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Fashion & Homeware South Africa

Yay Abe joins Cadbury in 200th anniversary celebrations

To commemorate its 200th anniversary, Cadbury has partnered with South African illustrator Russell Abrahams from Yay Abe to bring three illustrations depicting heartwarming Mzansi moments shared with Cadbury chocolates to life. The illustrations will each be featured on limited-edition T-shirts.
Yay Abe joins Cadbury in 200th anniversary celebrations

Capturing the South African spirit of generosity, joy, and togetherness Abrahams says that as someone who grew up enjoying Cadbury chocolate, it's an honour to contribute to the brand's 200th-anniversary celebration. He adds that the T-shirt designs not only celebrate the brand's legacy but also contribute to the vibrant streetwear culture in South Africa.

Lara Sidersky, Mondelēz International Category Lead for Chocolate in sub-Saharan Africa, says, "We are thrilled to collaborate with the immensely talented Russell Abrahams and his studio, Yay Abe.

Russell's unique artistic vision and ability to capture the essence of human connection, generosity, and joy perfectly align with our brand’s values of creating moments that bring people together.

These limited-edition T-shirts pay tribute to the countless cherished memories chocolate lovers have shared with Cadbury over the past two centuries."

The illustrator adds that his nostalgic memories of enjoying Cadbury chocolate with his family shaped the direction he took with his artwork. "Growing up, enjoying one or two blocks of the classic Cadbury Dairy Milk or Top Deck chocolate every night with my parents was a tradition in our household.

These nostalgic recollections reflect Cadbury’s impact on my life, making this collaboration more meaningful and personal. I hope these illustrations also evoke a sense of joy and nostalgia for South Africans."

Each illustration tells a unique story

1. The iconic chocolate block snap

The first design depicts an intimate moment between a couple sharing four blocks of Cadbury chocolate. The couple is about to do the iconic ‘chocolate block snap’, with their hands coming together to form a heart shape as they break off their pieces.

Abrahams describes the inspiration behind this artwork, saying, "That intimate moment when you and your partner are just chilling, watching a movie, and there's that last block of Cadbury chocolate which inspired the first design. One partner might have a bigger appetite, but the other says, 'No, let's just share it.' It's about capturing that spirit of generosity and love, symbolised by the couple's hands forming a heart shape as they break the chocolate together."

2. Playful South African scenarios
The second illustration showcases various celebratory scenes, such as birthday parties and engagements, with Cadbury at the centre of these memorable occasions.

Abrahams adds, "With the second artwork, I wanted to merge as many relatable moments as possible into one vibrant illustration. From birthday parties to engagements and people vibing out together, the idea was to put Cadbury at the heart of all these small and big wins we experience. By packing all these scenarios into one design, I hoped people could look at it and connect with the moments that resonate with their lives and memories."

3. An explosion of joyful memories
The third design showcases a human figure filled with memories, with the iconic Cadbury milk jugs pouring into this explosion of good times, representing the brand’s role in people's lives over the past two centuries.

"The third illustration represents a new direction I've been exploring in my work, where a giant figure creates the canvas, and the artwork takes place within their body. I wanted to illustrate how breaking, holding, or enjoying Cadbury chocolate is always part of these special moments. It's a bold, graphic celebration of the brand's place in our personal stories," adds Abrahams.

Abrahams hopes these limited-edition T-shirts spark conversations about generosity and encourage people to connect with the positive emotions depicted in the illustrations. He also hopes to inspire the next generation of artists by demonstrating the possibilities of collaborating with major brands while staying true to one's artistic voice.

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