Afro-Pop goes to America. The work of Mr Somebody & Mr Nobody

The Readers Digest version of the story goes like this. My old best friend’s brother and sister in law, Gareth and Heidi Chisholm, win a Green Card in the US lottery. So off they go.

Now they’re living in Brooklyn, NYC, and Heidi is carving out her name in lights with Mr Somebody and Mr Nobody. Big names in Afro-Pop culture here, there and everywhere.

Before that, Heidi was a founding partner of Daddy Buy Me A Pony along with Peet Pienaar. (Man behind The President.)

Heidi is the design mind behind the Shine Shine range and those wonderful Obama prints, amongst many other extraordinary gifts both to the world at large, and the world of design. (They tell me Michelle Obama had an apron in one of her prints. How cool is that?)

Heidi’s new work was exhibited at the “Afropolitan” show the V & A in London, helping to making a name for Mr Somebody & Mr Nobody – a design concept that’s a colab between Heidi and Miami-based artist Sharon Lombard.

I love the Afropolitanness of Mr S & Mr N.  Below are some more shots of the work, and the official Mr Somebody & Mr Nobody press release in triplicate with a purple ink rubber stamp. Kwaai.

Mr Somebody & Mr Nobody is lugging his clobber to market at the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF), August 18-22, 2012. This “very important business man” from the Gold City in Southern Africa, is hawking and hipping contemporary African inspired products so everyone can wallow in the African Renaissance—like hippos in mud!

Mr Somebody & Mr Nobody flies and drives and carves and spends to bring to you plucked wood chickens; graphic radio cushions; “heirloom” doilies; and “to die for ” boxes made by Co”n carvers in Ghana. His multiuse khanga cloths emit warnings about quick love and whirling snakes plus advertise a bicycle ride with a piggyback goat. These khangas are a new spin on a clever old African idea with a “less is much more” approach to life, since one top notch cloth serves many purposes. A wet one keeps you cool on a hot day, or it can be worn, sat on and then made into a bag. But that ’s not all, since a khanga can quickly become a tablecloth, a curtain or a towel – it is said there are 101 uses for one!

About Mr Somebody & Mr Nobody

Mr Somebody & Mr Nobody LLC is a creative collaboration between New York based South African designer Heidi Chisholm and Miami based artist Sharon Lombard. Their home design line playfully blurs boundaries between design and contemporary art with African-inspired, tongue-in-cheek goods. There’s something for everyone in products that explore ideas of home, humour and style, making do with less, immigration, globalization and living abroad! Find these global tastemakers in booth #5508 in the New York’s Newest division — look for the Afro-Pop-Up-Shop that stands out in a crowd and catch the glint of Mr Somebody & Mr Nobody’s gold filling when he flashes his smile!

Visit Mr Somebody & Mr Nobody at

About The New York International Gift Fair

The New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) is the USA’s premier gift, home and lifestyle marketplace, with 2,800+ exhibiting companies featuring an extraordinary breadth and depth of design-driven home fashion products and complementary gift ware. The summer market takes place from Saturday, August 18 to August 22, at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and Passenger Ship Terminal Piers 92 and 94. 35,000 attendees from all 50 states and more than 80 countries worldwide, are expected. Information online

Golden: one of 300 colours from the Midas Envirolite range of VOC-free paints.