Nthabi Taukobong has had a career spanning over 23 years in the interior design industry working on esteemed residential and leisure projects for Presidents, African Royalty, top CEOs, South Africa’s 5 Star Hotel groups, and even the Governor of the Reserve Bank (to name but a few). In her book, The Real Interior, Nthabi reveals the truth about her journey in design and the pitfalls and challenging terrain she had to manoeuvre herself through, determined for a clearer, more forgiving way and understanding of her chosen field.
As one of the first Black and very recognizable face of Interior Design, Nthabi was thrust into the limelight from the very start of her career. She has undertaken projects spanning from Johannesburg, to Mauritius, Rwanda, DRC, and Nigeria and as far afield as Ethiopia. Most with resounding success and others resulting in very painful and often public learning experiences. As one of the most celebrated Interior Designers in the industry, she has most notably held the beacon for those of previously disadvantaged backgrounds, who in the beginning of her career were amazed that such a path was possible or even existed.
As one of the first Black and very recognizable face of Interior Design, Nthabi was thrust into the limelight from the very start of her career. But often times fate leads us where we least expect it, and in her journey of discovery and quiet reflection, Nthabi saw an important moment to share her own story of this often glamorized career. In turn she reconnected with her passion and her own reason why she had pursued such a path in the first place.
This is a book that not only allows the reader an inside peek into the behind the scenes of the glamorous world in design and décor, but into a career once never considered as an option for a young, girl born in Soweto. It was in writing a letter one night congratulating herself on her career and reaching a milestone of 21 years that Nthabi discovered she was not only writing to herself, but to every creative. Her letter ended up being an entire book. And as she wrote, Nthabi finally understood her purpose of being one of the first persons in a field once reserved for the few and elite, and how her unique story could encourage and inspire others. Not only through the beautiful interiors that she has been exposed to, but by sharing the truth about her own personal victories and most often blunders and falls and the incredible lessons learnt along the way…
I draw my strength, essence and spirit of my Lioness Lifestyle from the Lions (DITAU) of Africa that define my soul and Royal Heritage.
We have one of the best climates in the world, and that has greatly influenced how we live in AFRICA. Our daily connection to nature in our lives is evoked into the spirit of how we design. That is where the true magic in our creation resides.
In 2017, I celebrated 21 years in the Interior Design industry and during that time of quiet reflection, I realized that I now held the key to my own creative Queendom.
About the author
Nthabi Taukobong is the Founding Member and Managing Director of Ditau Interiors, and Interior Design Consultation company based in Johannesburg, South Africa that provides an exclusive design service to a niche Clientele in the leisure, spa and residential markets. Today, after a career spanning 23 years, Nthabi has developed a design style that is luxurious, yet effortlessly functional – with a strong focus on creating liveable interiors with modern detailing and a sprinkle of natural accents and organic flow. Nthabi prides herself in simple, uncluttered interiors, bringing the essence of Effortless Luxury Living into any home, through her selective use of natural colours, tones and textures along with finishes, materials, artwork and artefacts that are mainly sourced locally.
Why LoA loves it….
As women entrepreneurs, we all need a little inspiration from those who have blazed a trail before us on the African continent; those who have broken into tough business sectors and carved a successful niche for themselves, despite all the barriers and all the naysayers. So it is wonderful to read this highly personal story of interior design Lioness, Nthabi Taukobong. She is proof positive that if you have big audacious dreams, have the tenacity to follow those dreams regardless of the tough journey it takes to make them a reality, then everything is possible. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and ceo of Lionesses of Africa