To tie in with House and Leisure’s Jan/Feb Trends issue, we asked two local creatives and industry experts to put a personal spin on the topic. So instead of presenting a definitive list of what’s expected to be popular in 2018, we explore what trends mean to people in the context of their lives and work.

Nicola Cooper | senior trend analyst and cultural strategist at Nicola Cooper & Associates

Do you pay attention to trends in relation to the work you do?

Despite being in the field for almost 10 years now, trends have always played a part in my career. I think understanding trends is vital for any business in order to strategise for the ever-evolving consumer.

What role do trends play in your day-to-day life? 

A vital role. I eat, breathe and sleep information – this is what has driven my passion, thoughts and career. It is wonderful to be able to fuel yourself daily with what most drives, fascinates and interests you.

If you had to choose a trend from 2017 to carry with you into the new year, what would it be? 

Transparency. It is a very necessary time for individuals, businesses, political parties and corporations to understand that people have a great level of distrust as a result of the current landscape. Being truthful, authentic and transparent is what is needed in order to rebuild that trust.

And which new trend will you be keeping a close eye on in 2018? 

I will be following the ripple effect of many of the sociological trends that have come into fruition in 2017. Contemporary Feminism, Contemporary Black African Identity, Truthfulness, Transparency, the concept of #Flawsome and our trend, which I coined almost seven years ago now – Africa is Where It Is At  – and how these are going to cause change and affect business. We are in a fascinating time.

Follow Nicola on Twitter and Instagram.

Londi Modiko | co-director and curator at Whatiftheworld and Southern Guild gallery in Johannesburg

Do you pay attention to trends in relation to the work you do?

Yes, I pay attention to what is current in contemporary art because I have to be constantly learning in order to do my work well. I go to student exhibitions, visit artists’ studios, read books, and subscribe to local and international online art publications. I am also fortunate to sometimes travel abroad for business, and always make it a point to visit major galleries and museums that are championing the contemporary art discourse. Researching informs most of the work I do.

What role do trends play in your day to day life? 

I am inquisitive and gather a lot of information on the many things that interest me – Japanese architecture, interior trends, fashion – so I tend to know a lot about what is cutting edge. However, my taste in things is very specific and almost rigid (but I prefer to call it ‘clean and classic’), so I generally don’t apply most trends in my life.

If you had to choose a trend from 2017 to carry with you into the new year, what would it be? 

The world is now realising the importance of integrating black artists into mainstream art spaces such as museums, galleries and the broader market. I would like this ‘trend’ to be carried over to 2018 and beyond.

And which new trend will you be keeping a close eye on in 2018? 

I will be keeping a close eye on the shift in the gallery model, the white cube and how it is being re-imagined. An example of this is exhibitions that are held in spaces that work well with the artworks as opposed to artists making work that will fit the gallery.

Follow Londi on Instagram.

You don’t have to venture far to enjoy an adventurous holiday. In a new House and Leisure miniseries, we’ve consulted a few of South Africa’s coolest creatives to compile the ultimate staycation guide, bringing you the best, lesser-known summertime activities in and around Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town. In week one, we explored the top spots to stay for a December staycation, and now we’re discovering the best places to eat and drink.


Saigon Suzy in Joburg.

Last Christmas, trend analyst and cultural strategist Nicola Cooper opted to become a tourist in her own city of Joburg. ‘From the kitschy Christmas lights at Monte Casino to New Year’s at the uber cool Living Room in Maboneng – Jozi has it all,’ she says. ‘My new favourite has to be Saigon Suzy – an Asian BBQ and Rock ‘n Roll bar in Rosebank. This venue even has secret Karaoke pods,’ she enthuses.

Artist Jana Hamman recommends the Greek restaurant Parea in Illovo, which includes a show of bellydancing, and media entrepreneur and producer of the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair, Cassandra Twala, loves Ace + Pearl, a fine wine bar in Albans Square, Craighall Park.

Paul’s Homemade Ice-cream in Joburg.

Co-founder of Disorient Media, Dinika Govender, recommends Paul’s Homemade Ice Cream ‘for when you want to be bougie with a gourmet double scoop that tastes weirdly like your grandmother’s baking’. ‘Meanwhile, Great Dane in Braamfontein makes skinny fries to die for and Mamasan Eatery in Mellville does wonderful pop-ups with people like vegan chef Parusha Naidoo’, she says.

Cape Town

Outrage of Modesty in Cape Town.

Host to a wide variety of eateries and bars, Cape Town can be a daunting place for the local food lover. Gisele Human of Waif jewellery recommends Addis in Cape for an all-encompassing Ethiopian food experience. ‘The vegetarian food is even better than the meat and although it’s an established tried-and-tested spot, if you haven’t been there yet, you definitely should visit,’ she says. And drinks? ‘The Secret Gin Bar is obviously the most glorious drinking hole of all time.’

