Illustrator and graphic designer Xolisa Mfiki, who grew up in Orange Farm south of Joburg, says he looked up to Baba Tjeko, someone who played a big role in him choosing to follow a creative career. Much of his work highlights and embraces a township aesthetic. “By the use of township elements I am trying to acknowledge the township and also to educate people about township aesthetic and style. Townships have different cultural communities, so I aim to, through my pattern designs and illustrations, create a design that represents all of the cultural communities in the township,” says Xolisa.
“I am trying to fuse different cultural communities’ aesthetics (patterns) to come up with a single design that represents all the cultural communities from the township. These patterns are accompanied by figures that illustrate various poses or style from the township.”
He has a couple of impressive achievements, including being finalist in an international design competition hosted by PhilPapers, based in Canada. One of his illustrations was featured by Number 1 Mageu for a t-shirt design created to celebrate heritage month. He is also currently a finalist in the Red Bull Sneaker Art competition.
Xolisa hopes to establish a graphic design company and create a clothing brand centered around the fusion of different cultural aesthetics.