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CityPress - - News - GARRETH VAN NIEKERK garreth.van­niek­erk@city­press.co.za

Adress de­signed by per­former and beauty queen Nandi Mn­goma, who signed her first big Euro­pean deal with agency EGM this week, is one of the un­con­ven­tional things in the run­ning for the Most Beau­ti­ful Ob­ject in South Africa. The nom­i­nees for the awards, known as the Mboisas, were an­nounced by the De­sign Ind­aba team weeks be­fore Africa’s big­gest de­sign con­fer­ence re­turns to the scene.

The di­verse se­lec­tion, which ranges from sculp­tures to bam­boo back­packs, are nom­i­nated by a jury of judges from across the cre­ative arts fra­ter­nity. This year, the jury in­cludes lo­cal per­son­al­i­ties such as JoAnn Strauss, celebrity chef Siba Mton­gana, mu­si­cian and au­thor Nakhane Toure and con­tro­ver­sial pho­tog­ra­pher Roger Ballen.

Mn­goma’s nom­i­na­tion for her Moroc­can Magic dress, se­lected by pho­tog­ra­pher Vic­tor Dlamini, came about from her col­lec­tion with de­signer Inga Mady­ibi. Mn­goma and Mady­ibi say that the dress is a sin­gu­lar look that is fresh, fem­i­nine and re­in­forces the im­por­tance of col­lab­o­ra­tion.

One of the most in­spir­ing of the ob­jects that dom­i­nated the cov­ers of news­pa­pers and mag­a­zines in 2016 is a rug de­signed by the Ninevites – a col­lab­o­ra­tive so­cial en­ter­prise that de­scribes what it does as “a cel­e­bra­tion of black aes­thet­ics”. The graphic wool piece was hailed by cre­ative direc­tor Bielle Bellingham, who nom­i­nated it as a “unique rug that el­e­gantly weaves tra­di­tion and the fu­ture, craft tech­niques and tech­nol­ogy”.

The Ninevites’ Sankara rug was de­signed in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Span­ish de­sign group Stu­dio Car­reras and hand­wo­ven by a team of ru­ral weavers from KwaZulu-Natal with wool sourced from Le­sotho, South Africa, Namibia and Peru.

“It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing, hum­bling and cool that peo­ple ac­knowl­edge what we do and ap­pre­ci­ate it,” said Ninevites founder Nkuli Mlan­geni.

“The rug is beau­ti­ful be­cause it’s min­i­mal, colour­ful, bold and wo­ven by peo­ple who are pas­sion­ate about what they do. These ar­ti­sans aren’t just us­ing their ex­pe­ri­ence of weav­ing, but also their pas­sion, to make an ob­ject that tells a story about gen­er­a­tions of crafts­men.”

The project also sup­ports the preser­va­tion of an an­cient African weav­ing tra­di­tion. “These women who do our weav­ing are strug­gling in KwaZulu-Natal, so we’re work­ing out how we can sup­port them and en­cour­age them, but there are a bunch of ideas in the works.”

Lo­cal cre­atives Blue For­est Col­lec­tive cel­e­brated its nom­i­na­tion this week. This is yet an­other ma­jor achieve­ment since its crowd­fund­ing cam­paign for a graphic novel ti­tled Kariba dou­bled what it was hop­ing to raise, col­lect­ing an im­pres­sive R600 000 from over 1 000 donors. The novel blends to­gether mythol­ogy and facts sur­round­ing Lake Kariba, the world’s largest man-made lake, sit­u­ated on the bor­der be­tween Zim­babwe and Zam­bia.

“Our story fol­lows Siku and Amadeo, one the daugh­ter of the river spirit Nyami Nyami, the other the son of the engineer in charge of the dam’s con­struc­tion. Un­aware of who her fa­ther is, Siku must jour­ney up­river to dis­cover the an­swers to the mys­tery of her pow­ers, and the strange events oc­cur­ring in the river and its sur­round­ing forests,” said the team on its Kick­starter page.

SA Cre­ative’s founder, Artwell Nwaila, nom­i­nated Kariba, which is aimed to be­come a fea­ture-length film by the end of this year. The trailer for the film gripped Nwaila. “I think it’s fas­ci­nat­ing how a few sec­onds of beau­ti­fully crafted an­i­mated ma­te­rial has sparked so much ex­cite­ment. I also love the African story that is be­ing told,” says Nwaila.

Jo­han­nes­burg’s thriv­ing in­for­mal econ­omy in­spired a piece nom­i­nated by Arye Kell­man, cre­ative direc­tor and ra­dio broad­caster at Clif­fCen­tral, who says that The Hawker’s Rock­ing Chair rep­re­sents the cross­ing of dis­ci­plines to cre­ate a seam­lessly in­te­grated mes­sage, which “ex­er­cises non-con­fined cre­ativ­ity in its purest form”.

Fash­ion de­signer Thembe Magugu col­lab­o­rated with in­dus­trial de­signer Emile Mill­ward to cre­ate the chair that emerged while pro­duc­ing Magugu’s Au­tumn/Win­ter 2016 col­lec­tion.

“With ev­ery col­lec­tion I try to imag­ine a non-fash­ion ob­ject that cor­re­lates with the clothes,” he says. “A par­tic­u­larly in­spir­ing day was when I saw a woman sell­ing mealies while sit­ting on a chair, wear­ing a wide-brimmed hat. It was in that mo­ment that I knew I wanted to make a chair to com­ple­ment the col­lec­tion.”

A bam­boo back­pack by In­dalo Decor (nom­i­nated by Mton­gana), Art­work by Loy­iso Mk­ize (nom­i­nated by Ali­nah Seloane Mis­souri), the Joe Slovo West Com­mu­nity Project by Kevin Kimwelle (nom­i­nated by Han­neke Schutte) and a self-por­trait sculp­ture by Mo­hau Modis­ak­eng (nom­i­nated by Nakhane Toure) round out the list of nom­i­nees for 2017.

The win­ner of the pres­ti­gious prize will be an­nounced on March 3, so go vote on de­signind­aba.com.

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PHOTO: SDR

Mor­ro­can Magic by Nandi Mn­goma and Inga Mady­ibi One of the rugs by de­sign col­lec­tive Ninevites Kariba by Blue For­est Col­lec­tive and Hawker’s Rock­ing Chair by Thembe Magugu and Emile Mill­ward In­dalo. Back­pack by In­dalo

Loy­iso Mk­ize’s Gqama Nty­atyambo

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