Diana Seboke Zitha is a crochet artist from Limpopo, South Africa, with a degree in Visual Arts from the Nelson Mandela University/ The young artist discovered her creative abilities during a crochet workshop in the final year of her university career. She has gone on to develop and finetune her technique and the art has allowed her to travel to places like Dubai and Sri Lanka, learning from and teaching people around the world.
Her inspirations are drawn from the beauty of the past and yet she is focused on living in the present. Zitha loves sourcing pieces and fragments from the past such crochet, retouching them and giving them a new life. By pathing up old fragments and putting them together in new ways, she feels as if she is breathing new life into something that would have been or has been discarded. The young artist also draws inspiration from the beauty of Africa around her.
As the winner of the 2017 South African leg of the Society of Dyers and Colourists International Design Competition, her concept for the competition was centred around the culture of the Tsonga people. According to the artist, the people of her culture love everything in excess, from excessive colours, fabrics and beaded detailing in their clothes. The core cultural attire of the Tsonga people is the XIBELANI, a traditional gathered skirt, worn when singing and dancing for any occasion or social gatherings. Even though she loves the aesthetics and vibrancy of its colours and recognises the cultural appeal of it, she believes that it is impractical and extremely heavy to wear on a daily basis.
Her aim was to make something that she could cherish forever or pass on to friends and family when they need something cultural and modern to wear to social events or that could be unravelled and made it into something different with a new story to tell. She thus decided to change the materials used, instead of synthetic fabric she crocheted the whole skirt and made 2 skirts so that in the end one could always unravel and make something new instead of throwing it away.