SISONKE means “togetherness”
in Zulu language. SISONKE emerged 2006 through the collaboration of Imfundiso South Africa and KulturAXE Vienna and is a mutual initiative for creative exchange
against poverty by designers and artists from both continents. The aim is the cross-continental collaboration of top designers and young talents for the production
of unique jewellery and fashion design collections spreading the message of “Togetherness” and participating in poverty alleviation. The idea is to
promote fair trade and production conditions, to create stunning catwalk performances and to support the South African design schools Imfundiso founded by Isaac
Isaac Nkwe is a jewellery designer in South Africa, a country whose most important export goods consist of gold, platinum and diamonds, which are then
brought to product development abroad. After completing his studies at the University of Pretoria, Isaac Nkwe had the idea to train the children of the mine
workers in jewellery design so that they could have a future.
In this way he founded in 2001 the Imfundiso School in the diamond mine in Cullinan and was
honoured by Nelson Mandela for his action to alleviate poverty. From this personal initiative, Imfundiso developed to a training project that could open several
schools in the country for historically disadvantaged youth. In the meantime more than 200 students have graduated in jewellery design.
realization of his idea, Isaac Nkwe has changed the lifes of many young people, opening up access to education and employment for them. This strong vision and
the credo to join efforts for great achievement are the pillars of the cross-continental collaboration of SISONKE. Building on the success story of this personal
initiative, expanding it internationally, creating awareness and a SISONKE community. Generating hope to overcome boundaries, for togetherness lived on a global
level, showing that each person can generate change.
The SISONKE Cross Continental Design Catwalk was first staged 2007 in the renowned
Museumsquartier in Vienna as a spectacular fusion of design and arts. As a 'design-opera' for togetherness between the continents, this interdisciplinary stage
production will be relaunched 2010 on the occasion of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South AfricaTM and its public viewing at the Strandbar Herrmann in Vienna.