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#YouthMatters: Emerging designer Ontlametse Molefe shares his journey of learning, discovery

Ontlametse Molefe is a young, talented interior designer who has been inducted into the 2021 class of Design Indaba Emerging Creatives, an annual programe that receives in excess of 200 submissions every year. Supported by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, the programme aims to nurture new talent across a wide range of design disciplines, with many having gone on to achieve global recognition for their projects and brands.
Ontlametse Molefe has been inducted into the 2021 class of Design Indaba Emerging Creatives.
Ontlametse Molefe has been inducted into the 2021 class of Design Indaba Emerging Creatives.

Molefe, whose vision is to design well thought-out spaces that enrich the human perspective and experience, is among 40 creatives chosen for the programme. He shared with us a bit about his creative journey thus far.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

Ontlametse Molefe: I am a creative individual specifically in the field of interior design. I was born in Mafikeng and spent most of my varsity years in Johannesburg, Greenside working my way towards acquiring the skills and knowledge in pursuing my passion for interior design.

How does it feel to be included in the 2021 class of Design Indaba Emerging Creatives?

Molefe: I feel honoured to be amongst an inspiring and diverse group of creatives who are excelling in their craft, including myself. I believe that this opportunity will motivate and encourage me to grow and forever believe in my purpose as a designer.

What do you think has made you and your work stand out among the many entries received?

Molefe: I enjoy exploring and expressively designing towards realistically improving the human experience with every opportunity and project given/assigned to me. I believe that inspiration can only take you far if you don’t consider boundaries.

Tell us about your journey as a creative thus far.

Molefe: It has been a journey of learning and discovering a whole lot of layers that need to be successfully achieved and becoming knowledgeable about. At the end of the day it is all worth it.

Where does your passion for design, and interior design in particular, come from?

Molefe: My passion for design and interior design comes from growing up as a kid and particularly being amazed by structural forms of architecture. As time went on, I became curious about the interior aspect of design and how space made an individual feel physically and psychologically when they engage with a space.

What are your sources of inspiration and creativity?

Molefe: My source of inspiration comes from various sorts of movements that I may connect with in that time and place, and human beings who I feel deserve to be in an improved and enhanced environment.

You completed the final year of your degree at LUCA School of Arts in Belgium. What was that like?

Molefe: I had to adjust to living conditions, thought processes and patterns of a culturally diverse country and learning in a new and dynamic way compared to how South Africa, particularly Greenside, was structured. It was overall an amazing and eye-opening experience.

What are some of the challenges young people face in your industry? How would you suggest they be overcome?

Molefe: Just to name a few, young people face challenges such as a lack of industries' expectation in experience, lack of platforms and opportunities, lack of freedom in exploration and lack of capital to start their own creative businesses. How I’d suggest they be overcome is dependent on industry leaders and applying yourself as an individual to work hard and never give up with where you’d like to see yourself someday.

What is your message to the youth of SA this Youth Month?

Molefe: We are the generation’s brighter future, let's positively live to impact our surroundings, advocate and inspire the people around us and lead successfully for the next generation of youth.

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About Sindy Peters

Sindy Peters (@sindy_hullaba_lou) is a group editor at on the Construction & Engineering, Energy & Mining, and Property portals. She can be reached at moc.ytinummoczib@ydnis.
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