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Kimberley Calling

From a graffiti print on defaced walls in the CBD to the pleat-heavy garb of a nearby church, I often reference my hometown of Kimberley in my collections. 

In this photo-journal, you’ll see the streets and people who raised me, all dressed in select pieces from my seasonal offering.

Words & Photography by Thebe Magugu

Assisted by Lebogang Motsagi

I used to hate this bathtub growing up because I always had to be in it by 05:00 A.M so that I could get ready for pre-school. 

Now that Im older (and only have to be up at 06:00 A.M), I can recognize how beautifully veiny the walls are and how chalky the blue of the bath is.

Geraldine Soaking in Tub, wearing Ostrich Coat and White Poplin Shirt Dress from Home Economics Collection

My uncle Teko extended the garage and turned it into a tavern, where music blarred through the tin-ny speakers until the early hours of the morning (hence why I hated the bathtub in the morning so much). I never thought I’d appreciate those sleepless nights, having to forcibly listen to Boyz-2-Men’s ‘End of the Road’ or Celine Dion’s ‘A New Day’ because its given me such a deep appreciation of music and all the genres it comes in. 

Stock Area at “Teko’s Place”,  our garage-come-tavern.

Every kitchen in the township - without fail - had what I felt was the trashiest PVC table-cloth money could buy. I had always thought it cheap-looking - but it served its purpose. The PVC protected the wood from swelling and hid chipped of corners. 

For my Home Economics collection, this was referenced in a waterproof parka through a print that directly lifted from the one I hated growing up.

Molebogeng Assegaai wears Kitchentable Parka from Home Economics Collection and Durag from Art History Collection

Hands down, one of my favourite memories is hearing the russle of a plastic bag whenever my mom came home from grocery shopping, especially when she bought “Ultramel”; a custard so good, it could make anyone with tastebuds risk it all.

Sublimated Print Chiffon Bag from Home Economics Collection

Zandisile wears the Lilac Tinsel Dress and Jacquard Bomber Jacket from Art History Collection

Zandisile Mkhize repped by LASFAB Models

Mpho wears Girl-Seeks-Girl Blouse from a special capsule collection for WOOLWORTHS

Print in special collaboration with Phathu 

Sechaba wears Girl-Seeks-Girl Blouse from a special capsule collection for WOOLWORTHS

Print in special collaboration with Phathu 

Cousin Mmathabo wears Mustard Leatherette Pleated Skirt from Gender Studies Collection while washing a blanket


Cousin Mmathabo wears Mustard Leatherette Pleated Skirt from Gender Studies Collection while washing a blanket


Our neighbour - Oucie Tshidi (A.K.A Tshiduxe) - lost a foot a few years ago but that hasn’t stopped her from being the superwoman she is. She has 5 childen, 7 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren - an massive family, with so many personalities.

She’s still as cool as a cucumber.

Tshiduxe wears the Peach and Gold Floral Parka and Oversized Clucth Bag from Art History Collection

Blankets are an important element of any home and ours was no exception - I explore blankets a lot in my collections because of it. 

In black culture, the ‘family blanket’ is affectionately referred to as the “Tjalie” (pronounced ‘Charlie’)

My mother still has the one I was born into. 

Girl-Seeks-Girl Blanket from Home Economics Collection

The reason my sun comes up every morning - my mother; whose sacrifices have allowed me to do what I love and whose heart I try everyday to learn from and mimic.

Tiego magugu wears blade-shaped pleated dress from a special Woolworths Capsule Collection

Cousin Mmathabo wears Velvet Pleated Skirt and Victoriana Blouse from Art History Collection

Precious china in a display cabinet at Bonnie’s house

All clothes by Thebe Magugu 

Assisted by Lebogang Motsagi