Designers that Elevated: Saki Mafundikwa

Saki Mafundikwa hopes to encourage design students to learn from Africa’s rich visual heritage to forge an African attitude rather than an African aesthetic.

In 1997, Mafundikwa ended his career as a designer in New York and went back to his native Zimbabwe to open the country’s first graphic design and new media school of the country:  ZIVA (Zimbabwe Institute of Vigital Arts).

His book “Afrikan Alphabets: The Story of Writing in Afrika” documents the alphabets and visual symbols of the continent and its valuable contribution to the history of visual communication. It includes scripts such as Mende, Vai, Nsibidi, Bamum, Tifinagh, Somali and Ethiopian. It also studies other alphabets, syllabaries, paintings, pictographs, ideographs, and symbols.

Mafundikwa’s mission is to initiate an "African renaissance", to see Africa through a different lens, one not tainted with the overwhelming prejudices of the past.

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