The most anticipated design event in South Africa, Design Indaba, took place the last weekend of February, and I was able to attend the first day. Every year for the past five years, I have enjoyed attending this event, even only for a day, which is never enough time to attend the hugely popular conferences (which I hope to do someday). It enables me to see all the wonderful creativity available: I can source great talent and get lots of inspiration.
In the past decade or so, it has proved to be a great showcasing of the incredible design talent, established and emerging, that is available in South Africa. One of the many events happening at Indaba was the selection of “The Most Beautiful Object in South Africa,” voted by the Design Indaba Expo visitors. There were many different types of objects, each one open to a different interpretation of beauty, but the overall prize went to Woza Moya for the “Dreams for Africa Chair.” (Photo at left of Ndaba Mandela with the chair, courtesy of Woza Moya)
Woza Moya is a community-based NGO that provides care to HIV and AIDS patients in a rural center in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. The organization created the Dreams for Africa Chair as an artistic monument to honor the diversity of Africa and the hope for a better future.
From the Dreams for Africa Chair website: “In 2009, 160 women from the Valley of 1,000 Hills in KwaZulu-Natal came together to create a legacy of hope. Eight weeks later, the women of the Woza Moya income-generation project finished their creation. Supported by the Hillcrest Aids Centre Trust, the chair is traveling around South Africa and abroad. The chair is a celebration of local craftsmanship and the rich and unique beauty of Zulu beadwork.”