Award-winning at home, having shown his MaXhosa Africa collections in London and Paris, and with a concept store in New York due to launch this year, Ngxokolo’s brand has gone global while remaining rooted in Africa. “Fashioning the Afropolitan Future” will open with a student-focussed ‘meet and greet’, leading thereafter to a ‘show and tell’ display of selected garments. The event offers an opportunity to consider the concept of London Afropolitan as an interface between diasporic belonging, design innovation, and urban culture.

By providing an informative and vibrant space for discussion across design disciplines, this event will see Ngxokolo ‘in conversation’, exchanging ideas with fashion students, industry commentators and high-profile guests. Following the formal proceedings, there will be an opportunity to ‘chill and chat’ for networking drinks in the Africa Centre’s Malangatana Bar, accompanied by the sounds of a curated playlist celebrating #30YearsOfFreedom.

This unique moment acclaims joyful belief in Africa’s bright future – a spirit of optimism and creativity experienced both on the continent and in the UK. This spirit is echoed by the Africa Centre during its 60-year anniversary season of celebration. Our London Metropolitan University project team includes Mavernie Cunningham, Matthew Barac, Harriet McKay, Adeyemi Akande, Wally Mbassi, Ricardo Everley, Tunmiji Osibodu, and Emma Carpenter.

Keynote Speaker

Laduma Ngxokolo is the CEO and founder of world-renowned fashion brand MaXhosa Africa. Established in 2012, MaXhosa designs showcase the beauty, culture, language and aspiration of the Xhosa people of South Africa. Translated into a contemporary design context, Ngxokolo’s use of Xhosa motifs has created an award-winning brand that has gained a worldwide following, and is at the forefront of bringing African design to the attention of global markets.


Caroline Kamana is Director of the Liliesleaf Trust UK and is creating the Anti-Apartheid Legacy: Centre of Memory and Learning, Europe's first museum and community hub dedicated to the heritage of anti-apartheid and its contemporary resonances, opening in London in 2025. A curator and heritage education specialist, she has multiple years’ experience of teaching and curriculum innovation across primary, secondary and tertiary institutions and within cultural heritage sites. She facilitates community engagement through engagement with archives and collections and through participatory activity. Her practice has been set between South Africa and the UK, including at the Constitutional Court of South Africa and for St Paul’s Cathedral, London.

Chrissa Amuah is a British-Ghanaian designer, curator, editor and creative consultant. She is founder of the luxury homeware and interiors brand AMWA Designs, for which she draws inspiration from Ghanaian Adinkra symbols. Best described as a multi-disciplinary designer, she collaborates with world-leading multinational brands to bring a unique perspective informed by African sensibilities to their projects. Projects have included one-of-a-kind customisations for San Francisco-based sustainable footwear brand Allbirds; a 2022 commission by Diageo-owned whisky brand Mortlach to design the 2.81 light fixture; and ‘Freedom to Move’, her co-collaboration and conceptual design for luxury car brand Lexus, launched at Design Miami 2020. House & Garden magazine included her in their ‘Top 100 Designers’ shaping the world of contemporary design in 2021.

Harriet McKay works in the Design subject area at the School of Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University, where she is a member of research centre CUBE: Centre for Urban & Built Ecologies. She has taught at the Royal College of Art, and on the Heritage Studies and Museology MA programmes at the School of World Art Studies, University of East Anglia. She retains a keen interest in the material and visual dimensions of culture across the African continent, a topic that informed her doctoral studies in Design History completed at Kingston University. Alongside the Londond Afropolitan project, she is currently working on a study of craft-design and women’s empowerment in the Global South, in collaboration with Anne Massey (UCA, Canterbury).


Matthew Barac is an architect, writer, and academic. He is Professor of Architecture and Urban Culture at London Metropolitan University where his roles include leading CUBE: Centre of Urban & Built Ecologies and the PhD programme in Art, Architecture & Design. He is Co-Investigator on the London Afropolitan project, and he leads Afropolitan Architecture: a research and knowledge exchange initiative developed in collaboration Mokena Makeka which was launched at the Venice Biennale 2023.

Image credits: Image courtesy of MaXhosa Africa (2024)

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