Well-known illustrator shares his excitement on latest project lighting up Braam

Illustrator Mzukisi Mbane. Picture: Supplied

Illustrator Mzukisi Mbane. Picture: Supplied

Published Feb 2, 2024


⁠Mzukisi Mbane of Imprint ZA, one of the creatives that contributed their remarkable skills for the KFC at Play Braam, expresses his enthusiasm for creating a colourful and pattern-filled capsule that accentuates the brand's lively nature.

It is revealed that the first-ever concept store would be a permanent presence in the centre of Braam, providing unique in-store digital experiences, the coolest fashion partnerships, and special gastronomy delicacies.

The company backs emerging designers and creatives as well as local talent who share their ethos and brand values of representing the vitality and energy of South African culture, staying relevant to consumers, and self-innovating constantly.

Here Mbane discusses with ‘The Star’ what it means to be the first designer to work with the company on a concept store this inventive, calling it ‘simply wonderful’.

“As you know KFC is the leading brand in South Africa, a true original. Very passionate about innovation and originality, this collaboration for me speaks to how they see the work that I do. How they have recognised my mission to be creative, keep it original and keep innovating in the fashion space. The range is 100% local, from design to production, something that was really important to both KFC and I,’’ he said.

Asked what are some of the things that he wished people knew about his work he said: “Beyond just the use of bold prints, I am all about a celebration of African stories, our heritage and connecting us all to our shared roots. My biggest success is when people get to connect with the work.”

⁠Speaking about what sparked his interest in being part of the collaboration he said it is what the brand stood for.

“⁠I think just looking at what KFC stands for. They are all about being bold, being the ones who push the idea of what is expected not only in the food space but the whole consumer experience. And just looking at how bold Imprint is, what the brand stands for. It was very easy for me to say yes, and see it coming together, using some of the signature KFC colours and lines in a way that is distinctly Imprint. They really gave me free-reign with this and trusted me fully – I had a lot of fun with it. I believe fans will enjoy wearing it as much as we enjoyed creating it.”

Well-known illustrator Yay Abe, graphic designer and artist Karabo Poppy, graffiti artist That Damn Vandal are among creatives responsible for the shop’s exciting look.

Akhona Qenge, who is a general manager at KFC Africa, explained why they chose to have the store in Braamfontein.

“Play Braam is a cultural hub. It is a youth hotspot where creativity and authenticity come to life. This store is for the game-changers, the trend-setters and those that want a “taste” of the cutting edge. KFC is proud to be one of the brands with prime positioning in the Play Braam precinct including the rooftop basketball court in partnership with Hennessy and the NBA, and the popular Playground weekend market upstairs, and the City Beach Club in partnership with Corona around the corner.’

Merch and digital ordering. Picture: Jason Crouse.

‘’We have incorporated innovative beverage elements such as the Coca-Cola slushy freeze machine that instantly turns any buddy bottle into an iced slushy.’’