As Design Indaba 2020 wrapped up last week, its Most Beautiful Object in South Africa winner was announced. Nominated by Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner 2020 Blessing Ngobeni, and judged alongside nine other objects, it was Izandla Zethu’s The Delicate Bracelet that scooped the title, unpacking the notion of beauty and what it means.
We admire simplicity in design around here and this bracelet encapsulates that. We also love the honesty behind the bracelet’s design and philosophy. Handmade from a material readily available to most, recycled corrugated iron, The Delicate Bracelet is a symbol of hope and transformation, as corrugated iron is typically used to build shelters in local informal settlements.
Izandla Zethu is a non-profit organisation in Walmer township, Port Elizabeth, which creates opportunities and employment for disadvantaged youths.
“Beyond sustainable upcycling, this project sends out the message to young people to open their eyes to existing opportunities in their immediate environment, to use their own skills,” Ngobeni, the bracelet’s nominator, says.
Turning something previously used in the context of poverty into an object of beauty and adornment, proving that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, is a concept that we applaud.