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Hot Talent To Watch – Design Indaba’s Emerging Creatives Class Of 2023 Has Just Been Announced!

  • 2 min read

Twenty young South Africans from across South Africa have been selected from more than 340 entrants as participants in the prestigious Design Indaba Emerging Creatives programme for 2023. The purpose of the programme, which is supported by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, is to refine skills and equip participants with tactics to elevate their work to a higher standard and promote it in the marketplace.

For 18 years, the Design Indaba Emerging Creatives platform has successfully launched the careers of gifted creatives, including fashion designer Thebe Magugu, furniture designer Mpho Vackier, jewellery designer Katherine-Mary Pichulik, designer and illustrator Daniel Ting Chong, milliner Crystal Birch, and scores of others.

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.’

Mahlangu hand-picked the 20 participants from a diverse range of 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


Mignonne Busser 

Naledi Modupi

Nokukhanya Justine Zungu

Oteng Hope Kopiso


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 the Design Indaba’s channels – its website, social media and weekly newsletter – which are followed by design leaders from across the globe. 

For more information visit or follow @designindaba on social media.