Design Indaba Continues to Support Creativity in South Africa’s Youth

Design Indaba’s Emerging Creatives platform continues to support South Africa’s fresh talent after 17 years. The programme aims to hone skills and provide participants with strategies to elevate their work and take it to market.

This year the country’s youth presented an impressive talent pool of 380 entries vying for a place as part of the Class of 2022. Curators Lukhanto Mdingi and Ditiro Mashigo selected forty gifted young finalists to participate in the nation’s most prestigious creative development programme.

We are delighted to continue our annual support for our country’s young creatives, particularly in a constrained pandemic environment. We are grateful to our partner, the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, for its ongoing commitment to stand with the rising stars of tomorrow.

Ravi Naidoo, Design Indaba founder

Dr Stella Khumalo from the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC) expressed her well wishes for this year’s participants. “Congratulations to all those who have come through the rigorous curatorial selection process – this year’s Emerging Creatives are enormously talented, and we look forward to seeing the Class of 2022’s contribution.” She commented, “The pandemic has shown us that creative thinking is not a luxury, but a survival skill, so nurturing creative talent is vital. We are proud to partner with the Design Indaba once again to invest in the future of South Africa’s creative industries.”

An extended virtual exhibition coupled with Design Indaba’s thriving social media channels introduces this year’s class to the public. UK-based Artsthread forms part of the line-up of international and local experts giving masterclass sessions to the Emerging Creatives. The young designers also get documentary video sessions and dedicated personal profiles on

The Design Indaba Emerging Creatives programme is responsible for successfully launching the careers of many gifted creatives. These include the likes of Mpho Vackier, Russell Abrahams, Daniel Ting Chong, Crystal Birch, and this year’s curators Lukhanyo Mdingi and Ditiro Mashigo.

The high quality of the submissions impressed Mdingi and Mashigo, both well-known fashion designers. “I’m incredibly inspired to see the brewing and exceptional talent of the Emerging Creatives,” says Mdingi. Mashigo says when going through the submissions, she sought out “innovation in design-led problem-solving and an honest point of view from South African emerging design talents on issues of climate change, socioeconomics and equality.”

Year after year, Design Indaba has provided a platform for aspiring designers at large to showcase their work and what they have to offer the industry. They are to be commended for this.

Lukhanyo Mdingi, Design Indaba Emerging Creatives 2022 curator

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