The countdown begins – in just 30 days . . .

The countdown begins – in just 30 days . . .


It’s one month to go before the 2nd Fak’ugesi Festival. This year the Festival will run over three weeks and will feature far more integration between the different events in Braamfontein spanning technological and cultural/artistic innovation.

When we started this Festival in 2014, the project has two primary goals:

  1. To create a space for the fusion of technological and artistic playfulness and innovation in Africa;
  2. To activative the Tshimologong Innovation Hub in eastern Braamfontein.

From the experience of the National Arts and the National Science Festivals in Grahamstown, we have seen the value of festivals as a way of bringing diverse groups of people together to engage with issues and ideas. In the slogan of last year’s Fak’ugesi Festival to “learn, network, and play”.

In looking for a name for this Festival, we went searching for a word or a phrase which would suggest our primary goals. Many different phrases were picked up and thrown around, but it was the street Zulu phrase “Fak’ugesi” that really struck. Suggested by Shonisani Lethole to my colleague, Tegan Bristow (the curator of the Fak’ugesi Residency this year), the phrase means “switch on the electricity” or “turn it on” or “pump it up”. It has come to optimise what we hope to achieve with this Festival.   That this Festival will switch on the spark of technological creativity in the heart of this African city, and in the continent itself.

For the second year, we have raised the stakes for the Festival with the call out “Rise Digital Africa”. With call out, we hope to inspire the spirit of innovation in technology, culture and artistic practice. We also aim to insist that the development of African technological solutions must be based in an engagement with African cultures. Only with this awareness can we move beyond simple adoption and mimicry and start to find authentic African solutions.

Keep an eye on the Festival site, and the Festival social media to stay in touch with all the preparations for this unique and exciting event in Johannesburg.

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