Sowetan interior designer publishes memoir

Nthabi Taukobong tells an inspiring story in ‘The Real Interior’

'The Real Interior' by Nthabi Taukobong
'The Real Interior' by Nthabi Taukobong

Sowetan-born interior designer Nthabi Taukobong has published her memoir of her 23 years in the industry, called The Real Interior.

Born in the enormous Johannesburg township in the 1970s during the height of apartheid, Taukobong was taught early on in life to be excellent in all endeavours.

She writes candidly about her upbringing, her once-in-a-lifetime trip to Canada as a Rotary Exchange Student and her time as a student at Natal Technikon (now called Durban University of Technology).

Her break came when she landed her dream job at an interior design company based in Parktown North that specialised in designing luxury hotels and casinos.

In March 1999, at the end of her three-year contract, Taukobong decided to leave the safety net of that position to venture out on her own.

She writes frankly about her entrepreneurship journey, the highs, the lows and steep learning curves.

However, it was only once she found her “true self, her north star, her real interior” that her work and self aligned, she said.

Her inspirational story was prompted by a Linkedln anniversary notification she received in 2017, congratulating her on being in the interior design industry for 21 years.

It made her look back at her life in design and prompted her to ask herself: “When I look back at my life in design, what are the greatest memories and lessons that I want to take forward? And how do I record my highs and lows?”

She wrote a letter to herself about her journey, answering these questions, which ended up becoming this book.

Taukobong has worked on residential and leisure projects for presidents, African royalty, captains of industry and five-star hotels.

Her career has allowed her to study and work in Africa and abroad and she continues to love working in her field.

  • The Real Interior by Nthabi Taukobong is published by Tracey McDonald Publishers



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