Making a better world

Laduma Ngxokolo

Laduma Ngxokolo

Published Apr 6, 2011

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Make way Madiba shirts, there is a new contender for the wardrobe of the well-dressed man, which has cultural and aesthetic vooma.

Laduma Ngxokolo, 24, a designer from Port Elizabeth, received rapturous applause and wowed delegates when he spoke recently at the Design Indaba conference in Cape Town about his range of men’s knitwear inspired by Xhosa beadwork.

Ngxokolo told the conference that the idea for his work came about when he realised that there was very little choice when it came to buying jerseys for young Xhosa initiates.

Initiates’ parents buy them new clothes, which are meant to last. He said it was not uncommon for them to spend up to R850 for brands like Pringle.

Using geometric motifs of Xhosa beadwork, Ngxokolo produced two ranges, premium (R500 to R1 000) and platinum (R1 000 to R2 500).

One of Ngxokolo’s jerseys was among the 10 nominees in the Indaba’s “Most Beautiful Object in South Africa” competition, for which the public was invited to vote.

The winner was Woza Moya’s Dreams for Africa Chair, a bright, beaded work created by 160 women affected or infected by Aids. For the past year, the chair has been on a journey around the country raising funds and creating awareness about Aids. It’s even been overseas.

The theme of this year’s hugely successful Design Indaba, which also included a film festival and fashion show, was “A Better World Through Creativity”.

It attracted some of the world’s top creatives in graphic design, advertising, design, industrial design, architecture, craft, media and the visual and performing arts. - The Star

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