At the 2017 Design Indaba Conference, Kenyan photographer Osborne Macharia introduced the audience to a stunning Afro-futurist series called Magadi.

The series captures a group of elderly female former circumcisers dressed in bold wax-print dresses and striking fierce poses against a desert background.

“This is the story of a group of female former circumcisers living in the vast salty plains of Lake Magadi who abandoned their former practice and took up ethnic fashion as an alternative livelihood,” said Macharia.

“They now shelter young girls who escape early marriage, and teach them fashion skills such as styling, fashion design, print work and modelling for local and international runways. Little was known about them until now.”

The photo series has now been taken further, with Macharia co-directing Nairobi-based alternative music maker Blinky Bill’s new music video for the track Atie.

Featuring a character from Magadi dressed in bright yellow, Blinky’s bass-heavy beats take us through a scorched desert where these stylish women are the queens. It makes for a video that’s authentic, fresh and uniquely Kenyan – it’s the kind of thing we wish we could see more of. Check it out on YouTube.


Design Indaba is one of the most anticipated creative conferences of the year with a huge gathering of some of the most exciting creatives and scenes.

Apart from talks by industry heavyweights, there’ll be live music, performance and theatre, fashion shows, product launches, dance and surprise appearances by creative industry leaders.

This year’s speakers include poet Lebo Mashile, Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and London-born designer Morag Myerscough.

Here’s what to look out for:


Design Indaba Conference 
Artscape Theatre Centre
February 21 to 23
The three-day flagship event in Cape Town will cost R8 300 to attend all three days or R3 220 to attend on the Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.

Design Indaba Nightscape
Artscape Piazza
February 22 and 23
This curated programme of music, art, a film festival and some of the best street food Cape Town has to offer will run concurrently with the day programme. It’ll cost R300 to R375 for a two-night pass, or R200 to R250 for either Thursday or Friday night.

Trend Forecast 2018 with Li Edelkoort
Artscape Theatre Centre
February 24
Renowned Dutch trend forecaster Li Edelkoort will share the coming season’s shifting trends during this popular seminar. Tickets to the seminar cost R715.


Trend Forecast 2018 with Li Edelkoort
Lisof School of Design
February 19
Edelkoort will present the same trend forecast seminar in Joburg. Tickets cost R715.

Design Indaba Simulcast
Lisof School of Design
February 21 to 23
If you can’t make it to Cape Town, the Design Indaba will be simulcast in Joburg. Tickets cost R920 to R1 080 for a three-day pass, or R400 for either the Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.