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Google, Design Indaba put Africa’s lucrative creative economy on full blast

Google shows it is serious about propelling Africa's promising and leading creatives to greater heights as it partners with Design Indaba through the “Colours of Africa” programme - which brings together over 60 African creatives in a one-of-a-kind online initiative that challenges them to push their creative boundaries even further, just as it seeks to put Africa's lucrative creative economy on full blast.

Six months after announcing a residency programme for alternative African creatives in Kenya in June with the likes of Tshepo Jeans founder Tshepo Mohlala as keynote speakers, tech giant Google is further cementing its position as a convenor for Africa’s creative economy by partnering with Design Indaba through the ‘Colours of Africa‘ programme.

The initiative brings together 60 specially curated artworks produced by over 60 creatives from around the continent.

Tasked with capturing the colour and character of their home countries, over 60 multidisciplinary mix of artists will flex their creative muscles in a wide range of disciplines ranging from architecture, illustration, painting and ceramics through to writing, engineering, the performing arts and visual communications.

These include among others, Algerian photographer Ramzy Bensaadi, fashion designer Bisrat Negassi from Eritrea, filmmaker Archange ‘Yamakasi’ Kiyindou from the Republic of Congo, visual artist Ngadi Smart from Sierra Leone, as well as renowned South African poet, Lebo Mashile, who was commissioned to compose an original piece of poetry that celebrates “Colours of Africa” coming into its own.

Inviting users to spin the kaleidoscope in order to explore the featured works, the artworks will enable viewers to discover the rich history of Africa, and its many fascinating stories, and is currently on display online for the general public.

Not only this, the initiative will also showcase over 4 000 images and videos and 20 carefully curated exhibits from Design Indaba’s extensive archive.

On show: Ghananian illustrator Kobby Toons brings his creative expertise to Google’s Colours of Africa digital exhibition.

Acknowledged as an important catalyst for innovation-led economic growth, the longstanding annual design conference is renowned for drawing for the past 25-plus years, top thinkers and guests from across the globe.

As Google Sub-Saharan Africa’s managing director Nitin Gajria explained, collaborating with a reputable platform of Design Indaba’s calibre will not allow them to tap into an existing and trusted audience support, but also help bolster the multinational tech company’s ongoing efforts to empower and amplify African voices to tell the unique stories of their cultures through their work and creativity.

“We hope to provide much-needed exposure, cultivate a newfound curiosity, and window into the vast beauty that exists on the continent,” Gajria added.

To view Colours of Africa, click here.

Tankiso Komane
Tankiso Komane
A Tshwane University of Technology journalism graduate, Tankiso Komane has a vast experience in print & broadcast media business and has worked for some of the country’s biggest daily newspapers, including The Sowetan, The Citizen, The Times, and The New Age. Through her varied work as a journalist, notably as a copywriter for SABC1 (On-Air promotions) and as a publicist for Onyx Communications, she has developed an in-depth understanding of the nature of the media business and how to use it for the purpose of exposure. Her expertise in journalism across various disciplines, coupled with a good reputation, has laid the foundation of a new kind "trust in Journalism" as the media ecosystem continues to digitally evolve.
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