SHF Masters: Modern Man, Rikesh Mahabeer

Some of the most accomplished individuals within the Sutherlands Home Furnishing (SHF) industry share their stories, letting the outside world delve deeply into their world – the world of furniture. Rikesh Mahabeer gives us a deeper understanding of his passion…

Spending his time in a sparse office surrounded by the homely smell of freshly cut wood, contrasted by the sound of saw mills and staple guns, you will find the ever studious, Rikesh. He’s a man who takes his work home with him- not the large pieces of offcuts or carved designs that roll off the CNC machine- but the passion which runs so fevering through him. His hobby is one that emulates his day to day tasks.

Enjoy what you do, and you will never work a day in your life.

ELLE Deco SAProtractors and stainless steel rulers sit on top of a large drawing, painstakingly sketched out by hand. For a man of his stature, there is no sense of intimidation, only someone who has dealt with far more than his jovial smile and his wise crack jokes would care to reveal. A father of two, his arms are adorned in ink – the tattoos are a reminder of his children and wife which he proudly displays. The old book shelf behind his espresso coloured chair, parades family photos.

Amongst the organized chaos ensuing outside his doors, there’s solitude within his environment. A lone wolf with the temperance of a sheep; Rikesh is a straight forward man with a close circle of friends. As the Design & Development Leader, he has unbiased respect for his fellow workers and staff. Being content in his position is evident as a man who has come from making his own inventions, to now seeing the gargantuan CNC machine breathing life into his brain child. Everyday, his thoughts become possibilities and these possibilities into a tangible reality.

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Eager to learn, the analyser in him breaks down everything into minute details, until there is no possibility for error. He has a look of admiration as he commands the CNC machine, a tape measure permanently strapped to his belt much like a personal accessory. The world slips away as he inputs data, waiting for the birth of the inanimate object he has breathed life into. His hands are held firmly alongside the screen, the nervous swinging of his arms that tends to accompany Rikesh dissipates. A master in his element, reverent and passionately in love with what he does.

Standing behind the helm of his colossus, Rikesh is a reminder, that not only are we capable of doing what the machines we created do, but that they are lifeless without humane touch. The modern man is more than what meets the eye, maybe his is the man behind the machine, and more likely, is that he is the machine.

All images courtesy of SHF


Inspired by the SHF Masters?

Browse through one of the sophisticated SHF galleries in Kramerville, Ferndale, Pretoria, Durban, Ballito, Pietermaritzberg and the Midlands.

Visit their website at shf.co.za.

Like them on Facebook, and #followthemasters on TwitterInstagram and Pinterest.


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People, photographs and beautiful words are what excite Amy. If she isn’t checking her social media feed for new ideas and inspiration, she is taking a jog in a beautiful setting.

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The Winter Issue is all about de-cluttering, de-teching and slowing everything down. Packed with inspiration and ideas for making your home a sanctuary, we share the ultimate comfort food recipes, master the art of nesting and take you on a tour of the dreamiest hideaways. Pick up your copy today and tell us what you think on Twitter @Elle_Deco using #WinterIssue.

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