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Number 1 Mageu fuels new generation of design talent

Design student Hannah Smith has been named the winner of the Number One Mageu Art & Soul Competition. Last month, the popular beverage brand embarked on a nationwide search for South Africa's freshest design talent. Entrants were challenged to create a highly unique design for the Number One Mageu's iconic banana packaging.

The judging panel included members from The Hardy Boys (THB) creative team, creative director Kevin Parry and designer Clinton Myeni, as well as Number One Mageu senior brand manager Aamina Shaik and Durban University of Technology (DUT) lecturer Frank Kalala.

They selected 10 finalists from over 100 entries and then asked the public to vote for the winner from the final 10 designs. In the spirit of competition, all finalists hustled their friends and fans to help them win the Art & Soul prize via an Instagram voting mechanic. The public voting stage was hotly contested with over 14,700 votes received in just 7 days and around 5,000 of those coming in the last 24 hours.

The competition came to a close on Thursday, 30 August at RCL Foods Head Office in Durban, where the 10 finalists and Durban University of Technology (DUT) student entrants attended an Afrocentric Pop-up Gallery exhibition event where the competition winners were announced.

Hannah Smith's winning design.
Two of the top 10 designers, established designer Rapule Mathonsi (@puleonline) and student designer Hannah Smith (@han_selah), both from Durban, battled it out for votes until the final hour. At midnight on Wednesday both had received 2,500 votes and when voting closed just 97 votes separated them.

In the end, it was Smith who secured the most votes and went home with the R10,000 prize and an internship at The Hardy Boys. "A celebration of life," is how Smith describes her design.

“Jazzy characters, soulful faces and a coupling of art and photography; this is a showcase of how each unique individual has their own unique, individual flavour. Just like Number One Mageu,” she said.

The runner-up, Mathonsi, walked away with a R5,000 prize.

Celebrating individual expression

“Number One Mageu is an iconic South African brand that has been feeding the bodies and souls of South Africans for nearly 50 years, giving them a boost when they need it most. We believe in celebrating our South African heritage and culture – more importantly celebrating the individuals who make up our culture,” said Aamina Shaik, Number One Mageu senior brand manager.

“We celebrate individuals who are able to express themselves with their passions, whether it is through dance, music or art. This time, we decided to choose the passion for art. We wanted to give these creative, artistic souls a voice on our cartons, a chance for them to speak their minds and express their souls on this iconic piece we love – our Mageu Number 1 Banana carton.”

As part of its effort to nurture young South African design talent, Number One Mageu also gave DUT design students a chance to participate and have their work incorporated into their syllabus. The student whose design was voted tops turned out to also be overall winner, Hannah Smith.

“I can’t believe I won both contests. I am really grateful for this opportunity and for all the people that supported me with their votes. I am looking forward to my internship and learning more about the Number One Mageu brand,” she said.

To view all the entries in the competition, check out #ArtAndSoul on Instagram or visit @numberonemageu to see the final designs.
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