Five South African artists I’m keeping an eye on in 2016



28-year-old Asanda Mvana aka Msaki, is an Indie Afro Folk singer, songwriter and visual artist who I first saw perform in East London in 2013. I had the pleasure of witnessing her musical maturity recently when she visited Johannesburg to perform songs from her upcoming full-length debut album Zanelisa: How the Water Moves with an orchestra that included a variety of strings, flutes, drums and award winning pianist Mduduzi Makhathini. She currently features on the Revolution house hit Spring Tide the super hit Love Colour Spin with Mobi Dixon. Msaki releases her debut album in June 2016.



Sheetal Magan is one very busy young South African filmmaker.  When I saw the trailer for The Fall of Ganesh, her 24 minutes short, I felt a new generation of film narrative about South African comfortably complementing a good visual eye.  The 28 year old wrote and directed the film, whose theme is essential to her greater body of developing work – the everyday realities of prejudice in our young democracy.  She has just completed directing another short called PARAYA, which will open the Director’s Fortnight in Cannes as part of the South African Factory which features three other shorts from South African filmmakers.  It is produced by Dominique Welinski and Jeremy Nathan.  In 2016, Magan will develop her first feature as well as an 8 part mini series set in KwaZulu-Natal called Acts of Man with Co-Writer Sean Drummond. 



A month ago, Tshiamo ”Tiger” Maremela was trending on twitter because the insanely talented visual artist was looking for a job and people couldn’t believe that he didn’t have one. His video and graphic work, plastered beautifully on his Vimeo account looks at masculinity from various post rainbow South Africa perspectives and beautifully incorporates elements of protest, pop culture, and life as a young black man in South Africa today. 24 hours after the hashtag went viral, he got a job and is currently learning how to be an adult in Johannesburg. In 2016 he wants his work to continue being a visual representation of ‘’Fallism’’ or the Must Fall movement and its sentiments.



Rich Mnisi is probably one of the most important young designers in South Africa today. The origin of his interpretation of shape and form could be from anywhere in the world, which why his clothing epitomizes the multiple influences of contemporary South Africa. He has been consistent in the delivery of high quality, good clothing since winning Best Designer at African Fashion International in 2014. His clothing is available online at



Nangamso Koza is an Eastern Cape based educator and activist for an educational organization called Inqubela Foundation. The foundation works with public schools in small and rural towns developing Leadership and Literacy programmes with the help of local municipalities, governments and community members. Koza has also written a Xhosa language children’s book due for publication in 2016 and I can’t frikking wait to read it even though I don’t have a child.

Image Credits:

Tiger: Sithasolwazi Kentane
Rich Mnisi:

The fact that these pictures are not the same size is making me ill but there was nothing I could do. Sorry to the asymmetry gods!

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