Mokena Makeka is an award-winning architect, urbanist and design theoretician. He is a leading voice on entrepreneurial development, design and urban strategy. In 2015, he founded House of Makeka, Africa’s first export-quality premium agave spirit company, fashion and lifestyle brand. He is the founder and managing director at Makeka Design Lab, a design practice that deploys innovative design solutions at the urban, architectural, cultural and installation scale.
Mokena is also an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) at Columbia University, New York. He is a Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow and a member of the Core Scientific Committee. He is a resident equity scholar at the School of Architecture and Planning at Wits University. Mokena was recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
He is an Aliko Dangote Fellow and a member of the African Leadership Network (ALN). Mokena 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.
Recognised for his talent and expertise, Mokena has received various architecture and urban design awards and recognition in design competitions, his career highlights include being selected for one of the Ordos architects by Hertzhog and De Meuron and Ai Wei Wei. He is an inaugural winner of the Gold Loerie Award for Communication Design (for architecture) and the youngest winner of the Awards of Merit from the Cape Institute for Architecture.
Mokena has a BArch (Hons), which he obtained from the University of Cape Town.