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Showing posts from 2017

Five Questions with Neo Maditla

First published on

Neo Maditla is Editor in Chief of Design Indaba online, South Africa's leading design and creativity platform. features some of the best talent on the African continent and from around the globe. Not only is Neo passionate about African art, but she's also a seasoned writer with experience in print, TV and online. We just had to have her on the Rise Art Prize panel for Africa and the Middle East.

1. What’s your favourite art gallery?
I love the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town. It has a massive collection and I always go there, alone or with friends, and I just spend hours on end looking through the work. It's located in massive public park where one can go for a picnic, visit the restaurant or even take a stroll down Government Avenue so see the monument commissioned by Design Indaba in honour of Archbishop Tutu called Arch for Arch.
Cape Town's Iziko South African National Gallery.
2. What’s your favourite …

Seven Multi-Talented Creatives Share Their Wisdom and Experience

First published on I spent about two years as a freelance writer in Johannesburg and those were probably the hardest two years of my life, financially. I had left my job as a journalist in Cape Town and moved back home to Pretoria so I could finish my journalism degree. My sister was unemployed at the time and my dad had just retired, so I went from living my best life in Cape Town to being responsible for my whole family on a freelancer’s salary. It was really humbling. But that experience taught me how to negotiate my rates. Up until then, I just accepted that publications paid only a certain amount. But then I found out that some of my friends were being paid more by the same publications. So I quickly learned to negotiate and to chat to my friends who were also freelancers about money, because that was the only way to find out if we were being played. So my advice would be to always refuse to be paid less than what you deserve. But this means that you have to bring…

Friendzone: Lerato Motshwarakgole

One of my favorite pieces of journalism was written by Tom Junod in 2016. It's called The Falling Man. It's a feature piece about a picture, taken on 9/11 of a man jumping out of the Twin Towers in New York and the subsequent search to find out who he was. I love it because it is a beautiful piece of journalism, the kind I  still aspire towards, where you write a really good story about a really small detail that people might have missed while focussing on the bigger picture.
Anyway, there is a part in there about photographs that always stays with me. It goes: "Photographs lie.Even great photographs. Especially great photographs". And it basically alludes to how we can all read so much into photographs, meanings that often have nothing to do with the moment.
I was thinking about this recently when Facebook brought back a "memory" from 2012, I think. In the picture, above, taken by our mutual friend Lebogang Nkoane, in Cape Town ( I think we were at Neighborh…

Friendzone: Zanele Mji

Some friendships are not meant to last.

With some people you meet, especially when you're young and having the time of your life, you have fun, you go out, get drunk a few times, move cities and over time, your friendship fizzles out. It happens all the time. No hard feelings and so forth and stuff like that.

I really did think Zanele would be one of those people.

We met in Cape Town or was it Joburg? Party girls, always moving in different directions. She had the best smile, like someone who smiles with their entire body. She had a way of always making you feel like they're genuinely happy to be in your presence.

After hanging in Cape Town a few times, she left for New York. Eventually so did I, but to Joburg, much less glam than the Big Apple, I still stare out my window onto a mine dump.

Life carried on. We kept in touch over social media. Then one day she hit me up.

At that time I was probably at my lowest. I was supposed to be living my best life, as a freelancer in the …