Introducing Design Indaba’s Emerging Creatives Class of 2023

Introducing Design Indaba's Emerging Creatives Class of 2023

WORDS Michaela Stehr IMAGES Supplied

Design Indaba has announced the Emerging Creatives Class of 2023, with some talented fresh up-and-coming names to keep your eye on.

Selected from more than 340 entrants across South Africa, 20 emerging creatives have been selected as participants in the renowned Design Indaba Emerging Creatives programme for 2023.

Started by Design Indaba with the Department of Arts and Culture in 2005, the programme provides a platform for young creatives to showcase their talent and be exposed to all of the inspiration and innovation the festival has to offer. Past finalists include award-winning fashion designers Laduma Ngxokolo, Thebe Magugu and Rich Mnisi, amongst others.

The curators of this year’s line-up are all previous Emerging Creatives themselves: milliner Crystal Birch, art director Mokoena Kobeli, furniture designer Siyanda Mbele furniture designer Mpho Vackier, jewellery designer Katherine-Mary Pichulik, designer and illustrator Daniel Ting Chong.

The curator of this year’s edition of the programme is Neo ‘Nene’ Mahlangu, another former Design Indaba Emerging Creative who has gone on to successfully pave her way as both an artist and entrepreneur. ‘It’s an honour to be part of this encouraging process, and it has reinvigorated my own inspiration,’ she says.‘I’m thrilled to see the calibre of Emerging Creative talent shining in this year’s selection. It’s clear that the future of creativity in our country is in capable hands.’

Hand-picked by Mahlangu, the 20 participants hail from a variety of diverse backgrounds and artistic disciplines, including photographers, filmmakers, illustrators, fashion designers and artists. The 2023 inductees are:

  • Christi-Lee du Plessis
  • Edward Thomas Wakefield
  • Jessie Zinn
  • Johnny Allison
  • Kamil Adam Hassim
  • KhumoMohloliMorojele
  • Mignonne Busser
  • Naledi Modupi
  • Nokukhanya Justine Zungu
  • Oteng Hope Kopiso
  • OtsileRorisangMoumakoe
  • Princia Matungulu 
  • Qeren Fourie 
  • Rejoice Simphiwe Kunene
  • Rucita and VivekaVassen
  • Sandra Leigh Nagel
  • Sandra Wilken (Riley Axon) 
  • Shamyra Moodley
  • Tebogo Selepe
  • Thembi Mthembu 

To help advance the Class of 2023, Mahlangu will be presenting a bespoke masterclass on business development, a workshop built on ‘the 5 Bs’ designed to guide the future changemakers on their paths: brilliance, bravery, business skills, branding and brand building. In addition, all the participants will be profiled on Design Indaba’s channels – its website, social media and weekly newsletter – which are followed by design leaders from across the globe. 

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