Babalo Rozani – King of ‘Xhosa Bling’

Nobody could accuse Babalo Chuma Rozani of resting on his laurels. While the B.Tech he holds in Jewellery Design and Manufacturing may be nothing unusual in this industry, he’s also a qualified technical report writer and advanced project manger, as well as being an accredited moderator, assessor, learning facilitator, coach and mentor. Adding to this string of achievements, he also placed as a finalist at the PlatAfrica Awards in 2016 for his Isagweba Sceptre in wood, platinum and leather; and has completed an advanced course in Rhino 4.

His experience conceptualising and creating custom jewellery at Keith White Design set the solid foundation for his own enterprise, but his drive to birth a brand that could be authentically self-expressive is what propels his business forward. As a young boy Babalo’s creativity manifested in the clay oxen he sculpted whilst tending to the cattle herd, but it was his exposure to Hip-hop that would ultimately steer his imagination. Beyond his inherent enjoyment of the music, he sees the lifestyle and culture as a vehicle for artistic output that meshes perfectly with his ancestry.

Babalo’s PlatAfrica 2016 entry in the hand of a model

Authenticity is the grounding concept in his work, and his jewellery is reflective of what he’d love to wear. He celebrates the flashy Hip-hop attitude that originally inspired him to follow a career in handcrafted contemporary design, in which he notes the similarities with his own culture. In addition to the colourful gemstones within the Hip-hop aesthetic that mirror traditional beadwork, both forms of expression revolve around abundance, status and achievement. His pieces fuse these complimentary ideas to create what he’s branded as Xhosa Bling: a visual commentary of the aspirational lived experience of modern young men of his own heritage.

His following is increasing as more clients begin to appreciate that success can and should be celebrated through a blend of the traditional and the modern, and through both global and local cultures. He describes his inclusion in the 2021 crop of Design Indaba Emerging Creatives as “a dream come true”. It certainly must be a satisfying validation of all his hard work and expertise, and an exciting opportunity to expand his reach to new audiences throughout the world.

He advises that up-and-coming jewellers experiment specifically with authenticity, and believes that the key to individual success is finding a unique voice within what he describes as “the chaos of the copycat world of creatives”. He cautions that it will take much work, and that overnight success is a highly unlikely. “…but with every idea there is going to be an opportunity to find what you can offer to the world”.

As it relates to Design Indaba entries, he encourages everyone who dreams of reaching new heights in their careers to consider pursuing these kinds of opportunities. “This platform can expose a semi-polished gem and brighten it to the whole world.”

Babalo can be contacted on:
081 454 9177
Or find him on Facebook at Öaknovations
Or Instagram and Twitter @babalorozani
Follow his journey at



(servicing Western Cape & Namibia)
TEL: +27 (0)21 551 2066
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CPM Building
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