to manufacturing and packaging.

Kirra Jewellery designed by Taz Watson.
Kirra Jewellery designed by Taz Watson.
Image: Supplied
Kirra Jewellery designed by Taz Watson.
Kirra Jewellery designed by Taz Watson.
Image: Supplied

4. SIMPHIWE MLAMBO: Interior designer

Afrofuturist-inspired bespoke objects are what you can expect from Durban-based interior designer Simphiwe Mlambo. “I am constantly inspired by my surroundings and heritage and constantly looking for a way to communicate these ideas in a modern context through elegant forms and finishes,” explains Mlambo.

5. KARA SCHOEMAN: Furniture and homeware designer, Kara Artistics

Kara Schoeman creates functional aluminium art. With a BA in fine art, Schoeman’s work gives everyday décor items an art twist with pieces such as decorative bowls inspired by the textures and patterns of coral and leaves.

Kara Schoeman design.
Kara Schoeman design.
Image: Supplied

• The Design Indaba will take place from February 27 to March 1 at the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town. Tickets for the Cape Town conference and Johannesburg simulcast are available at Webtickets.

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