HOMEGROWN TIMEPIECES WITH AFRICAN ART AND FLAIR
See how Xesha South Africa founder Kholofela Masha’s heritage inspires his watch designs.
Kholofelo Xesha Masha is an exceptional, self-taught South African creative. As the founder of his own company called Xesha, he produces quality time pieces inspired by his African heritage.
“Xesha creates timepieces in South Africa, and part of our story is that we try by all means to unearth stories that are un-told about Africa. We try to go back into history and illustrate artworks on our timepieces. What we’re trying to tell is that as Africans we are all one,” shares Kholofelo.
Founded in 2018 in his backroom in Soweto, Xesha is now thriving and producing quality dial designs with tribal influences. Works that serve to remind one that with dedication, sacrifice and hard work, dreams can truly come alive.
Interestingly, Kholofelo’s middle name is Xesha, meaning “time” in Xhosa. It’s as though he was destined for this career. However, the journey has not been without it’s challenges. Lack of local training facilities in the watchmaking industry and lack of mentorship has been a major challenge.
A current project of the watch brand was inspired by a Bapedi king who ruled for only one year in the 1860s.
“We chose King Sekhukhune as part of celebrating our heritage. Each and every time piece that we make includes a whole lot of research, sometimes it takes up to six months to research before we commission a timepiece in our business,” explains the entrepreneur.
He proceeds to explain some of the creative process… “Our design work is based on computers. Once our illustration is complete, it goes over to our laser cutting machine.”
The self-trained master of this delicate craft enjoyed working with other creatives to expand his own artistic vision. One of which has been street artist Senzo Nhlapo.
“What I love about Xesha is that its name itself tells a story, it tells our story. And for the fact that he uses Xesha, it’s time for us as young black entrepreneurs to work harder and create our own time,” shares Senzo.
Silars Hlungwani is another South African creative who Kholofelo looks up to as a mentor.
“The time of ‘I’m wearing an Italian brand’ is gone, people are coming back and realising their roots. So, anything that is proudly South African, and made here at home, is definitely going to get a thumbs up from me and a host of us,” explains Silars Hlungwani, Owner of Chivalry Designs.
“All our items are proudly South African, and that’s the biggest inspiration behind our brand, more than anything else,” explains Silars.
Both Silars and Kholofelo have achieved success in their respective disciplines, and today share a mutual respect as well as a cherished friendship.
What a privilege it is to have innovative, self-made entrepreneurs like Kholofelo and Silars building a new heritage of proudly South African productivity, and to have examples of brilliant creatives like them inspiring us all.