3 new SA homeware designers who should be on your radar

22 June 2015 - 02:00 By Sarah Buitendach
Durban designer Siyanda Mbele of Pinda shows how the side tables he designed can be cleverly stacked together to create a shelving unit.
Durban designer Siyanda Mbele of Pinda shows how the side tables he designed can be cleverly stacked together to create a shelving unit.
Image: Frank Ellis

Over the last couple of months we’ve discovered a handful of South African creatives, who’re making furniture and homeware that’s really made us sit up and take notice. Here are three new local brands, we think you need to know about

sub_head_start 1. Pinda by Siyande Mbele sub_head_end

Who doesn’t love a bit of modular furniture that fits together and is customizable? Enter Durban designer Siyanda Mbele: his work ticks both boxes.

Mbele graduated from KZN’s Durban University of Technology with a Bachelor of Arts degree in interior design and since then has been producing furniture that’s got the industry talking.


His design inspiration ranges from classic mid-century Memphis pieces to the graphic work of local Ndebele, Venda and Zulu craftspeople. His brand, Pinda, incorporates both in a strikingly contemporary way.

The Pinda side table (above) is an especially good example of this - we love how this range of plywood-topped tables have graphic legs that come in a multitude of interchangeable colors, and are cut in such a way that they allow you to stack the tables on top of each other to create clever shelving units.

For more info, contact smbeleo@gmail.com.

sub_head_start 2. Sugar and Vice by Natalie Vice sub_head_end

Designer Natalie Vice finds inspiration in everything from flora and fauna to travel, and especially her home city, Cape Town. Having spotted a gap in the market for the sort of pretty, quirky homeware items she'd like to buy herself, Vice set about creating a range (and business) that met all her interior needs.


Thanks to her sharp eye and natural talent - she hand-draws all the illustrations you'll see on her products - Vice now has a collection of items in the Sugar and Vice range that includes everything from tea towels and cushions to salad bowls and espresso cups. Some sport graphic elephant designs, others soaring swallows or even upbeat interpretations of Table Mountain.

She'll soon be introducing T-shirts, bags and wallpaper to her offering and plans to collaborate with other artists on new products too.

For more info, visit sugarandvice.co.za.

sub_head_start 3. Bonga Jwambi sub_head_end

It's always exciting to discover a new designer who's not only creating furniture that looks good but has a green edge too. Khayelitsha-based designer Bonga Jwambi's chairs and tables are exactly this.


The young talent debuted his work at this year's Design Indaba Expo and it had even the most jaded industry type nodding in appreciation. His clean-lined high-backed chairs, stools, side tables and bench are certainly sleek and contemporary, and they also cleverly reference traditional South African riempie furniture. What's more, they are produced by recycling wood from industrial pallets and plastic strapping used for packaging.

Jwambi has no formal training but grew up fascinated by design, and it's clear from his first foray into furniture that this passionate creative talent is one to watch.

Find Bonga on Facebook at facebook.com/bonga.jwambi.