Masonwabe is a 24-year-old designer/illustrator, founder of Create Studios and textile design graduate. He grew up in a small-town called Edutywa, but is originally from a village called Engwane, where he has drawn most of his inspiration from. Culture (isiXhosa and recently other South African ethnic groups), personal experiences and the everday life of ordinary black people are amongst the things that he finds value in and tries to emmulate in his work.
“Ilifa Lethu” which directly translates to “Our Inheritance” in isiXhosa, is a limited-edition body of work by Masonwabe Ntloko in collaboration with Airloom. "This work is inspired by my love for my people’s rich cultural history, AmaXhosa. One of the aims of this body of work was to create an affordable and durable range that is rich in culture. A piece made with love that can be the pride of your home. In this range, there are 5 different rug designs, and only 30 of each has been created. As such, you will also receive an artist signed certificate of authenticity with your rug purchase.
Masonwabe's design style is well-curated, simple with a cultural influence. His work takes the form of a storyteller, taking stories from the past and expressing them in an artistic form that many may connect to. His style is modern, fitting for the current times, while offering a nostalgic element. While completing his studies at Nelson Mandela University, he received an opportunity to intern for one of South Africas biggest luxury brands. That opened his eyes to the different ways one can express themselves artistically, learn about all the other aspects of the design industry and from there he started building his personal brand as Masonwabe Ntloko.