Judges announced for the 2021 Innibos National Craft Awards


A diverse panel of judges will ensure that this year’s Innibos National Craft Awards upholds its mission of rewarding excellence in skill and innovation.

Each judge brings a different perspective to the adjudication process.

The 2021 judges are:

  • Thabisa Mjo,the owner and founder of Mash.T Design Studio.
  • Amos Letsoalo, the head curator of the Polokwane Art Museum.
  • Maureen Waldeck, the brand manager of Tourvest Destination Retail’s stores and retail brands.
  • Malibongwe Tyilo, a journalist, multimedia content producer, content strategist and editor.
  • Annemarie Meintjes, the editor at large of VISI magazine.

Meet Thabisa

Thabisa Mjo, the owner and founder of Mash.T Design Studio, is passionate about preserving traditional skills and helping small businesses.

She stumbled into the industry by impulsively entering the Nando’s Hot Young Designer Talent Search competition in 2015. The challenge was to create a pendant light with a contemporary forward-thinking South African twist that could be used in any Nando’s restaurant globally.

To her delight, the Tutu 2.0 light was announced a winner and has been installed in restaurants across the world, from Cape Town to Malaysia, Washington and London. However, for Thabisa, who had never designed anything before, the real prize was discovering that she had a gift she had never tapped into.

Thabisa has subsequently designed full product ranges and won several awards, thus securing her name as one of the continent’s top design talents. Most recently, Thabisa became the first South African designer to have two of her works, the Tutu Light and Mjojo Cabinet, be installed as part of the permanent collection at Paris’ Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Museum of Decorative Arts) in the Louvre.

Meet Amos

Amos Letsoalo studied fine arts at the Johannesburg Art Foundation from 1992 to 1994. He completed his studies in Arts Managements at Wits School of the Arts. Amos worked at the Wits Art Museum as curatorial assistant from 2001 to 2007, and is now the head curator of the Polokwane Art Museum.

He participated in the British Museum’s International Curatorial Training Programme in 2008 and is currently completing a Master in Fine Arts part-time at Wits School of Arts.

His work has been shown extensively, nationally and internationally, and is also represented in public art collections nationally and internationally.

Meet Maureen

As the brand manager of Tourvest Destination Retail, Maureen Waldeck knows what constitutes a marketable craft and will bring this knowledge to the 2021 Innibos National Craft Awards adjudication panel.

A seasoned retailer with an exceptional eye for merchandise, Maureen has a passion for product development, especially in the home-ware, African art and craft categories; for building brand value and mentoring young creatives and entrepreneurs.

Maureen joined Tigers Eye Retail, now Tourvest Destination Retail, after being self-employed for 22 years. She joined Tourvest Destination Retail in May 2006 as home-ware buyer. Since 2010, she has been responsible for both brand management and buying functions across all buying categories for Tourvest brands at OR Tambo International Airport.

Meet Malibongwe

Malibongwe Tyilo is a journalist, multimedia content producer, content strategist and editor, whose expertise lies in the fields of fashion, art, design and culture.

He has explored all of these subjects on his own online platforms and as a columnist for various newspapers and magazines, including City Press, House and Leisure, ELLE, Woolworths W magazine and Woolworths TASTE magazine.

Malibongwe has also held the posts of editor at large and then contributing editor of VISI magazine, contributing editor and then digital editor for ELLE South Africa and ELLE Decoration, and digital content strategist and video producer for Associated Media Publishing, across titles such as Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and House and Leisure.

He is currently focused on his role as associate editor of Maverick Life, the Daily Maverick website and newspaper’s life and culture section; and producing video content and developing and implementing communication strategies for Clout/SA, Nando’s Design Programme.

Meet Annemarie

Annemarie Meintjes is the editor at large of VISI magazine.

Her life has been a colourful journey, from childhood holidays spent on Scandinavian-styled game farms and student weekends on traditional Stellenbosch wine farms, to being a member of the launch-crew of SABC television in Johannesburg, to the seasonal Paris Collections as fashion editor for Red Magazine and annual visits to Milan and Japan for design and architecture for VISI.

Annemarie co-published four books with Karen Roos, namely South, Outdoor Living, Shortcut to Storage and Fast Décor. They were produced as a series, HUIS-HUIS, for SABC2. She also recently produced Safari Style Africa, with photographer Dook Clunies-Ross.

Closing date looms

Over 150 entries have already been received for the 2021 Innibos National Craft Awards.

Crafters have until midnight on Friday, August 13, 2021, to enter.

They need simply take a photo of their entry – next to a matchbox for size and scale, and either email it to crafts@innibos.co.za or send it to 071 621 3597 via MMS or WhatsApp. There is no entry fee.

For more information, please WhatsApp Jan Bhuda on 071 621 3597 or email John-Anthony Boerma at artaid@lantic.net.

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