MCP (SA) 21 LIST

LADUMA NGXOKOLO

There are fashion designers who design and create the clothes we wear, and then there are those who take what they do way beyond fashion. The second group are a very rare breed. Among them is Laduma Ngxokolo, the founder of ground-breaking design brand Maxhosa Africa, whose acclaimed creations have showcased Xhosa culture before the world. Ngxokolo has done for Xhosa culture and design what BMW and Mercedes have done for German engineering. If you don’t believe this, consider the Hollywood blockbuster sequel “Coming to America 2”, released in March this year. In 2019, when production started on the film, Ngxokolo received a call from renowned Academy Award-winning costume designer Ruth Carter, asking him to work with her and use Maxhosa clothing. Among the results of this collaboration are scenes in which veteran actor Eddie Murphy rocks it in a Maxhosa vest. Ngxokolo has described his work on the project as an opportunity to make history in the evolution of African fashion. His work has been displayed and archived in the Smithsonian and the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, as well as in museums in Germany and Switzerland. Ngxokolo’s creations are inspired by a desire to explore knitwear design solutions that would be suitable for abakhwetha (Xhosa initiates). His initial vision was to create a modern Xhosa-inspired knitwear collection that would be suitable for this market. As a person who had undergone the process, Ngxokolo felt he had to develop premium knitwear that celebrates traditional Xhosa aesthetics. There’s no question that he has done exactly that — they are now celebrated by a worldwide audience.

pledged over R250 000 and called for pledges from across South Africa. To further raise funds, Ngxokolo designed a one-of-a-kind rug, which was auctioned off. Many attended the auction for a chance to bid on this beautiful piece; the winning bidder took the rug home after paying out an impressive R431 000. Ngxokolo also offers classes in centres such as Gqeberha (PE), KwaZulu-Natal and Cape Town, where he teaches students about the fashion design process; the materials needed; the production process; and, what a finished garment should look like. His creations are not just items of clothing. They contribute towards the preservation of the Xhosa culture, revealing its rich cultural tapestry to an international audience. In doing so, Ngxokolo has further found the time to use his creations as a platform for making a difference.

NELSON MAKAMO
Not all internationally-acclaimed painter Nelson Makamo’s works end up hung on buyers’ walls. The Johannesburg-based artist’s latest project is decidedly different — and for himself. Dubbed “My Life in Motion”, it involves the metallic black Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe he owns, which he is turning into a moving canvas. With a little help from the manufacturers. Makamo is hand-painting a number of the car’s components — including, among others, the rear bumper and various panels, handles and inserts. Once painted, the parts are returned to Porsche in Johannesburg for a final layer of lacquer and fitting. In a recent interview, Makamo described the project as not just a representation of his success, but an acknowledgement of the people he had met along the way. “I always knew I was going to own a Porsche; I just never knew that my relationship with the brand would start this way — and it’s only the beginning,” he said. Some of Makamo’s art work has featured on the cover of TIME Magazine – titled “The art of optimism — 34 people who are changing how we see the world” — and is eagerly sought after by celebrities and collectors around the world. During the Covid-19 pandemic, when art galleries were closed, fans could still view and buy his work online. His website is well worth a visit.

ABOUT THE WEBSITE:
Domain Name: NelsonMakamo.com
Creation Date: 2015-08-26
Title: NelsonMakamo
Traffic: Alexa Rank: 3,812,659
Daily Unique Visitors: 246
Monthly Visits: 7,749
Pages per Visitor: 3.00
Daily Pageviews: 739

SIZWE MPOFU-WALSH
Oxford-educated Dr Sizwe Mfofu-Walsh is no ordinary author and scholar. He does not publish papers that end up little-read in academic archives. Rather, his ideas are known by a much broader section of South African society — a rare thing for many authors and philosophers. To date, he has written two books, both of which were launched in non-traditional ways. The first (“Democracy and Delusion: 10 Myths in South African Politics”) was released with a rap song; his latest, “The New Apartheid”, was launched via a virtual event on Zoom. At the time of writing, it was Number 1 on the Exclusive Books Top 10 Bestsellers list. Written and launched during a pandemic (when no one was allowed to hold book launch events), Mpofu-Walsh did it online, with almost a thousand people in virtual attendance. His YouTube account, The Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh Xperience, which has 25 000 members, is where he discusses matters of national importance with influential South Africans. In a welcome note on the site, he describes himself as “passionate about South African politics, rap music and Liverpool”. At 32, Mpofu-Walsh — author, musician, philosopher and activist — is creatively showing us how to spread ideas. The son of politician and prominent lawyer Dali Mpofu, he is a young leader worth watching in the media and publishing space.

LUKRETIA BOOYSEN
Covid-19 and associated lockdowns have imposed restrictions on funeral services, limiting the number of people who may attend as well as the nature of the service. The pandemic has made mourning and memorialising those who have died very difficult. Cape Town-based artist Lukretia Booysen has come up with a way to help. The owner of the Cape Town-based Koena Art Institute, Booysen has launched the Legacy Project, aimed at helping people remember lost relatives through art. The project is commission-based and allows clients to submit images of their lost loved ones that will be turned into customised artworks. These include paintings, sculptures and illustrations. The artworks are created by various artists who are registered with the institution.

www.koenaartinstitute.co.za

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