Decor & Design

meet Wacy Zacarias: textile and accessories storyteller

We spend five minutes with the curator of this year's Well Made In Africa


At this year's Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair, House and Leisure will collaborate with Mozambique-born textile designer Wacy Zacarias. This year, five designers — hailing from countries ranging from Burundi to Morocco — will work with Sanlam, House and Leisure and Zacharias to realize their innovative visions. We spent a few minutes with Wacy to understand what makes her tick (spoiler alert: it has a lot to do with Woolworths' Black Pepper and Salt chips). 


I am Wacy Zacarias

I tell stories through textiles and accessories

I like what I do because I get to change the narrative of African Design

The worst part of my job is all the admin work

Design in Africa is revolutionary 

I use social media to communicate and get inspired

I’m currently obsessed with Woolworths black pepper and salt chips 

My hidden gem in Mozambique is Ponta Macaneta

The best view in the world is sunset in Tofo beach


When I’m tired I am cranky

My kitchen cupboard staples Piripiri, pasta, eggs, red wine, natural herbal tea.

The best advice I ever received is be authentic and kind

Working in the design industry has taught me to always keep an open mind

The one thing no one knows about me is I speak five languages 

Every design brand should do human centered design

My go-to comfort foods are wine and Woolworths chips.

I always travel with my laptop.

The one place I’ve travelled to that I’ll never forget Swakopmund, Namibia.

From my travels I always bring back the memories, I’m terrible at buying souvenirs.

My next dream holiday is Vietnam or Seychelles 

If money were no object I’d treat myself to traveling around Africa learning about indigenous textiles 

I’m reading We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie.

I’m listening to Selma Uamusse, Mati.

I hate it when I don’t get enough sleep

I’m definitely not pessimistic 

If I could change one thing about being a designer in Africa it would be that we get branded “African Designers”, as opposed to just designers like our peers.

Don’t leave the Sanlam Handmade contemporary Fair without trying Epicure, visiting Ruum Gallery, WayaWaya, LRNCE and Yemi Awosile 

When I was younger I used to think that I could not be all that I am today.


Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair runs from 12 - 14 October 2018 on the rooftop of Hyde Park Corner shopping centre, cnr Jan Smuts Ave and William Nicol Dr, Johannesburg.