Award-winning product designer Bonolo Chepape and Nando’s recently joined forces and shook things up with an immersive pop-up store in the heart of Braam. Here’s what you need to know about the designer who made it all happen.
South Africa’s favourite flame-grilled chicken franchise knows a thing or two about firing up creativity. Nando’s has become synonymous with celebrating the emerging creative minds that lend their signature style to redefining what unconventional collaborations look like.
No stranger to the practice of brand partnerships, award-winning textile and surface designer, Bonolo Chepape recently teamed up with Nando’s with the launch of two new great variants of the PERi-PERi Bag & Bake product. The new variants, namely Paprika Citrino and Smokey Churrasco, were launched at a brand spanking new pop-up located in Braamfontein between 24 June and 10 July 2022, themed #PERiTricks.
The laundromat-inspired pop-up made nods to the marriage of Nando’s rich Afro-Portuguese brand heritage, as well as textile weaving techniques and Bauhaus-inspired elements of Mozambican architect, Poncho Guedes. “I wanted the design to be playful and reflect the experimental and experiential purpose of the pop-up,” shares head designer Bonolo Chepape.
Throughout her impressive journey climbing the ranks of the art and design industry, Chepape has developed a visual language and design style that is a subversion of her Pedi heritage with a contemporary newness shaping her unique designs. A noteworthy characteristic that strongly informs Chepape’s art is her natural ability to illustrate a story that stems from early childhood visits to her grandma’s house in Botlhokwa, Limpopo.
Chepape cites the inspiration behind her design philosophy as the formative exposure to her surroundings as a child. “I was literally surrounded by music, art, and storytelling, which often took place around a fire,” she says. “It would be stories of the rain queen, Modjaji, the translation and meaning of our clan names, poems, and life lessons.”
This ignited Chepape’s love for graphic design and illustration.
The designer later went on to complete her Bachelor’s degree in graphic design and communication at the Midrand Graduate Institute (now Pearson Institute). She accumulated her formal training working in advertising for four years before starting her own online décor and design consultancy studio, Lulasclan, in 2016. Soon after, the astounding collaborations, awards and accolades began to trickle in.
Since then, Chepape has received the Best Textile Design award at 100% Design South Africa 2018. She was a finalist in the Nando’s Hot Young Designer Pattern Hunt in the same year, and a recipient of the 2019 Design Foundation Future Found Award.
Vanessa Nunes, Nando’s Marketing Manager for Groceries, shares the importance of partnering with young designers such as Bonolo Chepepe.
“Our collaboration with Bonolo is part of our ongoing drive to nurture creative talent in South Africa. As an authentically home-grown brand, we welcome all South Africans to a seat at our table,” she says.
Be sure to stay tuned to Nando’s Creativity initiatives, spanning art, design and music. Follow @NandosCreativityOfficial on Instagram and Facebook and click here to jump over to the Nando’s Creativity blog.