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Ev­ery year, House and Leisure com­piles a list of Next Gen­er­a­tion cre­ative tal­ents – each of whom is do­ing ground­break­ing work in their spe­cific in­dus­try – and I’m proud to say that this list has given a real boost to sev­eral young de­sign­ers’ ca­reers (not to men­tion sparked a num­ber of din­ner-ta­ble de­bates among my cir­cle of friends about suit­able can­di­dates and tal­ent that has been over­looked). This year, we de­cided to ap­proach this fea­ture a lit­tle dif­fer­ently, and nar­row our fo­cus to women who are mak­ing waves in their re­spec­tive fields. Each of the women fea­tured is pro­duc­ing com­pelling projects and ideas that pro­pel their in­dus­try for­ward. But why women, specif­i­cally? Since our story in the June 2017 is­sue about the in­spir­ing group of women who are pow­er­ing Cape Town’s new Silo district, we’ve all been think­ing about the iconic fem­i­nist slo­gan ‘The Fu­ture is Fe­male’ – orig­i­nally coined in the 1970s and back in vogue af­ter be­ing used in a speech by US politi­cian Hil­lary Clin­ton ear­lier this year.

It’s a rad­i­cal state­ment, one that goes be­yond de­mand­ing equal op­por­tu­ni­ties for women to sug­gest­ing that what they have to say or do in the world right now might be more im­por­tant or use­ful than what men do. And as a new par­ent who wants the best for my lit­tle Raf, I don’t want him to grow up feel­ing like he doesn’t be­long or has noth­ing to con­trib­ute be­cause he’s a boy.

But the ex­pe­ri­ence of pro­duc­ing this fea­ture has made me re­alise that the women in our Next Gen­er­a­tion fea­ture are not in the slight­est bit in­ter­ested in bash­ing men or declar­ing that we have noth­ing to say. Rather, they sim­ply want their voices and view­points to be gen­uinely heard and seen – and that’s why they have all made it their mis­sion to do amaz­ing work that speaks on their be­half. Take a look at the be­hind-the-scenes video that we cre­ated with all the women in­cluded in this year’s Next Gen­er­a­tion list, and you’ll see ex­actly what I mean: sim­ply visit house­an­dleisure.co.za to find it. And be­tween read­ing about our ris­ing stars in print (see pages 33-42) and hear­ing what they have to say in per­son on­line, we hope you’ll find this fea­ture as in­spir­ing as we did when we were com­pil­ing it.

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