Why the fusion of different township elements is important to illustrator Xolisa Mfiki

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.


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