Joy From Africa 2020

Launched in 2019, the V&A Waterfront’s Christmas campaign, “Joy from Africa to the World” was back to ensure that Christmas spirit prevailed over Covid19.

Once again turning the spotlight inward, toward Africa, the campaign highlighted makers from many disciplines, with the emphasis on sustainability, collaboration and compassion. The traditional Christmas tree was replaced with the Tree of Hope, a symbol of resilience and promise after a year of hardship and worry.
The creative direction was once again headed by Platform Creative Agency, who won 2020’s Business and Arts South Africa’s Innovation Awards, as well as a Bronze Award for Community Relations in the South African Council of Shopping Centres Footprint Awards.

Design Afrika’s weavers were some of the 134 craftspeople involved in the project. The black and natural palm baskets of the “Alpha Cascade” were again in place, woven by Alpha Sibiya and her group of weavers in Hluhluwe, KZN. The open-weave imizi baskets of the “Dunoon Cascade” also returned, this time with splashes of pink, red, yellow, and green. Both installations swayed mesmerizingly overhead together with lights by Hoi P’loy.
We also undertook the ambitious endeavour to create a new installation in record time, the pandemic having delayed the project for many months.


Weaving the newly designed Christmas gourd were the Dunoon weavers, dwindling in members from five to three, and a weaving cooperative in Coffee Bay directed by Nomonde Madlalisa. Down to the wire, the weavers were able to make enough gourds for the “Dunoon and Coffee Bay Cascade”, with some extra baskets from Binga in Zimbabwe filling in the gaps. The baskets were again assembled into their beautiful final products by Centre Design, who worked day and night to ensure that all installations went up as scheduled.

Weaving in Dunoon township were Nosisa “Victoria #1” Bopheka, Nomapopa “Victoria #2” Ralasi, and Lindiwe Mthongana. Weaving in Coffee Bay were Nomonde Madlalisa and her team: Mamzangwa Phathekile, Nonothisi Stewu, Nolungile Stewu, and Togana Mvimbo.