Posted: March 4, 2019
ZONDI confident of flying KZN flag high in Furniture Design Competition
|A Durban University of Technology Mechanical Engineering graduate, Mr Blessing Zondi (25) is optimistic of flying the KwaZulu-Natal flag in the national Furniture Design Competition organised by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti). Zondi, who hails from Ndwedwe, is one of the five finalists who will be contesting for the first prize in the Student Category of the competition. The winner will be announced at the Proudly South African Buy Local Summit in Johannesburg on 12 March 2019.
The competition is aimed at identifying and nurturing furniture design talent, raise the profile of furniture manufacturing in South Africa and to grow the industry’s competitiveness by encouraging new product design and differentiation
“I am really excited about making it to the final of a national competition of this nature. I am looking forward to the day that the winner will be crowned. I know the competition is very tough but reaching this stage means my design has impressed the judges and has what it takes to go all the way. I expect to have a double celebration if I am declared the winner of the competition as the announcement will be happening on my birthday,” says Zondi.
Zondi has responded to the theme of the competition which is about the need to design furniture that addresses the challenge of limited space in a house by designing a fascinating 4-in-1 colour-coded play station for use by children. The multipurpose piece of furniture can be dismantled and assembled to be used as chairs, table, storage facility, drawers and chalkboard for a learning and teaching purposes.
“The furniture produced from my design will contribute in making the best use of the space in houses as children will be able to use it in various ways, thereby saving the costs and space for several furniture items,” says Zondi who is already gradually making a name for himself as a furniture designer and manufacturer.
He has already established a company, B-Furn, and started designing and manufacturing custom-made furniture at a small scale and sell it through social media platforms.
“I am working from my brother’s garage at a house in Durban where I stay. My aim is to accumulate the necessary machinery and equipment in order to grow my business. The positive response that I am receiving from clients who see my designs on social media platforms has inspired me greatly. Being a finalist in this national competition will open more doors and expose me to more potential clients,” says Zondi.
Zondi is determined to carve a niche for himself as a leading young furniture designer and manufacturer. To this end, he is in the process of registering for his Masters studies at the DUT. His research topic, which he is consulting his future supervisor profession on, will be about waste reduction in the furniture manufacturing process.