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Cast Your Vote For The Most Beautiful Object In South Africa

An annual feature of the Design Indaba calendar is the search for the Most Beautiful Object in South Africa (MBOISA). The MBOISA campaign interrogates and celebrates the innate subjectivity of beauty. This year 10 nominations have been carefully selected by influential local cultural commentators who were given wide parameters to determine their nomination and encouraged to think laterally about the concept of beauty. This year’s MBOISA nominations come courtesy of a panel which includes fashion designers, musicians, media players and leaders in the creative economy. Their selections are now open to your votes. It’s up to you to decide what this year’s most beautiful object is. 

Unlike in previous years where the MBOISA were displayed at the Design Indaba Expo, all 10 nominations will travel around the country giving more South Africans the opportunity to see the MBOISA designs. The exhibition has just wrapped up in Johannesburg and is on its way to Durban where it will be on show at  the Gateway Theatre of Shopping from 26th January – 2nd February, after which it will move to the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town from 8th – 21st February 2016.

Here are the 2016 MBOISA nominations and the people they where nominated by: 

Sindiso Khumalo nominates the Kassena Town Cabinets


Sindiso Khumalo, a fashion designer whose label focusses on sustainable contemporary textiles, has nominated the Kassena Town Cabinets by Dokter & Misses. The three cabinets are shaped to resemble mud buildings that together form a “village” of cabinets. Doktor & Misses created the set to resemble a small West African town and are hand painted with Kassena-inspired patterning.

Katlego Maboe nominates the See-Saw-Do social enterprise


Katlego Maboe, singer, songwriter and television presenter, has nominated the See-Saw-Do social enterprise. The project uses creative injections to transform and enliven classrooms for underprivileged children. This affords them a stimulating environment that is more conducive to learning. 

Tracy Lee Lynch nominates the Shawl by Laduma Ngxokolo


Tracy Lee Lynch, the design, décor and styling guru, nominated the Shawl by Laduma Ngxokolo. The Xhosa beadwork-inspired patterns that Laduma translates onto his knitwear have become iconic pieces of fashion from South Africa. His shawl has already been paraded on international catwalks. 

Gareth Cliff nominates the Bottle 2 Build school initiative


Gareth Cliff, well-known radio and television personality and founder of CliffCentral, has nominated the Bottle 2 Build school initiative. The project’s primary aim is to tackle South Africa’s shortage of classrooms by upcycling plastic water bottles to form the “bricks” needed to build the infrastructure for new schools. 

Aaron Kohn nominates History After Apartheid by Haroon Gunn-Salie


Director of the Museum of African Design in Johannesburg, Aaron Kohn has nominated Haroon Gunn-Salie’s first solo exhibition, History After Apartheid. The exhibition focusses on contemporary South Africa and the struggle for social economic justice. Using colour and light, the exhibition sparks debate and dialogue on resistance movements and riot control.  

Lindi Ndebele Koka nominates the Umthi Hanging Lamp by Meyer Von Wielligh 


Chief Director of Cultural Industries at South African National Department of Arts and Culture, Lindi Ndebele Koka, has nominated the Umthi Hanging Lamp by Meyer Von Wielligh. The inspiration behind the lamp was to take processed wood back to its natural form and appreciate the material in light of its origin. The Umthi Hanging lamp was then designed to resemble the organic lines of tree branches. 

Dillion Phiri nominates the hardwood cruiser by Alpha Longboards 


Dillion Phiri, founder and creative director at Creative Nestlings, has nominated a skateboard created by Kent Lingeveldt. Every board that leaves the Alpha Longboards workshop is hand cut, shaped, sanded and finished by the founder himself. Each board is unique and many are custom artworks. 

Emilie Gambade nominates the Basotho Blanket Classic Starburst Coat by Thabo Makhetha


Emilie Gambade, the editor-in-chief of ELLE South Africa, has nominated the Basotho Blanket Classic Starburst Coat by Thabo Makhetha. The Starburst jacket is a classic piece from Thabo Makhetha’s range of garments inspired by the Basotho people. The Coat is a modern interpretation of this traditional South African culture. 

Veejay Archary nominates a vegetarian dish by chef Candice Philip of the Five Hundred Restaurant


Veejay Archary & Marisa Holley of Black Africa Group nominated a vegetarian dish created by Candice Philip, a renowned chef at the Five Hundred Restaurant at the Saxon Hotel. Candice prides herself on her ability to use strange flavours to create unexpected journeys. She has recently created an innovative vegetarian dish that began with a simple pea. Using peas, wasabi, lemon crème and parsnip fudge, she turned peculiar combinations into a well-rounded taste experience. 

The Design Indaba team nominates the Twenty Journey book 


The team at Design Indaba, the publication and festival that celebrates the power of creativity to create a better world, has chosen for their nomination the Twenty Journey book. The book was created by three South African photographers who set out to visually document the country 20 years into democracy. Sipho Mpongo, Wikus De Wet and Sean Metelerkamp have told the story of a new South Africa through their compelling photo series.

You can cast your MBOISA vote via sms or the Design Indaba website.


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