What does it take to make it in the creative sector in South Africa? Join us on 1, 2, 3 August for a series of inspiring and informative talks on ‘Making It’.

About the IQOQO Sessions

IQOQO Sessions is a series of nine inspiring talks hosted by IQOQO and taking place on 1, 2, 3 August 2023 at True Design in the Keyes Art Mile, Rosebank. IQOQO Sessions is a satellite event of Joburg Decor & Design Week, which is a new amalgamation of three very successful events: Decorex, Design Joburg, and 100% Design. 

Each Session tells a gripping story full of big ideas about how a leading young creative in South Africa arrived at their groundbreaking early-career moment. In the process, these aspirational and educational tales reveal the networks and opportunities that exist in South Africa and the world that they were able to access in order to reach their dreams.

What journey did a filmmaker go on to develop their first feature? How did a fashion designer come to stage their first debut international fashion show? What led to that artist’s first major exhibition? How did a game developer create their game or that architect their first award-winning building? What is the story behind their passion for Virtual Reality? Or how did they end up working in animation?

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Upcoming Sessions

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01/08/2023 13:00 - 13:45

Papama Mtwisha’s talents exceed simple classification, traversing such varied roles as fashion director, stylist, designer, speaker and now businesswoman.

She’s been at the forefront of South African fashion for almost two decades while forging a multi-dimensional career fueled by pure passion and a deep sense of purpose. Having qualified in fashion design in 2001, Mtwisha cut her teeth as a fashion and beauty editor for various publications while racking up credits for her work on TV shows, award-winning music videos and other collaborative projects. 

Founded in 2016, Butter Pudding is Mtwisha’s entrepreneurial debut, a kids clothing line inspired by her two daughters. She has since launched Africa Your Time Is Now, a contemporary label designed to challenge common stereotypes and offer commentary on subjects like Afro-optimism, heritage and ethnic identity.

She’s been invited to speak at several conferences and has sat on judging panels for SA Fashion Week, AFI Joburg Fashion Week, PICA Awards and Decorex, to name a few.

Book now to attend Session 1!


Visual Artist & Activist
01/08/2023 14:00 - 14:45

Born in Cape Town in 1987, Lady Skollie holds a certificate in Business Acumen of Artists and a Bachelor of Arts in History of Art and Dutch Literature from the University of Cape Town. Her vibrant, often controversial work has been exhibited both locally and internationally, and her solo exhibitions have garnered her recognition as well as a residency abroad.

Resoundingly San, she uses ink, watercolour and crayon to defy taboos and talk openly about issues of sex, pleasure, consent, human connection, violence and abuse. Her work is simultaneously bold and vulnerable, expressing the joy and darkness of the erotic and the duality of human experience.

Lady Skollie has been named in OkayAfrica’s 100 Women, an annual list that honours women across 10 different fields for their contribution, achievements and influence.

She was born Laura Windvogel-Molifi, but this artist has achieved renown through the persona of LADY SKOLLIE – a pseudonym she explains as follows: “I want to be a mouthpiece. I’m that dirty auntie skollie who says what you’ve been thinking but never admitted to … coaxing things out of you with a bright and sunny disposition. Humour is a vehicle for social change.”

There is thus a committed activism underlying her treatment of a range of subjects – in particular, the ‘forbidden fruit’ at the intersection of lust, greed and power, and the deployment of sex as a weapon. Linked to this is her protest against gender-based violence, expressed in images that depict women as shackled, yearning to be free.

Lady Skollie’s earlier work also engaged in the subversion and appropriation of the European / Western art canon. She remains playfully resistant to the art establishment, describing herself as “someone who never fit in” and “an art school dropout” when she was younger.

There is an implicit critique here of the whiteness of the art world – skollie, she suggests, is a word that has been used “to describe a person of colour in a place where they are unwanted by its white inhabitants”. Lady Skollie has also explored histories of mistreatment and misrepresentation of coloured communities in South Africa. 

She has had solo exhibitions at leading local galleries like Everard Read and has enjoyed residencies at institutions ranging from the Bag Factory in Johannesburg to Eastside Projects in Birmingham (UK). She continued to design 1 million units of a R5 coin for South Africa depicting the long serpentine lines of the first democratic voting lines in 1994. Most recently she has been seen in a different role – as an interviewer with her fellow artists for the DW television show Afrimaxx.

Book now to attend Session 1!

Kirstin Lee

01/08/2023 15:00 - 15:45

Kirstin Lee Grey started her career in linear film, having worked and grown in the ranks of production since 2011 for both independent film and international studios. With funding support from a Singaporean company, Kirstin and a business partner established a film agency called Grey Matter in 2018. During its short span, they worked on innovative projects, partnering with Yellowbone Entertainment to project manage ‘Sew the Winter to My Skin’s’ South African campaign as the official entry to the Best Foreign Film category at the 91st Academy Awards. Kirstin also brought to life ‘Gr8ness,’ a 360VR film by Black Rhino VR in Kenya and VR for Good/Oculus (Meta). The latter would unknowingly change her trajectory to Immersive Storytelling.