Ash restaurant in Cape Town.

Illustrator and designer Daniel Ting Chong is all about the rooftop vibes. ‘Head to Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar for a drink tucked away in the city and also grab something to eat at Tjing Tjing Torii downstairs, which serves Japanese and Asian-inspired tapas,’ he suggests. In the busy month of December it can be next to impossible to grab a table in the Mother City. ‘For a quick bite, check out Max Bagels. Their Reuben bagel is on fire, and they also serve Rosetta coffee there. Win!’

We all have our favourites and artist Mia Chaplin is no different. ‘Clarke’s Bar & Dining Room on Bree street would have to be my first choice, and not just because my sister works there. The food is excellent and I have inside information that it is all ethically and locally sourced,’ she says.

La Tete in Cape Town

Lifestyle strategist Seth Shezi likes to celebrate the finer things in life. His first choice for dinner is The Shortmarket Club, a restaurant that never disappoints. ‘However, after placing 8th at the Eat Out Awards, expect securing a table at The Shortmarket Club even harder than before, so my other go-to places for a vibey dinner are Ash and La Tete,’ he tells us. For drinks? Outrage of Modesty in Shortmarket Street, of course.


Mooki Noodle Bar in Durban.

When in Durban, immerse yourself in the largest Indian diaspora in the world with some of the best curries. ‘You haven’t really been to Durban if you haven’t had a bunny chow,’ advises singer and songwriter Red Robyn, who is based in the city. She recommends paying a visit to Little Gujarat, a small vegan and vegetarian eatery in the heart of the CBD. For an Asian twist, try out Mooki Noodle Bar in Glenwood for its original Pan-Asian menu and creative flavours. ‘This small but explosive space brings you colour, flavour and Durban serendipity,’ says Robyn.

The Digs Kitchen in Durban.

Trend forecaster Roxanne Robinson has a best-loved spot for every meal of the day. ‘Take a drive out to Ballito and have breakfast at Delish Sisters out at the Litchi Orchards,’ she says. ‘Be sure to grab a bag of lemons on your way out from the honesty table.’ If lunch is the question, then Glenwood Restaurant is the answer. ‘Their pastas are made from scratch and so is their ricotta… among other things.’ When dinner sets in, Delfi on Windermere Road in Morningside is place to go. ‘Delfi is the kind of place you go to when you’re far from home and want a good meal in a place that feels comfortable,’ Roxanne comments. ‘Come hungry, and dive into Maria’s famous prawns – all 1kg of them.’

Owner and founder of the popular I Heart Market, Anna Savage recommends The Digs Kitchen, which has just opened behind the iconic Lion Match Factory.  ‘The Digs Kitchen’s lofty ceilings provide a cool reprieve in Durban’s heat and the Asian Chicken salad is sublime.’

Discover the best places to stay in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town according to the locals, here.

You don’t have to venture far to enjoy an adventurous holiday. In a new House and Leisure miniseries, we’ve consulted a few of South Africa’s coolest creatives to compile the ultimate staycation guide, bringing you the best, lesser-known summertime activities in and around Durban, Joburg and Cape Town. In week one, we’re exploring the top spots to stay for a December staycation.


Pablo’s House in Joburg

December is the best time to be in Johannesburg, according to co-director of Whatiftheworld gallery, Londi Modiko. ‘It’s quiet and the weather is gorgeous,’ she says, and we couldn’t agree more. Sunshine-filled days punctuated by refreshing afternoon rain make for a large variety of summer activities and the perfect excuse to stay in a home away from home.

Designer and artist Jana Hamman thinks that the best place to stay is Pablo House in Melville. ‘I suspect I’ll be spending a significant amount of the holiday season on the terrace of Pablo House – the guest house and sister of a breakfast favourite, Pablo Eggs-Go-Bar in Melville,’ she says. You shouldn’t forget, however, that Joburg is host to a number of five-star hotels and world-class spas – such as Sandton’s The Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa, and Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa – that provide a perfectly luxurious retreat. ‘Although they’re not necessarily affordable options for long-term stays, there’s nothing wrong with one night in heaven every once in a while,’ she adds.

Lifestyle blogger, media entrepreneur and producer of the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair, Cassandra Twala prefers to live on the more homely side of life. ‘I’m an Airbnb fan, so would definitely book an apartment with friends,’ she says. Top spots to stay? Maboneng: for its easy-going inner-city Johannesburg experience. ‘With incredible restaurants and vibey nightlife as well as galleries and markets to visit, Maboneng offers a wonderful cosmopolitan experience. Plus the Airbnbs rates are a steal,’ Cassandra enthuses.

Cape Town

Bosjes Chapel

There’s a reason why tourists flood into the Mother City en masse over the summer season. While Cape Town is known for its infamous Southeaster wind, when it abates, and the sun shines and the ocean beckons, it’s just bliss. Even if you live in the coastal city, there are always new sights to see and places to stay.

