Meet the Mentors

Artist Alliance aims to support creatives to get the careers off the ground with the right mix of practical advice, knowledge and guidance from six influential industry leaders:


Dirk Durnez

Dirk is an experienced Imagineer, Theme Designer, and Impresario with 35 years of international expertise in designing and constructing edutainment venues, museums, science centres, modular constructions, and art installations across 28 countries. Dirk is an art agent, representing 15 South African and 2 international artists. He established Kunye Colab to support emerging artists and acts as Belgium’s Advisor for Economic Diplomacy, founding the Belgian Chamber of Commerce for Southern Africa, with the internationally trademarked slogan “There is so much talent in our country!” for Art@Africa.






Kay Faith

Kay Faith is an award-winning engineer turned chart topping record producer. Having worked with some of the biggest Hip Hop artists in South Africa, she has proven herself not only as Kaapstad’s tastemaker but also as an important part of South Africa’s music scene. With each set she DJs, each classic she samples, and each hit she creates, she shows us that we can draw inspiration from all corners of SA and reminds us just how talented we are and how unique our style is locally. Hayi suka man! 









Ishaarah Abrahams

Ishaarah is a talented Cape Town visual creative with 8 years of professional experience in various design disciplines, including design studios, ad agencies, and in-house roles. Her illustration work gained recognition when she was chosen as part of the Design Indaba’s class of Emerging Creatives in 2016. In 2021, she collaborated with global fashion brand SHEIN, launching a successful ten-piece collection that showcases her unique illustration style characterized by bold colours and continuous lines. Alongside her day job as a brand designer, she continues to pursue her personal brand, collaborating with renowned brands like the V&A Waterfront, Truworths, mySchool, and Woolworths.








Russell Abrahams

Russell Abrahams is a Cape Town-based illustrator, and founder of the illustration studio, Yay Abe. As an extension of his personality, his designs are best described as colourful, playful and able to own any space. They have already been wrapped around a KFC bucket, sandwiched in a Bombay Sapphire zine and stretched across Africa’s largest billboard.









Zunaid Green

Zunaid, a passionate problem-solver and creative enthusiast, has collaborated on diverse projects such as Carte Blanche segments, Red Bull content, captivating Crime and Investigation documentaries, and Hip Hop shows on Channel 0. With a background in morning TV and as an in-house editor at The Jupiter Drawing Room, he ventured into content creation, particularly in pop culture and music, utilizing the opportunities presented by the DSLR revolution. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to co-find a content production company, where he gained valuable lessons from working with renowned brands and overcoming business challenges. Zunaid’s love for creative storytelling continues to thrive and evolve with each new project.





Nadia Darries

Nadia Darries is an adept animator and co-founder of Goon Valley Animation, with an avocation for songwriting. 

Born in South Africa, to a community rich with culture and identity politics, her roots inspire her fervour for personal reflection as a gateway to studying what it means to be human. This passion feeds into her work as a creative and drives her long-term mission of encouraging people to explore their personal stories. 

Nadia is a SAFTA-winning director, who has recently co-written and co-directed the Star Wars VISIONS 2 episode, “Aau’s Song”. She has worked on animated film and motion design as an animator, project manager, creative director, and director since 2015. Her experience includes animating at Triggerfish Animation Studios on the award-winning BBC films Stick Man, Revolting Rhymes and Highway Rat.