The 29-year-old self-taught illustrator, Thami Zikalala (Misstpink) started designing and illustrating in 2014. What started as a hobby grew into work that now includes celebrity portraits of, among others, house DJ Black Coffee, radio personality Tumi Voster and actress Thando Thabethe. She also customises cellphone covers, mugs, lunchboxes and puzzles.
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Johannesburg-based graphic designer and illustrator, David Tshabalala, is widely known for his 2014 series, Run The World, which aired as an “instabition” (an Instagram exhibition) in celebration of South African women during Women’s Month.
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Feminist illustrator Thandiwe Tshabalala uses her work to challenge society’s perceptions of women, as well as ideas of everyday life in South Africa. She is mostly known for her work titled “ABCs of Xhosa Names”, which was a series of GIFs celebrating Xhosa names. In 2015 she won the Department of Arts and Culture’s Mbokodo Award for Best Creative.
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Dennis Owusu – Ansah
This 26-year-old Ghanaian artist has been featured on Okayafrica for his portraits of stars like Beyoncé, Jay Z, Chris Brown, Kevin Hart, Nicki Minaj and Meagan Good. He says he wanted to capture the African essence of these artists through this work. He is currently working on a customised clothing range and shoe collection.
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Featured by Design Indaba as one of their Emerging Creatives in 2015, Zambian-born illustrator Musonda Kabwe wanted to stretch his ability through his current project, Character Calendar, which is an illustration of 30 of his Facebook friends. The simplicity and clarity with which he depicts ordinary people showcases the beauty of illustration as a tool.
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What other illustrators from the continent should we be looking out for?