10 Muslim creatives you need to know about right now

We’re big on community over here at The Daily Vox, and we love to see people doing fun, innovative things. In light of it being Ramadan, we thought we would put together a list of some Muslim people we see doing great things for you to support too!

1. 14Hundred
One of our personal absolute favourites, 14hundred is a South African-based online store specialising in novelty, quirky and functional Muslim products that are combined with social causes and skills development. Starting off in 2014 with a Ramadaan and Eid gifts catalogue, they’ve now expanded to produce a full product range throughout the year, with co-founders Nabila Bana and Safiyyah Patel employing a full staff. They’re super socially conscious too – a portion of the proceeds on certain products goes towards aid for the Syrian refugee crisis.

2. Shaheer Nasheeds aka Shaheer Karrim
“I have been singing for over a year now and I didn’t even know that I could sing professionally. For Mother’s Day I released a song dedicated to my mother, and it made a lot of people cry with tears of joy,” the 30-year-old nasheed artist told The Daily Vox’s Lizeka Maduna in an interview.

A biokineticist by profession, Karrim says he has received criticism over his music path but that hasn’t stopped him from doing what he loves. “I was raised in a family where music was an adventure. There were other things as well, including sport, but I chose music. My dad used to play a guitar and during holidays we used to have theatre plays.”

“With music being a controversial subject within the Muslim community, most people find it hard to accept other people’s opinion and beliefs. What they fail to understand is that accommodating someone else’s beliefs doesn’t necessarily mean that one has to stop believing in what they believe in. It simply shows that one respects other people’s opinions.”

3. Swiitch Beauty
The brainchild of 16-year-old Rabia Ghoor, this online beauty store has taken South Africa by a storm. Swiitch specialises in beauty and skincare products that are produced overseas in “cruelty-free, vegan and halal certified facilities around the world” – all of which retail under R199.

Ghoor, who is also still at school, says that she remains mindful and passionate about being an entrepreneur. “I am totally passionate about every aspect of this lovely business. I have always had an entrepreneurial streak, when I think back I wish someone had encouraged that in me at an even younger age. I am inspired to find a way to encourage all women to live great lives” she writes on the official website. 

Hey SwiitchBeauties✨ @ra_bae here Swiitch started out as a on the spot idea in the summer of 2014. I’ve always loved all things makeup & beauty. I spent far more time at school using the free wifi to watch YouTube tutorials than actually attending lessons. I’d always see these beauty gurus and makeup fundis go gaga over their holy grail products and tools and think to myself why aren’t these products and tools available here? And if you wanted to get them, you’d face serious shipping costs and a minimum of 2-3 weeks of waiting for your package to arrive only to find yourself looking at a wonderful tax invoice from customs☺️ Lovely. And I thought to myself, instead of waiting for someone to come along and make these products available to us, why not be that person? And so. SwiitchBeauty was born. It’s been a little over a year since its inception and I cannot begin to thank you all enough for everything you have done to make my idea a success. When our search for brand ambassadors came out, it baffled me to see the amount of women who were interested in joining. Just the fact that they had looked at what I had created, and truly wanted to be a part of it -escaped me. I don’t have the best way with words, as you’ve probably come to conclude but I would like to end off with the simplest form of gratitude. A thank you. To each and every one of you – new and old in this journey of mine. It is because of your small act of support, be it a mere comment of kindness, tweet or mail. I really wish I could tag all 10000 of you. You babes are phenomenal. PS: I CANT WAIT TO MEET MORE OF YOU THIS WEEKEND AND NEXT AT OUR POP UPS IN JHB & CPT THE EXCITEMENT IS REAL GUYS YAY SWIITCH – @ra_bae

A photo posted by SwiitchBeauty® | Store✨ (@swiitchbeauty) on

4. Chilli Chocolate Chefs
This Durban-based sister duo of Zainab and Faatimah Paruk is taking the catering world by a storm. Preparing a wide variety of both sweet and savoury culinary masterpieces, they describe their creations on their website as “glamorous, playful, comforting, cosmopolitan and always supremely delicious.”

They’ve got a cookbook, Entertain, available too – but one of the biggest perks of their business? They’re 100% halaal, even SANHA-certified!

5. Tajdid Design Collective
Showcasing a number of Islamic clothing lifestyle products designed and produced locally, the Tajdid Design Collective amplifies the work of small businesses producing items and products specifically targeted at Muslim audiences. There is a huge range of quirky and specialist items, produced by Capetonian artisans who are experts at their craft. We love it!

6. Mod-ish
Started off by two sisters and run out of their homes in the Mother City, Mod-ish designs beautiful classical modest wear items. Think long dresses, full sleeves, scarves and loose and flowy options – they’ve even showcased at fashion weeks! The pricing is really reasonable too. Check out their Facebook page for more. 

Neckpiece : @belleviecollection Makeup : @thelipstickbullet Photographer : @waafiq

A photo posted by Mod-ish ® (@mod_.ish) on

7. Shameema Dharsey’s 99 Names of Allah adult colouring book
Adult colouring books are one of the best things out there right now – they look pretty, and they’re billed to be a therapeutic stress reliever. Artist and illustrator Shameema Dharsey is adding a third perk to the list: remembrance of God. This Ramadan, she’s launching the first volume of the five that she hopes to release, each with 20 names inside. Featuring beautiful geometric shapes and paper that can be easily cut out and framed, we love the innovation behind this.

8. Fathima’s Studio
Durban-based Fathima Kathrada has been running her own studio as a freelance graphic designer, illustrator and hand letterer since 2012, when she left her full-time job to pursue her self-employed adventure.

She does beautifully intricate hand lettering and drawings, and her aesthetic is ON POINT. She also does freelance branding and design work – check out more of her stuff on her blog.

9. Haya Collective
Launched in 2015, Haya Collective is a South African-based global online store which specialises in producing understated and versatile modest wear, particularly for Muslim women. The collection features items such as abayas and scarves, but also long skirts, dresses, tops and dresses, and is set to launch a sleepwear line soon. They also offer free shipping and delivery in South Africa – just one other reason we love local.

10. Your local samoosa aunty
We all know an Aunty Hafsa/Mariam/Aisha/Choti who makes our lives easier by selling us savouries, especially around Ramadan time. Bless them for all of the hard work that they do, feeding many families across the country every night. Remember them, and good on you for empowering them by giving them your business! (And if you don’t have one, I’m happy to pass on a couple of recommendations.)

Happy fasting, and happy supporting local Muslim talent this month!

Are there any initiatives or cool creatives we’ve missed? Comment below or tweet us @thedailyvox!