The annual National Craft Competition celebrates the best handmade work in ceramics, beadwork, wirework, woodwork, jewellery, paper and a variety of other disciplines.

The grand prize is R50 000, and talented artists from all over the country are urged to send in their entries.

Alex Shabalala, from KwaZulu-Natal, sent in his whimsical, quirky and fun cheetah ceramics to the competition. They’re colourful, kitschy cool, flamboyant and we all want to own one of them.

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“I work in earthenware clay and use underglaze paint, which is water-based and glazed with a transparent glaze before being fired in a kiln at between 1 000°C and 1 100°C,” he says.

Shabalala says he works with three themes – divine, flora and butterfly.

The divine design, with a white background, is inspired by South African wildlife, while the flora design, with a black background, is inspired by the country’s flowers. The butterfly design is inspired by butterfly wings.

“These designs are used on ceramic pendants, jewellery and fabric.”

Have amazing work that you’d like to enter into the competition? You have until April 20 to take a photo of your entry, next to a matchbox for size of scale, and either email it to or send it to 071 621 3597 via MMS or WhatsApp. Entry into the competition is free. Please remember to include your name, the town in which you live and your contact details