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10 Leading Designers From Africa To Know

'Contemporary Design Africa' author Tapiwa Matsinde highlights 10 leading contemporary decor designers from Africa.


Jean Servais Somian (Furniture and Product Designer, Côte d'Ivoire)

Jean Servais Somian: Mama, chest of drawers © Philippe Louzon for Jean Servais Somian– Featured in Contemporary Design Africa © Thames & Hudson

Furniture, product designer and sculptor Jean Servais Somian draws on Africa's long-standing wood carving traditions. Born in Côte d'Ivoire, Somian trained as a carpenter and cabinetmaker in Abidjan, before taking up a furniture design internship in Lausanne, Switzerland, to develop his craft. He later moved to France, but it was not until a trip back to Côte d'Ivoire that he began to properly focus on creating furniture. He set up his workshops in Grand-Bassam in 1999– where he continues to work with a team of highly skilled cabinetmakers and artisans, creating heirlooms of the future. Somian's design aesthetic fuses African and Western influences, and he prefers to work with wood, mainly coconut wood and other local species such as iroko and mahogany. Decorative elements such as leather and stone complete his furniture designs.

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(Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

The 10 Best HHP Songs Ranked

On the second anniversary of HHP's passing, we rank 10 of the South African hip-hop legend's best songs.

Jabulani Tsambo, popularly known by his alias HHP, was a pivotal part of South African hip-hop. Renowned for trailblazing the motswako sub-genre in the early 2000s, the rapper sadly passed away on October 24th, 2018 after a long and much publicised bout with depression.

During his active years, which span two decades (from 1997 to 2018), he was instrumental in breaking barriers and bridging the gap between kwaito and hip-hop in SA, from the late 90s to early 2000s.

He became a household name in the 2000s as he spearheaded the motswako movement, propelling it to the mainstream and solidifying his legendary status in the process.

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