The Art of Papi
  Papi in Work Shop New Town (standing next to CITIZINS exhibition)

Papi in Work Shop New Town (standing next to CITIZINS exhibition)

Meet Papi, artist, designer and creative entrepreneur. We sat down and discussed his projects, ambitions and how we hope to work together in future. 

Papi is one of those individuals who understands no borders, he has travelled across seas, studied abroad, and lived in various cities across Africa, Europe and America. This continental movement has etched within him a lust for creativity and sharing stories. Returning to is home base of Senegal, Papi hopes to develop the creative industries through the networks and experience he has gained. Partnering with other Senegalese creatives there is a lot excitement on the horizon for Senegalese brands pushing the boundaries of the local industry. 

Want to know more? First let's introduce you to Papi's art. He has a dynamic consumer base that collects and exhibits his Art. Which was why he was in South Africa to begin with. 

 Here is some of his work: (image Courtesy of the Art of Papi).

Beyond Papi's fine art practises, he is passionate about sustainable fashion in Africa. His own label, MWAMI manufactures authentic high quality garments straight out of Senegal. MWAMI strives to be a brand that is forward thinking in its design and manufacturing. While offering an inheritance of Senegalese aesthetic, each garment is constructed with exceptional textiles and silhouettes. 

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Many in the world are looking to have a taste of Africa, whether it be through interest or a lost inheritance - visitors alike hope to bathe in the beauty of this continent. This is equally true for the growing fashion industry. Brands like MWAMI are developing a new sense of expressing Africanism and it is not (only) through wax print. But through the telling of a contemporary African story. 

Senegal is home to many incredible creatives (such as Milcos of Nio Far). Together these creatives are working hard to elevate and encourage other Senegalese designers to be authentic in their expression of there culture. Which is why Papi co-hosted and coordinated an event in Senegal called Wax-Off  to showcase fashion brands that were creating garments outside of the limitations of wax fabrics. A refreshed appeal of African design. 

In addition to these projects, Papi is also the founder of DAKAR LIVES, a platform that showcases life in Dakar - or rather the lifestyle offered by the capital city. Dakar Lives shares an incredible story of daily life in a world class city through exceptional curation and crowd-sourced content. 

To explain the true Art of Papi would not be in his creation of garments and collectable art pieces, but in his energy and desire to see his country and continent flourish and be appreciated for it's amble talents. We parted with a new sense of excitement for our continent and those who are shaping new narratives. Thanks Papi. 

P.s. How does he achieve so much?... He doesn't really sleep, we asked!

-The Work Shop New Town team.


No Pressure, Under Pressure

Nkululeko, Aka Elgin, signed up to design the Matric jacket while he was in high school, he won the bid, and has been designing garments ever since. Utilising his self-taught CorelDRAW skills, Elgin began silk-screening, printing and vinyl cutting his own work on to garments he designed. Fuelled with a passion for skating, Elgin introduced his brand, High Roller which offers unique apparel of street wear for those who understand the grind. 

Growing up in Soweto, Elgin faced the trials of fighting for his goal and brand with little resources. This has translated to a very hand's on approach to to his brand development. Every garment and print is unique and hand crafted with care in Johannesburg. Elgin has developed a brand that not only pays homage to his personal heritage but implores the growth of the city dreamer and the local hustler.  

High Roller is for the person who aspires to be more than their current state of being - it is for the aspirational mind that challenges the status quo in order to capture their goal - during this continuous ride, to feel no pressure, under pressure. 

Support the movement by visiting High Roller in Work Shop New Town. 


We are welcoming in a new pop-up shop; I RUN JHB. Brand owners, Neo and King, have developed a street wear brand that is inspired by African heritage and how dynamic City of Gold is shaping it. Each item and accessory uniquely embodies a sense of South African Kasi culture, through traditional fabrics which are combined with global street culture aesthetics. The result is - Umswenko (deluxe). 

Joburg is world class city, that installs an energy into those that call it home. Incorporating a diverse population of people and cultures, this is a city that is a true melting pot of South Africa. I RUN JHB, have highlighted this in their brand by capturing the essence of diversity and aspirational energy. 

Come visit to join the movement, I RUN JHB!

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Work Shop New Town
The Threaded Man X Work Shop New Town

We partnered with the talented Siya Beyile and The Threaded Man team to introduce an editorial of the in-house brands found at #TheWorkshop. Looks have been styled from a diversity of designers and brands found with in the space to introduce you to a new way of styling and matching up our local talent. Next time you come to #TheWorkshop, take a closer look at each product - there are so many ways to create a fresh and unique look. 

Photographed by Ricardo Marcusk, Styled by Didi Ntshudisane, Co-ordinated by Simbongile Ndlangisa, Make-up by Precious Xaba, and creative direction by Siya Beyile. Mpho Ntlatleng and Mpho Dlodlo (yes, two Mpho's) show us how to get it right. 


ABOVE: The Mpho's wear skirts by MaXhosa by Laduma, t-shirts from The Family Tree Store, accessories from SLAY, and shoes from Sara (B)aartjies.  

The images were captured in and around Work Shop New Town - our favourite instagrammable spots. 

ABOVE: Mpho Ntlatleng (Left, in blue) wears: earrings for Maxhosa by Laduma, shirt from Prime Obsession, joggers from Streetwear Cartel, socks from MaXhosa by Laduma and heels from Ndlovukazi. Mpho Dlodlo wears: earrings from Ndlovukazi, t-shirt from High Roller, joggers from Streetwear Cartel, socks from MaXhosa by Laduma and heels from Ndlovukazi.

ABOVE: The Mphos wear earrings from MaXhosa by Laduma, the Basotho jerseys from African Image,  Mpho Ntlatleng’s pants are from Ndlovukazi and Mpho Dlodlo’s pants are from Prime Obsession and necklace from Central Original, both shoes from Ndlovukazi.

Contemporary African elegance, captured by the Mpho's; both wearing earrings from MaXhosa by Laduma, dresses by Lasyntyche. 

#TheWorkshop is a space that constantly alters and changes as it grows - which means brands will come and go. We recommend you that you come through regularly to see some of the newest creatives and stores to visit. Stay up-to-date by subscribing to our Newsletter or following us on social.