After being introduced to VR (virtual reality) as a storytelling tool, she spent a year with Electric South as their Cultural Producer, where she successfully navigated the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, secured funding for the 1st Electric Africa VR Festival – Africa’s first free online virtual reality festival – and oversaw the 4th New Dimensions Lab. In 2020, Kirstin was fixated on creating fictional high fantasy stories in VR and using the tools for what she deemed its full potential, this time under her own company, Different Immersive. Her first project, ‘Other Behemoth Creatures,’ received funding, and the pilot is currently in development. This project has been invited to various markets, most notably VR Days in Amsterdam and the International Film Festival of Rotterdam.

Since venturing solo, she has collaborated with World Slam Poet Champion Xabiso Vili and The Brother Moves On to create a 360 Visual Album called ‘Black Boi Meets Boogeyman,’ made possible through funding from Meta and Africa No Filter, and has worked to create a VR piece in the Netflix hit show ‘Blood and Water.’

In the next 3 – 5 years, Kirstin aims to have her content studio grow into an in-person exhibition space where audiences from all walks of life can engage with African storytelling, art, and technology.

Book now to attend Session 1!


Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria
02/08/2023 13:00 - 13:45

Gabi Ngcobo is a South African curator, artist and educator. Currently, she is the Curatorial Director at the Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria (Javett-UP)

Ngcobo studied Art History at the University of Durban-Westville. After completing her BA degree, she worked at the Iziko South African National Gallery and the Cape Africa Platform in Cape Town, where she co-curated the Cape 07 Biennale in 2007 together with Jonathan Garnham. In 2010, she completed a Master’s in Curatorial Studies at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in New York.

Since the early 2000s, Ngcobo has been involved in collaborative, artistic and educational projects. Together with Dineo Seshee Bopape and Sinethemba Twalo she was the founder of NGO – Nothing Gets Organised.NGO focuses on process and self-organisation that take place outside of predefined structures and contexts. In 2010 she established, along with other artists, curators, and writers, the Center for Historical Reenactments (CHR). The CHR responds and questions how historical legacies impact and resonate within contemporary art. The CHR was team-led with Kemang Wa-Lehulere and Donna Kukama, among others, and was part of the 11th Biennale de Lyon.

Between 2011 and 2020 Ngcobo was a lecturer at the Wits University School of Arts, in Johannesburg. During that time, she was a co-curator of the 32nd São Paulo Biennial in 2016, which was presented at the Ciccillo Matarazzo Pavilion in São Paulo. In 2018 she curated the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art in Berlin together with Nomaduma Rosa Masilela, Serubiri Moses, Thiago de Paula Souza and Dr Yvette Mutumba. With Mutumba she also co-curated the exhibition A Labour of Love in 2015 as part of her residency at the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt am Main.

In 2018, Ngcobo was part of the selection committee that nominated Ruangrupa as the artistic director of Documenta fifteen. Ngcobo was a member of the jury that selected Emilija Škarnulytė as recipient of the Future Generation Art Prize in 2019.

Book now to attend Session 2!


02/08/2023 14:00 - 14:45

Nindya Bucktowar is a multidisciplinary artist who experiments with clay and multiple mediums to create installations inspired by natural and urban landscapes. She specialises in ceramic topographical sculptures and installations, using earthen fragments as a medium to create immersive spaces and experiences. She considers her artistic creation as an intimate process, where she interprets and abstracts the fragments of her experiences of the physical world into her works.

Nindya Bucktowar graduated with a Bachelor’s in Architectural Studies at Nelson Mandela University in 2013. She runs her own multidisciplinary design practice and ceramic business. She is the co-founder and co-director of Kalki Ceramics, Studio Kalki, NT Design Studio and Leather Studio. Bucktowar previously lectured at the Architectural Department of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (2019-2021)

At the beginning of 2021, Bucktowar was selected for the RMB Talent Unlocked programme in association with Everard Read and Strauss & Co, where she exhibited her work at Circa Gallery in Johannesburg. Following this, her work was acquired for the FirstRand art collection.

Bucktowar held her first solo exhibition at the KZNSA Gallery in August 2021. She has also exhibited on notable group shows, including Bordeaux Art and Design (France), Galerie Revel (Paris), SCENORAMA KZN (Project by Gabi Ngcobo & JAVETT UP), CloutSA (CT), Spier Arts Academy (CT), Union House (CT), Spier Wine Farm (CT), Always Welcome (CT), Nirox (JHB), the Melrose Gallery (JHB), Ceramics Southern Africa (CT & JHB), Kim Sacks Gallery (JHB), KZNSA Gallery (KZN), Tamasa Gallery (KZN), African Art Centre (KZN), Tatham Art Gallery (PMB), 100% Design SA (Decorex) and Latitudes Art Fair 2023 (JHB) (KZNSA Gallery).

