News

South Africa's Maxhosa Knitwear For Men (& Women?)

We talk to Laduma Ngxokolo from South African fashion house Maxhosa Knitwear about his close Xhosa ties and the possibility of threads for women.


Among the shuffling back and forth of Cape Town’s hottest new creative hub ‘its a house’, preparations for an upcoming photo shoot are underway. A young man stands quietly near the clothing rails, humbly admiring the many accomplishments he has made in the design world thus far. One of the stand out contributors of the Design Indaba 2013, he showcased his affinity for fashion using bright colours and cultural graphics, designing a line that projects a pride in the Xhosa culture and everything it stands for. We had a quick chat with Laduma Ngxokolo, designer and founder of Maxhosa Knitwear.

OKA: Who you are and what you do?

Laduma Ngxokolo: My name is Laduma Ngxokolo, and I’m a network design specialist based in Port Elizabeth, and I founded a fascinating collection inspired by traditional Xhosa prints.

*All photos by Simon Deiner (SDR Photography)

OKA: So that’s something very close to your heart then? Your ‘Xhosaness?’

LN: It is, and it has been important to my family for a very long time. In my childhood we always had a very traditional upbringing. My mother used to read me Xhosa anthropological books as bedtime stories, and it’s something that I’ve grown up with, that I’m still growing into, and I want to embrace it every way I can.

OKA: Will you read the same books to your future children?

LN: I definitely will. I have to pass on the culture to the next generation so that I can open them up to where we come from so that they can learn the lessons that come from the culture.

OKA: For people who aren’t necessarily Xhosa, are you trying to pass along these lessons with your clothes?

LN: Yes, actually with the clothes I tend to focus on the beauty of the culture. Last year I was part of an exhibition called The Beauty of Beadwork, and I took it upon myself to showcase the beauty of knitwear which is what I know best, and i pulled those two elements together to create something that people can appreciate and wear every day, instead of just on Heritage Day, which is what usually happens with beadwork.

OKA: It seems that your line is doing extremely well with that idea. Have you given any thought to creating a line for women?

LN: I’ve been speaking to my sister in hopes of creating a female range. I’ve also spoken to a woman called Marianne Visser who is quite interested in my work, and we hope to collaborate to cover different perspectives of women and knitwear. I’m not a lady myself, so I would do it from a man’s perspective, to show how I see women culturally, as a Xhosa man. I hope that people are looking forward to it as much as I am.

To keep up to date with Laduma and his line go here.

popular
"Kata" single cover.

Listen to Tekno's New Single 'Kata'

The Nigerian artist and producer returns with a melodic banger just in time for the weekend.

Nigerian artist Tekno is back with his second single of the year, "Kata."

The heavyweight artist and producer delivers a melodic track that sees him singing about his devotion to his lover over drum-filled production from Phantom. The track features subdued vocals from. the artist, and a beat that's easy to move along to. The song follows the track 'Beh Beh' which he released earlier this year.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
Image courtesy of ARRAY.

What to Watch at Home During Coronavirus Shutdown: ARRAY's New Digital African Film Series

The film platform, from director Ava DuVernay, is hosting a weekly movie-viewing experience for the "global online community of cinephiles."

If you're looking for African films to dive into while at home during the coronavirus outbreak, a new digital series from award-winning director Ava DuVernay's film collective ARRAY is a great place to start. The multi-media platform and arts collective is launching its #ARRAYMatinee series, and each film will be available for viewing here.

#ARRAYMatinee is a virtual movie-viewing experience that will screen a string of the collective's previously released independent films from Africa and the diaspora. The weekly series begins on Wednesday, April 1 with a viewing of the 2015 South African coming-of-age film Ayanda. "Viewers will take a cinematic journey to the international destinations and cultures featured in five films that were released via the ARRAY Releasing independent film distribution collective that amplifies that work of emerging filmmakers of color and women of all kinds," says the platform in a press release. To promote a communal viewing experience, viewers are also encouraged to have discussions on Twitter, using the hashtag #ARRAYMatinee.

The five-part series will run weekly until May 13, and also includes films from Liberia, Ghana, and Grenada. See the full viewing schedule below with descriptions from ARRAY, and visit ARRAY's site at the allotted times to watch.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
Image courtesy of Lula Ali Ismaïl

'Dhalinyaro' Is the Female Coming-of-Age Story Bringing Djibouti's Film Industry to Life

The must-watch film, from Lula Ali Ismaïl, paints a novel picture of Djibouti's capital city through the story of three friends.

If you're having a tough time recalling the last movie you watched from Djibouti, it's likely because you have never watched one before. With an almost non-existent film industry in the country, Lula Ali Ismaïl, tells a beautiful coming of age story of three young female Djiboutian teenagers at the cusp of womanhood. Dhalinyaro offers a never-before-seen view of Djibouti City as a stunning, dynamic city that blends modernity and tradition—a city in which the youth, like all youth everywhere, struggle to decide what their futures will look like. It's a beautiful story of friendship, family, dreams and love from a female filmmaker who wants to tell a "universal story of youth," but set in the country she loves—Djibouti.

The story revolves around the lives of three young friends from different socio-economic backgrounds, with completely varied attitudes towards life, but bound by a deep friendship. There is Asma, the conservative academic genius who dreams of going to medical school and hails from a modest family. Hibo, a rebellious, liberal, spoiled girl from a very wealthy family who learns to be a better friend as the film evolves and finally Deka. Deka is the binding force in the friendship, a brilliant though sometimes naïve teen who finds herself torn between her divorced mother's ambitions to give her a better life having saved up all her life for her to go to university abroad, and her own conviction that she wants to study and succeed in her own country.

Okayafrica contributor, Ciku Kimeria speaks to Ismaïl on her groundbreaking film, her hopes for the filmmaking industry and the universality of stories.

Keep reading... Show less
popular

Stogie T Enlists Nasty C, Boity, Nadia Nakai and More, for ‘The Empire of Sheep’ Deluxe Edition

Stream the deluxe version of Stogie T's EP 'The Empire of Sheep' featuring Nasty C, Boity, Nadia Nakai and more.

Stogie T just shared a deluxe version of his 2019 EP The Empire of Sheep titled EP The Empire of Sheep (Deluxe Unmasked). The project comes with three new songs. "All You Do Is Talk" features fellow South African rappers Nasty C, Boity and Nadia Nakai. New York lyricist appears on "Bad Luck" while one of Stogie T's favorite collaborators Ziyon appears on "The Making."

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.