V&A Waterfront Christmas project, 2019

In 2019, The V&A Waterfront in Cape Town embarked on a very special campaign – a new approach to Christmas with “Joy from Africa to the World”, which featured numerous magical Christmas installations all over the Waterfront complex.

This project was very close to the hearts of all at Design Afrika, as the array of installations was part of an important celebration of Africa and African makers. We were fortunate to be a part of this re-imagination of Christmas which put the spotlight on handmade decorations and those who made them. This is in line with what we aim to do, to revitalize the ancient traditional craft and contribute to the international platform for beautifully crafted basketry. Seeing the awe-inspiring installations in situ brought immense joy and pride to us and the weavers; a truly beautiful sight.

Part of the large campaign were the Alpha Cascade and the Dunoon cascade. Both were conceived by Cathy O’Clery of Platform Creative, and were assembled and installed by Centre Design, complete with lights by Hoi P’loy; it was a true collaborative effort.

Design Afrika contributed a total of 335 baskets to the project. The black and natural baskets that made up the giant “beads” were woven by Alpha Sibiya and her group of weavers in Hluhluwe, KZN. The conical, natural “imizi” light shades were woven by the Dunoon Urban Weavers in Dunoon township and at Design Afrika. With the focus on local talent and environmental sustainability, the Waterfront’s campaign was a joyful celebration of Africa and a reminder to the world that Africa is a major source of inspiration and talent.


Dunoon Urban Weavers

Nosisa Bopheka | Nomapopa Ralasi | Nongephi Magwa | Lindiwe Mthongana | Nomtu Gingqishe

Alpha Weavers

Khethiwe Mathenjwa | Netty Mathenjwa | Bonakele Mlawu | Ntombikayise Mlawu | Nomsa Mlawu | Sinengiwe Mlawu | Nelisiwe Ndlovu | Sindisiwe Ndlovu | Alpha Sibiya | Norah Sibiya | Sicelesihle Sibiya | Londiwe Sibiya