05 Oct VIDA E CAFFÈ X DISCOVERY VITALITY PRESENT: RURAMAI MUSEKIWA
Last year, well-known and loved coffee retailer vida e caffè, alongside Discovery Vitality and Between 10and5 called on illustrators from across the country to conceptualise and create an innovative limited edition design for vida’s reusable bamboo cups, which will be sold in vida stores nationwide and made available as a redemption on Vitality Active Rewards. The competition aims to support and celebrate the South African creative industry; including emerging artists and illustrators.
Following a rigorous evaluation of the extensive number of portfolio submissions we received from highly talented artists, we are excited to share that three illustrators have been chosen as winners. Amy-Leigh Braaf, Ruramai Musekiwa, and Carli Badenhorst. We got to catch up with the winners in a 3 part feature. Up next, we have Ruramai Musekiwa aka Rudo The Gift.
Tell us about yourself and your creative background – when did your love for art and creativity begin?
My name is Ruramai ‘Rudo’ Musekiwa. I consider myself a multidisciplinary creative; specialising in fine art, illustration, graphic design, music and copywriting.
My love for art began at a very young age – I recall sketching through most of my math classes in the first and second grade. I think the love for creativity grew over the years the more I was exposed to art in its varying forms.
A year has gone by since vida launched their Illustrator Competition and called on artists to enter. Tell us about why you chose to enter the competition?
I chose to enter the competition because firstly, I love the vida e caffé Brand; I’ve always wanted to see my art live in everyday spaces.
For the longest time, I’ve wanted to explore the idea of my art being on functional objects or spaces that people engage with daily.
A year later, you’ve been chosen as one of the winners; what does this mean to you?
It was amazing to find out I had been chosen as one of the winners! I think it’s definitely a special career milestone; It is an honour to be a part
of a meaningful campaign and to see my art associated with great brands.
What are you hoping to achieve beyond designing vida’s sustainable takeaway coffee cups?
I have many plans and goals which generally involve using art and creativity as a vehicle for positive social impact.
I have a few pop-up exhibitions in the pipeline amongst other things.
Talk us through the type of work you create, your artistic style and what influenced this style.
My artwork is centered around portraiture / the human form. I create bodies of work in a range of styles; incorporating a lot of line work,
a distinct African flair and mostly earthy palettes. I think my unique artistic signature will continue to develop over time. My style has been
inspired by travel – exposure to African patterns, textures and photography. It has been significantly influenced by exposure to different contexts
and spaces as I moved around a lot in my childhood (Zimbabwe, Australia, different parts of South Africa) – the diverse visual languages in these
different contexts feed into my work.
How has your style developed over the years?
My style continues to develop. I only started exploring digital illustration around 2014 and I have definitely refined my craft / style – it is becoming
What are some of the themes you explore within your work and through these themes, what message do you intend to communicate?
I enjoy exploring existential themes. There’s a strong thread around identity in my work, the human experience and activism.
I am passionate about how POC are represented, particularly Black women and a body of work that speaks to that is the Sibahle
Poster Series, which gained extensive visibility. I believe art has the power to transform narratives and to shift frames of reference,
and this gives my work intentionality.
Fast forward to five years from now – where do you see yourself?
I see myself as a prolific creative exhibiting globally, creating spaces that facilitate the development of creatives from underprivileged communities.
I see myself travelling extensively through my social enterprise and spearheading creative campaigns that make a tangible difference.
vida e caffè and Discovery Vitality are homegrown, proudly South African brands that celebrate African life and culture with people at their core, and represent our diverse country internationally. Both brands believe in spreading the message of health and wellness – actively playing their part in encouraging people to live better lives. The winners were tasked to create designs that reflect both brands’ core values and celebrate South African culture and diversity by incorporating elements such as people, street culture, music, fashion, athletes/sports etc. within their work.