A scientist turned self-taught creative entrepreneur, Fungi Dube is an intentional brand, visual and webflow web designer based in Harare, Zimbabwe. She is an ardent pan-Africanist passionate about elevating African narratives through modern design, cultivating and nurturing Afro-positive sentiments. Fungi is also a speaker and mentor; she has had the opportunity to deliver talks at Typographics, USA; Registered Association of Graphic Designers (RGD), Canada; Type Drives Communities by Type Directors Club, USA; and the Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI).
Explain your job to a five-year-old
I draw shapes, use letters, pictures and colours on my computer to make things like your favourite chocolate wrapper or book cover look more interesting and easier to understand.
What’s one piece of advice you wish you’d known earlier in your life or career?
The worst they can say is no. Do not be afraid to take bold leaps because you never know where you may land.
What (singular) achievement are you most proud of?
Making a career pivot into design! I am exactly where I should be, doing what I absolutely love! Everything else that has come with this is an added advantage!
How can African startups and businesses use design to create impactful products and services?
I feel that African startups and businesses are becoming more cognisant of the importance and significance of great branding and design. This is evident in some of the case-studies and brand reveals that we are seeing, like with Mono, Paystack, Nomba, and Orchestrate. My only add-on would be for more of them to leverage on culturally inclined storytelling as this differentiates us on the global market, and also allows us to control how the world engages with our story.
What’s one misconception people have about design?
Design, like everything else, is an acquired skill. This means that regardless of your professional or technical background, with the right motivation, enough practice hours, adequate learning resources, buckets of patience, and consistency, anyone can become a good designer.
What’s something you love doing that you’re terrible at. And something you don’t like doing but are great at.
Believe it or not; drawing. I am the overall worst at sketching.
I am a really great cook, but I only like doing it when I feel like it, not when I have to.
Is there a book/movie you think everyone interested in design should read/watch, and why?
Recommended read: Designing Brand Identity by Alina Wheeler.
Recommended watch: Building a Brand by The Futur.
Both are super comprehensive and provide more insight into the foundational technical and practical aspects of what it entails to be a brand and visual designer.
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