Writing Art History Since 2002

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Social design and civic innovation to create opportunities, pursue paths and map out a future.

This festive season musician Jimmy Nevis joins a campaign with Novus Holdings to collaborate with young designer Joy Ezeka in creating a limited edition, exclusive gift wrap design. The pair have collaborated in a design featuring South African roadways and transport vehicles to inspire a giv season colourfully and cheerfully rooted in the nation’s communities. Jimmy’s story of success is well known: Originally from Athlone, he knew that he wanted to achieve his musical dream since a young age, and pursued this without the help of a musical qualification, capturing the hearts of South Africans with his single ‘Elephant Shoes’ in 2012.

Joy Ezeka, by contrast, discovered her passion later in life, and finally followed her heart’s calling at 38 years of age to study surface design – an impacting player within the field of design strategy, using Human Centred Design and Design Thinking to approach solutions for community challenges. Novus Holdings, as the third point to this triangular collaboration – is committed to making a sustainable difference in the communities in which it operates.

Jimmy Nevis

Inspired by Nevis’ song ‘7764’ which is a tribute to the Cape Town suburb of Athlone, the imagery represents this small but characterful suburb in the form of road maps and directions. The campaign sheds light on the field of Social Design and its power to address major social issues. An element of ‘access’ perhaps – within economic and suburban demographics. The access to what is seen as simple educational and social rights in one community, are non-existent in a completely different experience somewhere else. These experiences, the hardships of a childhood in a Lesser Economically Developed Country become clear in Nevis’ lyrics of 7764:

‘ Oh 1107 born and raised in my home town
Guns out at the parties
Guns out, man down
Dancing on my F1
Blue lights we’re on the run tonight hey ’

 We see how certain elements of community and social existence can determine a freedom to dream outside of oneself. This idea of access and movement are highlighted within the campaign in the metaphors of maps, direction, bicycles, cars skateboards and routes to illustrate the variety of paths and methods that can be taken to achieve one’s dreams. Through elements of ethical design as well as civic and social innovation that are at play in this campaign – we see how challenges are confronted in fun and interactive ways, encouraging communities and individuals to strive despite their circumstance; to look for opportunity, pursue paths and map out a future.

Collaborative wrapping paper by Jimmy Nevis & Joy Ezeka

“When I was approached to be part of this campaign I jumped at the opportunity to work with talented up-and-coming artist, Joy Ezeka. Seeing our concept come to life on paper has been a remarkable experience.  I hope that the campaign will inspire many this festive season to achieve their dreams, no matter where they come from,” says Jimmy.

The campaign also proves to encourage the idea of collaboration within the arts, and the field’s positive social impact. Art, design and music are brought together and spread into the communities during this gifting season in a proudly South African creation.

‘I know where we from, proud of our roots
Madiba manufactured, no China in these shoes’

Revealed and available at Cavendish Shopping Centre, Cape Town, South Africa, as part of their gift-wrapping service over the festive season between 17 December and 24 December – small donations are asked of shoppers, the proceeds of which go to Cape Kidney Association and the SPCA. Nevis will be at the shopping centre between 10am and 12pm on December 21st to initiate the campaign and gift-wrapping service – to shoppers gifts and meet with fans.


Pamela Bentley

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