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Karabo Poppy on top of the world with upcoming marriage and Black Cat campaign

The world-renowned illustrator reveals what she and her fiancée will be wearing on their wedding day

Masego Seemela Online journalist
Karabo Poppy Moletsane (right) is set to wed her long-time partner Ellen Tshabane.
Karabo Poppy Moletsane (right) is set to wed her long-time partner Ellen Tshabane.
Image: Supplied.

World-renowned illustrator Karabo Poppy Moletsane can’t wait to spend the rest of her life with longtime partner Ellen Tshabane after popping the question a month ago in Paris.

The Vereeniging-born street artist, who has collaborated with the likes of Nike and Netflix, unveiled her latest partnership with Black Cat Peanut Butter at Shine Studios in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

Moletsane and Tshabane were joined at the hip at the event, before spilling the details to SMag on their engagement and upcoming nuptials.

“The engagement has added an extra element of excitement to our relationship. To add to our excitement, the most beautiful part of this experience is how supportive our families have been," said Moletsane.

“Apart from my partner and me, my father is the third happiest person who is as excited. It's been beautiful seeing support from our family, especially because it’s unexpected.

“As you know, homosexuality in itself has awful connotations, predominately in black communities, but witnessing an older black father being as excited as myself and my partner has been the best part about our happiness.”

The 30-year-old graphic designer said her love and affection for Tshabane comes naturally, be it on a private or public scale. 

“When I met Ellen, our relationship made me re-evaluate certain things. I would often ask myself, ‘what am I giving to this person?’ I wasn’t fixated about what I wanted in a partner, but the benefits I’d be giving to the love of my life,” Moletsane said. 

“And then, I had this whole perception of who my partner should be and how they should be. And meeting Ellen made me see I was aiming too low. She showed me things that I never thought a person could be.

Beaming couple Ellen Tshabane with her fiancée Karabo Poppy Moletsane.
Beaming couple Ellen Tshabane with her fiancée Karabo Poppy Moletsane.
Image: Supplied.

“I had a list of qualities I wanted in a partner and I didn't think anyone would be as I scribed it or beyond it. What I got to realise was Ellen was even better than the list that I had. She’s the reason why I am this creative.”

When asked if she had any wedding jitters, Moletsane laughed off the question and replied: “Ha! Are you kidding me? Of course not!”

“Part of the reason why I laugh is mainly because we haven’t set a date yet, so no wedding jitters there," she added.

"But to be honest, we’re both excited about our big day, whenever that is. We plan to wear Gucci suits and then the second look will be something Rich Mnisi put together. I want a worn cream white or beige suit on the day.”  

Being engaged is not the only thing that’s exciting in Moletsane’s life, because her skills as an illustrator are growing on the global market. Her new collaboration with Black Cat, which SMag first reported in June, includes a merchandise line.

“Doing the Black Cat campaign was such a fun challenge. It wasn’t difficult or laborious, but it was exciting. The team was open to experimenting, and that's what I love doing. I was able to have fun and give it a little twist," Moletsane said.

“This partnership entails that I share my perspective of the brand on a broader scale because as South Africans, this brand has always lived within our homes. Its existence showed my seriousness in sparking conversations in everyday South African homes."

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