She has undertaken various collaborative projects with Nando’s, CloutSA, Mr Price Home (Artist COLAB), Redbull, Durban Art Gallery, internationally acclaimed interior designers and South African Network Cities.

She attended artist residencies at Imiso Ceramics (CT) (March-May 2022) and Hillford Pottery (Lindsay Scott).

Awards include Ndebele Premier Award, Ceramic Southern Africa (First Prize), DBR: Design Build Research, 2017 (First Prize).

In December 2022, Nikhil Tricam and Nindya Bucktowar were announced as the winner of Nando’s Hot Young Designer competition, led by Clout SA. They are currently working on various national and international art and design project, represented by Tracy Lynch, Clout SA.

Book now to attend Session 2!


02/08/2023 15:00 - 15:45

Shaakira Jassat is the founder and creative director at Studio Sway. Born and raised in South Africa, she studied Interior Architecture at the University of Pretoria and after working in corporate architecture in Johannesburg for a few years, she moved to the Netherlands. She completed her second bachelor at Design Academy Eindhoven and now works on interdisciplinary projects through her company, founded in 2019.

Growing up in a young democracy in South Africa and her background in architecture forms the foundations for her work. She lingers between craft, philosophy and science to develop relevant and poetic projects. Jassat is the creator of the Aquatecture Water Harvesting System©, one of the first in vertical water harvesting, and has developed several projects as a result of the Day Zero drought in Cape Town in 2018. 

Jassat featured as a Global Graduate speaker at the Design Indaba Conference in 2018 and a top 10 finalist of the Dopper Changemaker Challenge 2019. Her project Tea Drop won the Kazerne Design Award 2020. Aquatecture Water Harvesting System© received a nomination for the Green Concept Award 2021, was part of the Creative Climate Collective at COP27 and nominated for the Make it Circular Challenge with WDCD and IKEA foundation. 

Recently she began tutoring at Design Academy Eindhoven.

Book now to attend Session 2!


03/08/2023 15:00 - 15:45

Milisuthando Bongela (b.1985, South Africa) is an award-winning writer, editor, cultural worker and artist. Her career began in the fashion industry but the last 15 years have seen her traverse the worlds of music, art, media and film – continually turning towards indigenous knowledge. 

For three years she was Arts Editor for the Mail & Guardian’s Friday section and was the host and co-producer of the podcast Umoya: On African Spirituality with Athambile Masola. After 8 years, she has recently completed her first film, a personal essay documentary titled MILISUTHANDO which will have its world premiere at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival in the World Cinema Documentary Competition. She is an inaugural fellow of the 2020 Adobe Women at Sundance Fellowship.

Book now to attend Session 3!

Nosipho Maketo-
van den Bragt

03/08/2023 16:00 - 16:45

An attorney, creative business entrepreneur, and aspiring writer, Nosipho is a multi-potentiate that thrives in idea synthesis, rapid learning, and adaptability. 

With a passion for storytelling and breathing life into concepts in visually realistic ways, but also a passion for advocating strongly for creatives, Nosipho co-founded Chocolate Tribe in 2014. 

Nosipho graduated with a master’s in Law and Political Justice at the University of London, Birkbeck College. Nosipho has helped cultivate Chocolate Tribe into a professional Animation and VFX studio that not only produces work of the highest international standard, but with its over 25 years of industry experience; Chocolate Tribe is a studio that aspires to harness and develop the potential of young talent in the Animation and VFX industry. 

As the owner and CEO of Chocolate Tribe, Nosipho continues to be an advocate for growth, training, and development. Nosipho has been pivotal in brokering both local and international deals that have seen Chocolate Tribe increase its client base. Nosipho is also the founder of AVIJOZI, an animation, VFX, and interactive event that is meant to empower the youth to access opportunities in this industry.

Book now to attend Session 3!

Cukia 'Sugar'

03/08/2023 17:00 - 17:45

Cukia “Sugar” Kimani is a creative engineer with computer science and digital art degrees. He works primarily in games but also other creative digital projects. He is the co-founder and former technical director of award-winning African studio, Nyamakop. Cukia currently works as a freelance engineer and producer but is always noodling around with a variety of prototypes. That he often shares on Twitter and Github.

During his tenure at Nyamakop, Cukia alongside fellow co-founder Ben Myres built the studio into “one of the most promising studios in African game development” as described by Polygon. Cukia was named as one of Forbes Africa’s 30 under 30 of 2018 for his work building Nyamakop.

Nyamakop released their debut title, Semblance in 2018. Semblance, was the first African IP on Nintendo ever. Semblance has been nominated and won several awards as well as exhibited all around the world.

Before Nyamakop, Cukia created Boxer. Boxer won the inaugural A MAZE./ Johannesburg Award in 2015. He is also a public speaker having spoken at various events around the world including GDC, A MAZE./ Berlin and Respawn.

Book now to attend Session 3!