Decor & Design, News & Trends

Well Made in Africa: a Look at This Year's Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair

At the 2018 Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair, House and Leisure will collaborate with Mozambique-born textile designer Wacy Zacarias


Well Made in Africa is a special project that celebrates the continent’s best emerging designers annually. This year, five designers – hailing from countries ranging from Burundi to Morocco – will work together with Sanlam, House and Leisure and Mozambique-born textile designer Wacy Zacarias to realise their innovative visions. 

Zacarias says, ‘As Africans, we have stood by for many years and watched our stories being told by others, often creating false narratives or clichés at best... In recent years, there has been an African design revolution in the form of storytelling, where we see many designers crafting their stories, often aiming to preserve more than just African crafts.

‘In collaboration with House and Leisure, the exhibition I will be presenting is a collection of [works by] African designers who reinterpret African traditional crafts into modern design... This exchange of knowledge between the old world and the cutting edge allows for a new context to emerge, leasing crafts a new life and lending African design an emotional component that has been missing in recent times. It is a snapshot of creative work being produced – an up-to-the-minute survey of talent from Africa. It is not a retrospective of a typecast past, nor a utopian vision of an imagined future. It reflects the Africa that is: bold in design, and powerful in stories.’   

1. Piratas Do Pau

A Mozambican furniture design brand that creates handmade products using local and modern techniques and locally sourced materials, Piratas Do Pau also provides young Mozambicans with training and fair wages.

2. Ruum Gallery

Ruum Galleryis a unique homeware design brand from Mozambique whose innovative use of wood and local Mozambican craftsmanship, culture and heritage makes for exciting and innovative pieces.
Visit RUUM

3. Yemi Awosile

An avant-garde textile designer whose experimentation with different materials and techniques, Yemi Awosile gives a cultural insight into traditional African textiles with a modern interpretation.


lifestyle brand from Morocco that manages to capture the essence of the country’s craftsmanship in their carefully handmade products while also changing the narrative of traditional crafts.

5. Epicure

Epicure chef Coco Reinarhz is a pioneer in flavours from the continent, and as the fair includes food and wine as well as design, the inclusion of a restaurant will make Well Made in Africa fully encompassing this year.

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