Gisele Human of Waif jewellery recommends staying at The Hydro in Stellenbosch. ‘Their cocoon-like sleeping pods are a one-way ticket to “chillville”,’ she says.

Designer and illustrator Daniel Ting Chong has a similar idea. ‘If you want to get away from the busy city and beach life, take a day trip to Bosjes Wine Estate to see the chapel, which is an architectural phenomena and an Instagrammer’s dream,’ he recommends. ‘I also suggest you walk in its gardens and have lunch at Kombuis, which is situated on the estate.’ Even better, spend a night in Bosjes’ cleverly converted old barn that now serves as a guesthouse. Designed by Liam Mooney, the interiors are refined and contemporary with natural accents – an ideal spot to relax outside of the city.


Umhlanga Rocks

Seaside city Durban also offers a range of golden beaches – with warmer water and slightly humid weather. If you don’t live close to the sea, summer is the perfect opportunity to rent an Airbnb or stay in many of the luxurious hotels on the beach. Slightly north of Durban is Umhlanga Rocks, which has the feel of a tropical seaside resort and is a sublime destination for a staycation.

Durban-based singer and songwriter, Red Robyn gives us her top place to stay in Durban this summer. ‘Located smack bang in the middle of Durban, Curiocity Backpackers provides a middle ground for exploring Durban,’ she says. Situated within walking distance of the beach, the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre Complex, the thriving Rivertown Precinct’s 8 Morrison Street and the harbour, it’s a great place to experience the best the city has to offer.

londi modiko

‘At any given moment, I’d cut up stuff like clothes and dolls to make other things,’ says Londi Modiko of her childhood foray into the world of art. ‘In my first year of high school I took art and, even though I wasn’t good at it, I loved learning about art history, drawing and painting.’

And so the seeds of Londi’s curatorial career were planted, growing into degrees in Fine Art from the Durban University of Technology and the University of Johannesburg, and eventually taking root at the FNB Joburg Art Fair, David Krut Projects and Joburg’s Goodman Gallery, where she was a gallerist for six years. Now, as co-director and curator, Londi heads up the collaborative exhibition space that sees local art and design leaders Whatiftheworld and Southern Guild bringing their talents to Rosebank’s Trumpet building.

‘I’m enjoying the challenge of being involved in this groundbreaking exhibition space and looking forward to encouraging people, especially of colour, to engage in and hopefully start collecting art and design from the continent. There is so much talent here,’ she says.

londi modiko

‘I’m a lady’ by Mary Sibande

What does your work entail at Whatiftheworld and Southern Guild Joburg?

Facilitating the growth of artists’ careers by doing studio visits where I give advice on the creation of their artworks. At the gallery, I encourage people to enjoy, engage and invest in art and design. My work days are spent talking to gallery visitors and students about the pieces on show, proposing the pieces in writing to collectors, museums, institutions, and press and art enthusiasts, as well as daily gallery operations.

What draws you to specific works of art?

Artworks that are bold appeal to me – works that speak sincerely of subjects that reflect our society, triumphs and tribulations. I also have a great interest in artists who push the envelope with the manipulation of materials, such as Mary Sibande, Rowan Smith and designer David Krynauw.

londi modiko

‘My People’ by Banele Khoza

What art would you buy with R5 000?

Banele Khoza’s colourful ink drawings that explore gender issues.

R10 000?

One of Durban-based Selloane Moeti’s clay (ubomvu) and acrylic paintings.

R50 000?

A Simphiwe Ndzube painting. His work addresses South African labour politics pre- and post-apartheid and he uses 3-D materials on 2-D surfaces.

R500 000?

Alfredo Jaar’s light box work ‘Gold in the Morning A’.

R1 000 000?

I’d commission Nigerian sound artist Emeka Ogboh to make a social commentary sound piece in Johannesburg, and with the change, I’d get a Mohau Modisakeng Endabeni photograph.

londi modiko

‘Untitled (Metamorphosis 10)’ by Mohau Modisakeng

Which artist’s work should our readers buy right now?

Banele Khoza.

A new artist you have your eye on?

Selloane Moeti. She’s so unapologetic about her voice and I find her usage of reed clay in her paintings interesting.

Who is currently big on the African art scene?

Mohau Modisakeng.

Which local artists are doing well on the international market at the moment?

Nicholas Hlobo and Turiya Magadlela.

londi modiko

‘Ukuvithika 2’ by Turiya Magadlela

What’s your favourite piece of art in your home?

A Johannes Segogela wooden sculpture of a couple that resembles my husband and me.

Whose work would you buy now as an investment?

Nicholas Hlobo.

And a piece purely because you love it?

Awol Erizku’s ‘Ask The Dust’ car installation. It’s just a really cool work!

Who is your favourite artist?

Jean-Michel Basquiat.

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