WORDS Cheri Morris
Ignite Design stems from the Africa!Ignite initiative, an upskilling project that aims to economically and socially uplift women and young people in rural KwaZulu-Natal. It is the home of unique contemporary products that pay homage to and showcase the expert methods, vivid colours and bold designs associated with Zulu craft.
Back in 2012, Africa!Ignite ran a beading workshop in the hills of the Umzinyathi district in the heart of KwaZulu-Natal. The group’s leader, Bertinah Khumalo, started embroidering a maize bag with bright stitching while on a break. When the organisers saw it they thought it would make a great cushion cover. From there, Bertinah trained 20 women to make the covers, each of whom contributed their own individual style to their designs. This is how the Langazela collection came about.
Since then, the brand has expanded the Langazela collection, hand-made from recycled maize bags, to include purses, totes, planters and soft baskets. Through the expansion of the range, Africa!Ignite has been able to create more consistent work for a greater number of crafters.
Find out where you can buy items from the collection here, or catch Africa!Ignite at this year’s Discover Durban Design exhibition at the East Coast Radio House & Garden Show, taking place from 28 June to 7 July 2019 at the Durban Exhibition Centre. The exhibition will also showcase the work of more than artists and designers, including Houtlander, Bright Dimba, Ruth Samaai Designs, Minenhle Zazi Cira and Composite Decor.
Visit housegardenshow.co.za for more information.