South Africa’s most supportive art and design competition, the PPC Imaginarium Awards, announced its Overall Winner, Category Winners and Runners-up at a gala event hosted on 18 May 2017 at the UJ Art Gallery in Johannesburg. The winners were selected from the competition’s 55 finalists who submitted their concrete art and design works across the categories of Sculpture, Industrial Design, Fashion, Jewellery and Film. (No Architecture submissions made it to the finalist round this year).

Last year, up-and-coming jeweller Mignon Daubermann scooped the top prize with her exquisitely crafted pair of tinted cement rings. This year, emerging artist Mziwoxolo Makalima impressed the judges with his thought-provoking sculpture submission titled “Doubt-Queuing”, securing him the prestigious titles of 2017 PPC Imaginarium Overall Winner and Sculpture Category Winner, as well as a total cash prize of R150 000.

Makalima’s sculpture, which is fashioned out of concrete and mild steel, aims to be the voice of a voiceless, subjugated society. “Doubt-Queuing” represents a group of community members who have stood for so long waiting and hoping for change, and who have remained as strong as concrete. The concrete represents the strength of the community that has had to endure a queue of unfulfilled promises that seem to have been extended ever since the dawn of social equality called democracy.

Makalima further explains the concept behind his work: “For our society, it is time to let go of ‘rotten’ reinforcing. By doing so, this does not mean our concrete society has lost its strength. It only means it can make a stand. We are taken advantage of and treated as stepping-stones, while our votes only gave us seconds of fame. Today, we are tired of waiting and yet we go back to waiting. This waiting has become the trademark of our liberation, waiting, hoping for change. This is a long wait for promises made by those who call themselves leaders. Now, we wait because we are starting to think that maybe we should just be so grateful for our freedom that we should not want to be anything more than just voters.”

The competition’s Category Winners and Runners-up also fared well in terms of cash prizes, each walking away with R50 000 and R15 000 respectively. All winners, including the Overall Winner, are also awarded with extensive public exposure by way of a nationwide travelling exhibition, media exposure and mentorships.

The 2017 PPC Imaginarium Awards’ Category Winners and Runners-up, classified per category, are as follows:


Overall Winner and Category Winner: Mziwoxolo Makalima – “Doubt-Queuing”

Runner-up: Sonwabiso Ngcai – “Emweka”


Category Winner: Handre de la Rey – “CS Project”

Runner-up: Deon de Lange – “Kilroy”


Category Winner: Cara Jade Bezuidenhout – “Concrete Journey”

Runner-up: Tshepo Sizwe Phokojoe – “Dawn of a new epoch”


Category Winner: Zanele Vilakazi – “Alphga”

Runner-up: Aleks Ashton – “Cyberglyph”


Category Winner: Stefanus Nel – “Ben’s Ladder”

Runner-up: There was no 2017 Film Runner-up

The 2017 winners were selected by a formidable panel of industry heavyweights, including architect and director of the awards, Daniel van der Merwe, fashion and design consultant Allana Finley and well-known curators Stephen Hobbs and Zanele Mashumi.

A project of the innovation department of PPC Ltd, the PPC Imaginarium Awards encourages the ingenious use of Portland-based cement across the competition’s various categories. It serves as a platform for highlighting exceptional South African creative talent and assisting emerging artists and designers to launch their careers. A winner of several BASA Awards, the PPC Imaginarium Awards has cemented PPC Ltd as a benevolent supporter of art and design in South Africa.

Members of the public will have the opportunity to view and engage with the finalists’ works, including works by the Overall Winner, Category Winners and Runners-up, at an exhibition at the UJ Art Gallery in Johannesburg, which will run until 15 June 2017. The UJ Art Gallery is the first stop of a nationwide travelling exhibition that includes a variety of auspicious galleries and events across the country, such as 100% Design South Africa in Cape Town and the KZNSA Gallery in Durban.

To stand a chance of winning a share of R500 000 in cash prizes and kick-starting your career, enter the 2018 PPC Imaginarium Awards in one of the competition’s six categories, namely, Sculpture, Industrial Design, Fashion, Jewellery, Film and Architecture. Entries officially open on 18 May 2017. For more information on the PPC Imaginarium Awards, visit

Image: Mziwoxolo Makalima’s thought-provoking sculpture submission titled “Doubt-Queuing” secured him the prestigious titles of 2017 PPC Imaginarium Overall Winner and Sculpture Category Winner (detail – left, full artwork – right).