IN: Inspiration

5 minutes with Mziwoxolo Makalima

We caught up with the 2017 PPC Imaginarium overall winner, Mziwoxolo Makalima to find out what it’s like to be crowned the winner of South Africa’s biggest art and design competition. Plus, he shares some valuable advice for future entrants of the competition – and, remember, the 2018 entries are now open!


What was your reaction when you heard them announce you as the winner?

When my name was announced I asked myself: “Are they really going to start with me?” I couldn’t believe it!

How does it feel to have won both in the sculpture category and the overall competition?

It is overwhelming and amazing to have won both prizes.

Tell us a bit about yourself. What did you study?

I was born and bred in Ngcobo in the Eastern Cape. I studied Fine Art at Tshwane University of Technology and qualified at Walter Sisulu University finishing my B-Tech in Fine Art (Cum Laude) in 2013. In 2014 joined the academic staff of the Walter Sisulu University for a year, giving drawing, painting and printmaking lessons. I now reside in Gonubie in East London where I work as an artist.

PPC Imaginarium

What made you enter the competition?

I entered the competition because I saw it as a platform that gives young artists and designers an opportunity to show the world what they are capable of doing.

What was your experience of the competition?

I learnt that if one does not succeed the first time, one should take more chances, work harder, and try to improve the standard of work with every design.

What inspired your concept?

I have always wanted to express the issues and concerns of ordinary people. The material was more inspiring for my concept. I discovered that the strength of the material was directly affected by weather conditions.

PPC Imaginarium

Where to next now that you have won the PPC Imaginarium Awards?

Winning the PPC Imaginarium Awards means that I can create more because I have the financial support.

What insights or advice do you have for those entering the 2018 awards?

Give yourself enough time to experiment and always challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone. If you’re beginner, look at the PPC Imaginarium website for more information. These details can help beginners understand the material better. Do your research.

PPC Imaginarium

What would you like to see more of in the art and design sector of South Africa?

I would really like to see more artists and designers producing better quality work that will interest business entities that would be willing to invest in art and help promote local art.

Should anyone want to view or purchase your designs, where can they contact you?

To get in touch, email me at To see my latest work, visit my Facebook page (Ta-Mzie Makalima).



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