TED Talks: Saki Mafundikwa: Ingenuity and elegance in ancient African alphabets

ted2013_0058305_d41_0458Zimbabwean graphic designer Saki Mafundiwaka is the author of ‘Afrikan Alphabets’, the founder of Zimbabwe Institute of Vigital Arts (ZIVA) in Harare and the producer of the 2010 film ‘Shungu: The Resilience of a People‘.

In his TED Talk, he discusses the many forms of written communication across the continent of Africa including Egyptian Hieroglyphics, Ghanaian Adinkra symbols. Angolan Jokwe and the Congolose Abakwa which is commonly used today in Haiti and Brazil

His favorite Ghanaian glyph is Sankofa  which means “return and get it” — or “learn from the past”.

As a kid growing up he used to love sketching fonts but it wasnt until he came to New York that he discovered he could do Graphic design as a full time career. He states ‘ “Sometimes you have to leave home, to discover yourself.”

Photo Source: James Duncan Davidson // ted.com

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