21th Poetry Africa Poster

The Centre for Creative Arts (UKZN) in collaboration with the Durban University Technology’s Department of Visual Communication Design is delighted to provide some insight onto the process of creating and designing the 21st Poetry Africa poster.

The collaboration started back in 2012, when the CCA approached DUT to breathe new life into the Poetry Africa visual campaign. Over the years it has grown to become a vital part of the visual identity of the festival. Each year the poetry community can expect a new design each year that fully embodies the current mood of events.

The magnitude of this project has over the years become a very important part of the third year students’ programme as the University has added this project to its curriculum. The goal of this project is not only to convey the energy, richness of content or the spirit of the festival, but also to shift people’s pre-conceptions about poetry, a goal that has been steadily achieved. This evolution led us to this year’s winning poster, designed by 3rd year Graphic Design student Samela Hlophe.

Samela (21) is a 3rd year graphic design student at DUT from Umlazi, KwaZulu Natal. He fell in love with graphic design back in primary. Drawing and illustrating characters from his favorite comics and action movies while maintaining his good grades.

Samela said, he dreams of becoming an independent creative, but his creativity is not only limited to advertising but it goes on to other creativity fields. And also added by saying he would like to use his illustration skills to decorate old age homes and orphanages, a passion he developed in 2013 while painting murals at Cheshire Home, an old age home in Sydenham.

He is described by his lecturer, Marlene Wasserman as a very talented, yet modest young man, a talent that he continuously hones and develops. “He approached this task with much enthusiasm as he does with all other tasks.” She continued by saying she loves the referencing of the unique crafting of rhythmic patterns in the hair, translated beautifully to become authentic and distinctively African.

The poster was inspired by the feminine beauty in all African women, Samela said. He then continued, “I am over the moon to know that finally the whole of Durban is going to see my work.” Although his humble nature keeps him grounded, he does however acknowledge that this is only the beginning in his career, a career that is already looking bright.

People can follow this amazing talent on Instagram @sam_artworksdbn or sam_hlophe on behance to stay updated on all his work.

The runners-up as selected by the CCA are Clinton Myeni, Malibongwe Mwandla, Athenkosi Mjobo and Cameron Lofstrand respectively.

Article by Publications Intern: Thabiso Gordon Zwane 

Presented by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu Natal)


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