By 29 August 2019 | Categories: news


Looking for something to do this weekend? Love tech? Love gaming? Love art? Love innovation? Well, do we have something for you. From 30 August to 8 September 2019 the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival will return to Johannesburg to explore technology and creativity by Africans for Africa. 

Wits University’s Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct, in the heart of Braamfontein, will once again host this year’s inspiring programme, with a mind-bending line up of hack-a-thons, game jams, aniMarathons, workshops, digital art, creative pitches, exhibitions as well as a special conference on creative economies and digital innovation.

In total, Fak’ugesi Festival will offer 15 creative technology workshops across the week, starting with the Festival’s annual Making Weekend (31 August to 1 September) right until closing weekend on 7 September 2019, including an array of talks, exhibitions, and meet-ups in between.

With the aim of supporting cross sector development and exploration in the digital industries in South Africa, Fak’ugesi Festival is hosting four cross sector workshops. These include Screenwriting for games, Animation for games, Music for games and UX for games, which then lead into a two-day Cross-Sector Game Jam that aims to see screenwriters, animators, musicians and other creatives join forces to prototype and develop new games.

Fak’ugesi 2019 workshops will also feature not-to-be-missed guest workshops by local and international visiting artists. The following are for those who love digital creativity:

  • Play & Program a dynamic screen play & program workshop by visiting Swiss Artists (supported by Pro Helvetia) Andreas & Sidi, this workshop was first offered by
  • In a special twist this narrative workshop uses WhatsApp and ChatBots both as research tool and development, don’t miss Good Neighbours: Storytelling with Chatbots by special guest artists, Netherlands based Natalie Dixon and Klasien van den Zandschulp.
  • Want something easy? Come and learn How to Create Augmented Reality Artworks the Easy Way with SA based Thuthukani Ndlovu.
  • Or a very special Solar Power for Yourself workshop by resident IBM Research Lab Engineer, Toby Kurien who will teach you how to test and spec our personal solar power needs.

 Those inclined towards the business side of the creative enterprise can join the Creative Pitch Training led by Tshimologong Innovation Precinct’s own Khwezi Fudu Cenenda, or a special partner workshop by Harare-based ComeXposed for their Creative Enterprise Workshop.

In keeping with the spirit of collaboration across diverse disciplines, this year will see Fak’ugesi Festival team up with AnimationSA in a full day Animation Master Series, specifically designed for Animation producers and studios, both small and large.

There’s also the annual games-focused partnership with the Wits Digital Arts Department, through which comes the Fak’ugesi Arcade,  made up of specialist workshops and cross-sector engagements. It includes guest artist Mark Lustigman from Darjeeling Studios in France, who will be discussing Using Cultural Heritage to Design Games, while local super stars Alphabet Zoo gets together with Wits Game Design to talk about Zines for Urban Games. Fak’ugesi Arcade also presents an opportunity for indie developers to pitch to a new African traveling platform, Masidlale Fak’ugesi, while there’s also a special Global South Focused “Ludus Lekgotla” of games-related talks linked to the Fak’ugesi Arcade opening on 3 September 2019.

This year the Fak’ugesi Festival will again showcase an incredible line up of digital arts exhibitions that will run for the full duration of the Festival, from 30 August to 8 September. Just some art exhibition highlights include:

  • Francois Knoetze with his newly completed Core Dump film series on electronic waste
  • the Fak’ugesi Digital African Residency Exhibition of emerging digital artists from Southern Africa
  • a series of live AR Poetry Works by “Giving Poetry Wings”; Arts Research Africa Resident artist Russel Hlongwane with Ifu Elimnyama
  • and a very special collection of VR from Southern Africa title Southern VR with Electric South, Eden Labs, TMRW Gallery and the Centre for the Less Good Idea.

 For a snapshot of the program highlights visit: What's happening at Fak'ugesi 2019.


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