Ms. Nontho Tshabalala of Standerton is the proud recipient of a prestigious Loerie Award, an award given in the advertising industry to those who excel in their field.
She received the prize for young creation at a gala in Cape Town last October.
Mrs. Tshabalala was dressed in pink and colored her hair pink for the occasion.
This former student of Hoërskool Standerton spread her wings in 2012 and enrolled at the University of Johannesburg, earning a BA in Communication Design after four years.
A quick decision not to study fashion design was made right after she was admitted to a fashion school.
After graduating, an internship at an advertising agency in Johannesburg followed.
“I got a permanent position at the agency,” Nontho said.
She commuted between her apartment in Randburg and their offices in Sandton, using a taxi.
“I had a great time at the agency.
“I came into the industry with a question.
“Where are the creative color designers?”
Nontho confessed to having met many talented people, who are now his mentors, for life.
She also founded her own company in 2016, specializing in Zulu greeting cards.
Along with her business partner who she was dating at the time, they branched out and explored the corporate world with their designs.
Sweden beckoned, however, and she left South Africa and settled in cold Gothenburg for the next leg of her journey to establish herself.
It was quite a culture shock.
“People are a little reserved, while we are talkative, we express.
“The infrastructure is on point and you get your taxi exactly on time.
“It’s convenient, but I miss the chaos of South Africa.”
She returned to Sweden last Thursday to work as an art producer for a company in Gothenburg.
Nantho boarded a KLM flight and reportedly had the coat, and anything else she might need, in the suitcase.
She stayed over Christmas at Standerton with her family and her mother, Thandiwe, came for the interview.
“She missed my cooking,” Ms. Tshabalala said with a laugh.
“I’m very proud of her.”
Nantho is not a vegetarian and loves the chicken wings from the various outlets that specialize in this delicacy.
“I almost cycled to the office today,” said the woman, who competed in various sports codes at school.
She has also co-curated an exhibit and is a strong believer in a transcontinental conversation about past and present.
“Our generation can lead the conversation on healing and bring about change,” was one of his observations.
“That’s why I do what I do.”