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Nkuli Mlangeni, is a creative entrepreneur, dreamer, traveler and maker of things. She is the founder of the The Ninevites a collaborative platform and design studio, most well-known for the handcrafted Sankara Rug, which won Design Indaba’s Most Beautiful Object in South Africa in 2017.

The Ninevites seeks to explore under-told narratives of life from Southern Africa using creativity, design and imagery. It is a celebration of black aesthetics. And, keeps pushing to tell African stories in ways that reflect their vast beauty and invention.

Nkuli studied social innovation and creative leadership at the Kaospilots school of innovation and design in Switzerland. And, she has participated in numerous local and international arts exhibitions and artist residencies.

She is passionate about black culture, youth development and documenting textiles from the continent.


  • 2016 Diploma Kaospilots Switzerland
  • 2003 Certificate in Photography, Market Photo Work


  • 2017 Awarded Most Beautiful Object In South Africa Design Prize
  • 2017 Awarded Tourvest Craft Prize
  • 2016 Nominated for 100 inspiring & aspiring leaders, Independent
  • 2010 Listed on the Top 20 reasons to visit South Africa, Wallpaper


  • 2018 GEON Group exhibition, WORLDART, Cape Town, South Africa.
  • 2017 Kalmar Konstmuseum, Deep Memory Exhibition, Sweden.
  • 2017 100% Design Exhibition, Johannesburg South Africa.
  • 2012 Prêt-à-partager Exhibition, Berlin & Johannesburg.
  • Cascoland Public Art Project & Exhibition, Netherlands