Yaya Han discovered cosplay in 1999, when it was still a small, quirky section of the geek-fandom. Armed with a used $40 sewing machine, Yaya threw herself into makingcostumes headfirst, and quickly absorbed the heart and soul of costume design and creation. Tothis day, Yaya has made over 375 personal costumes in every fandom genre imaginable, aswell as her own original designs. Her long-standing consistency of creating intricate and lavishcostumes has made her a Craftsmanship Icon in the cosplay world, and inspired countlesspeople to get into cosplay. She has been invited to appear as a Guest, Panelist, Judge,Performer and Host to hundreds of conventions and events all over the world.
Philip Odango is an award-winning international cosplayer, designer, producer and author from the United States.
He makes his own costumes and is known for his craftsmanship as Canvas Cosplay. He appeared as an invited guest, workshop presenter and costume contest judge in numerous conventions worldwide, and has judged the global C2E2 Crown Championships of Cosplay finals.
Tamara Jeunette - owner of Body Threads
Tamara's love affair with the geek world began nearly 20 years ago with Tabletop Rolaplaying. Since then she has played and game-mastered many different systems both privately and at conventions like ICON, winning several prizes for Roleplaying. 10 years ago Boffer LARPing (Live Action Roleplaying) with foam boffer weapons arrived in SA and Tamara began learning to sew and craft with an exotic new variety of functional and lovely materials required for the new hobby. The costumes and accessories opened up as many new challenges as avenues of creativity.
Tamara regularly sews complex Cosplay outfits, designs and makes Larp weapons, clothing and accessories. She is familiar with crafting using foam, fabric, painting and overall construction techniques. She loves making seemingly unwieldy things into comfortable, functional outfits, and is not intimidated by requests to add anything from a boffer-weapon frog to a parasol holder to her signature utility belts.
Tamara also has a long history of performance including 15 years of Ballet, Contemporary and Spanish Dancing as well as attending the National School of the Arts for Drama. She delights in bringing her love of performance into enriching all aspects of her roleplaying.
Tamara had her first judging stint at Geekfest 2018 and thoroughly enjoyed the variety and creativity.
As a judge, Tamara will be looking at the construction of armour and the materials used. She will also be scrutinizing performances, focusing on character embodiment and acting. She will specifically be focusing on how well a Cosplayer moves in their outfit; how they have adapted to the practical challenges of bringing the outfit and persona into the 3-dimensional world and how the Cosplayer brings that character to life.
Nikki Philipson owner of Truly Truly Sewing (http://trulysewing.co.za/)
Nikk’s love affair with sewing started when she was still a child. Her mom was a big sewer and she taught Nikki. It got so bad at points that when they needed to ground her they use to take away her sewing machine.
Nikki then decided to turn her passion into a career and after High School went and did a 5 year degree in in Clothing and Production Management. After she got her qualifications she got a job working at EdCon (Edcon is the largest non-food retailer in South Africa and has been in operation for more than 80 years and have expanded their footprint to include over 1100 stores through different store formats). While at EdCon she worked as the Technical Manger and Garment Engineer with her speciality being underwear. During her time at EdCon she travelled throughout Asia going to different Garment Production plants to learn new techniques to bring over to South Africa.
After the birth of her second son Nikki left EdCon and opened her own business Truly Truly Sewing where she offers sewing classes starting from beginners to tailoring and has special classes over the holidays for teenagers. She has been doing this now for 9 years.
Nikki’s main focus during judging will be to look at the construction of the outfits. How well they were put together, how well they move and what techniques were uses. She will also be focusing on fabric choices and looking at finishes such as have your seams been pressed, did you cut on the grain line, have you used interfacing etc.
Miguel Lima – old school cosplayer
Miguel is an old school cosplayer from Sunny South Africa, but most of his cosplay friends call him "Six" which is short for his cosplay name "6 ways of the ninja" and yes you guessed it, he is a little bit of a Naruto fan (^_^)
Miguel has been cosplaying since as far back as 2006, when our South African cosplay scene was at its early stages. Like lots of cosplayers he loves anime , comics and of course cosplay. He has loved seeing how our South African Cosplay Scene has grown in all these years. And now with Comic Con coming to South Africa he cannot wait to see how our awesome local cosplayers will bring their cosplays to life.
Which is what Miguel will be looking for at the judges table, how the cosplayers bring out the characters to life, the play part of cosplay! We all wanted to be the amazing Spiderman or the "slightly or not so slightly drunk" Captain Jack Sparrow at some point in our lives, so when you are cosplaying it’s your time , the time to shine and have fun with who you choose to cosplay as, so he will be keeping his eye on how you embody your characters in your cosplay (^_^)