Azra is a shining example of how today’s young creatives are navigating the modern landscape. Unrestricted to just one profession, Azra works as a chiropractor two days a week while juggling her accessories designs and henna art. “My chiropractic education helped me to understand and see the body differently – movement plays a huge role in my creative work,” says Azra, who focusses more on her henna designs – inspired by nature, architecture and contemporary art – during Ramadan, Eid and other special cultural occasions. In 2019, Azra collaborated with Gucci on custom henna designs and has also worked with a range of other luxury brands on international campaign shoots, where her henna art helped to bring jewellery and watches to life.
Azra started practising the art of henna in 2017 using plant-based inks, for the cultural festivities of Ramadan and Eid, using her own hands as a creative canvas – applying simpler designs straight onto the body and illustrating the more complex using an iPad first. “Since Covid-19, Ramadan and Eid celebrations have really toned down, but we’ve spent a lot more time together as a family. I hope that things ease up a little so that we can visit our family in South Africa again soon. It’s been a long year of video calls,” says Azra, who has used this period of reflection to strengthen her faith.