Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair

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The annual Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair is no ordinary fair. Exploding with innovative design, food and wine, the fair embodies the elegance and audacity of all things ‘well made in Africa’. Intended for innovators and trend creators who want to be the first to discover top talent, the fair is now in its eighth year, and is set to transform the rooftop of Hyde Park Corner in Johannesburg from 13 to 15 October 2017.

Having sponsored the event since 2010, Sanlam and fair founders Artlogic bring together top players in the artisan sphere, giving fair-goers the opportunity to be the first to encounter emerging creatives to watch.

For Mandla Sibeko, director of Artlogic, it’s a chance to champion African entrepreneurship. “There’s something very special about having the opportunity to take an ordinary concrete slab and transform it into an eclectic, energetic arena that gives a platform to some of this continent’s foremost creators. For us, Africa is a hub of talent incubation that brings something unique to the rest of the world.”

The unmissable occasion encourages guests to mingle with chefs, vignerons and designers, to hear their stories and purchase their bespoke goods.

Sibeko continues, “The fair has gone from strength to strength over the years, with 50 exhibitors in 2010 and more than 120 today. Africa is humming with potential – and it’s our privilege to support some of its rising stars – the individuals who hold the keyto affecting real change.” 

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One of the highly anticipated features of this year’s fair is a showcase of the works of five African exhibitors. For curator Tapiwa Matsinde, author of Contemporary Design Africa, it’s about marrying talent with opportunity, “The African exhibitors I invited to be part of the fair each bring something unique, combining heritage skills with high-end conceptual design to compete with the best in the global artisan space.”

Here's a few special features you can look forward to at the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair 2017:

1. Chefs in the City

Urbanologi’s Jack Coetzee’s food is ‘made for beer, made from beer or made from beer by-products’, while Gemelli’s Chef Paolo Santo says his risotto is a reflection of his heart. Dw-eleven 13’s Marthinus Ferreira prides himself experimental cuisine that heroes seasonal produce.

2.  Well Made in Africa

This showcase features five African artisans selected by guest curator Tapiwa Matsinde. Expect high-fashion and bold prints from Tongoro, audacious adornments from Adele Dejak, exquisite carpentry in the Lamu tradition from Saba Studio, Moroccan lighting from Dounia Home and modern minimalist homeware from Afrominima.

3. The Brand New Making the Masters Series

The new series, Making the Masters, will facilitate the sharing of industry-relevant thought leadership around African design. This panel discussion takes place on Friday, 13 October in collaboration with Creative Mornings JHB, an international monthly breakfast lecture series designed for creative communities.

4. New Exhibitions

This year, a range of world-class new exhibitors will grace the rooftop, including the likes of Louw RoetsSaks CornerSaint d’iciThalia StratesWolf and MaidenUrban MosadiSteenberg WinesClarington by Normandie and Momo Boahaus.  

5. Returning Artisans

Well-known returning artisans to look out for include: Mungo,PichulikDark HorseLalessoBenaDear RaeHenriette Botha,Graham BeckBlack Elephant VintnersHermanuspietersfontein,Ooh La La ConfectioneryInverroche1701 and Richard Bosman.

With the world placing increasing weight on beautifully made, artisanal products with an emphasis on quality over quantity, the fair is a homage to passion and all things home-grown.

According to Robert Thompson, head of marketing and communications at Sanlam Investments, “Our footprint extends across 35 African countries, demonstrating our belief in the potential of the people of Africa. This is why it’s our passion to provide a platform for emerging entrepreneurs in order to nurture the development of creative communities and showcase Africa’s talent and ingenuity to the rest of the world. We are committed to creating a continent of Wealthsmiths™, by supporting the SMEs that are key to economic growth and job creation.”

Pre-sale tickets are available online via Webtickets for R120 each, or at the door for R130 (kids under 12 enter free). For more information on the fair go to or stay up to date with the latest news via FacebookInstagramor Twitter.

When: 3 - 15 October
Where: Rooftop of Hyde Park Corner
Opening times: Friday 13 October: 12pm - 10pm, Saturday 14 October: 10am - 9pm, and Sunday 15 October: 10am - 4pm
Cost: Pre-sale R120 pp, R130 at the door. 
Booking: Webtickets