Mokena Makeka is the Founder and Managing Director of Makeka Design Lab cc., an internationally recognised design practice that deploys innovative design solutions at urban, architectural, cultural and installation scale. He believes that great architecture is a basic human right and the design process could enhance the power to change not only the spaces we inhabit but the socio-economic reality of communities and stakeholders.
Makeka is an accomplished architect, urbanist and design theoretician, speaker and thought leader on African cities, design and property strategies, as well as entrepreneurial development. He has worked and led numerous complex construction projects in Lesotho, Madagascar, Tanzania, South Africa and China, including the Cape Town International Convention Centre 2017, Apartments VA & Waterfront 2017 and the Royal Palace of Lesotho. He was also part of the FIFA 2010 World Cup Arts and Culture Task Team as well as being the Lead Architect for the Cape Town Station upgrade for the World Cup 2010.
As a published contributor, Makeka’s work can be found the Sustainable Waters Handbook, Transport and Mobility Handbook (Alive2Green publications 2009), Counter Currents: Experiments in Sustainability in Cape Town (African Centre for Cities) 2010, Rogue Urbanism (2011) and Reflections on Cairo (2011). In addition, he has written numerous article and topics related to his expertise. Makeka was also a co-writer for “Men About Town” a weekly column in the Cape Times, as well as a speaker at TEDxStellenbsch 2011.
Makeka is an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Program Fellow and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. He is a Aliko Dangote Fellow and a member of the African Leadership Network (ALN). Makeka has served on various boards and councils and recently completed an executive education course at Harvard University in Global leadership and Public Policy for the 21st century. He is a member of the scientific committee of the 2014 Union of International Architects Conference in Durban and has been appointed as Resident Equity Scholar at the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS), to assist and lead strategic approaches for the transformation of the institution. Makeka has also served as a member of World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council for Design, and as an adviser to the South Africa Minister of Human Settlements.
Recognised for his talent and expertise, Makeka has received various architecture and urban design awards and recognition in design competitions, his career highlights include being selected for 1 of the Ordos architects by Hertzhog and De Meuron and Ai Wei Wei, is an Inaugural winner of Gold Loerie Award for Communication Design (for Architecture) and the youngest winner of the Awards of Merit from the Cape Institute for Architecture.