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.
Now, the mega-company has announced yet another loss. After 14 years, Meta’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sheryl Sandberg is stepping down.
What Sheryl achieved at Meta
Sandberg joined the company in 2008 and helped scale its ads business. Her focus on positioning Facebook as a platform for small business advertising helped increase ad revenue by 21% during 2020, to $84.2 billion.
She joined the board as the first female member in 2012, the same year of the company’s initial public offering (IPO).
Sandberg also played vital roles in some of Facebook’s key hirings early on. She hired key executives most of whom are currently playing notable roles in the company’s trajectory.
She also set in place the company’s key policies. For example, she extended maternity and paternity leave to 4 months at Facebook.
Sandberg has also had her fair share of scandals. In 2018, she and Zuckerberg testified before the US Congress on many issues related to disinformation, interference in elections and user privacy.
She also carried out an “aggressive lobbying campaign” to deflect anger and criticisms toward Facebook’s rival companies. The campaign attempted to pull YouTube and other social media platforms into the data privacy controversy by arguing that Google struck similar data-sharing deals as Facebook did during the US elections in 2018.
She was also accused of using her influence to try and suppress negative news about her boyfriend, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, who was accused of grave sexual harassment.
The end of an era
Speaking about her work so far, Mark Zuckerberg said, “It is the end of an era. Sheryl architected our ads business, hired great people, forged our management culture, and taught me how to run a company. She created opportunities for millions of people around the world, and she deserves the credit for so much of what Meta is today.”
Sandberg on the other hand thinks it is time for her to write the next chapter of her life. Among other things, she will focus on her foundation and philanthropic work which is focused on women.
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Android is no longer enough— Google TV wants a taste of Apple.
Google has announced that the Google TV app has been rolled out to iOS devices.
The company also confirmed that the Google TV app is finally present in 19 African countries: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Gabon, Mali, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
What is Google TV?
Google TV allows you to access movies and shows from services like Netflix, HBO Max, Prime Video, Disney+, and more from one platform. So instead of navigating to Netflix to watch a Netflix show, and then Hulu to watch a Hulu show, you can access all your accounts on Google TV.
You can watch on your mobile device, use Chromecast or connect it to view on your smart tv.
The quiet expansion of the app
In 2020, Google TV launched exclusively in the United States and was only available there until late 2021 when it announced it was expanding to 14 new countries including India, the UK, and Canada.
Boasting over 100 million total users, Google has confirmed that its Google TV experience on Android has now reached over 100 countries.
Its launch on iOS devices will be affected across all the regions it had expanded to on Android. This excludes South Africa where the Android app is yet to be launched.
The interface of the Google TV app has been revamped and “Highlights” has been added to it. The app has also been updated with a news feed of articles and announcements related to your viewing history.
To all regions that still use the former app, Google Play Movies, Google says “coming soon”.
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This week, Moroccan logistics and digital freight startup CloudFret raised $1 million from Plug and Play, PRC Ventures ICAV, Azur Innovation Fund, AfriMobi, and business angel Khalid Zitouni to help it expand further in African and European markets.
Here are the other deals for the week:
Nigerian-based e-commerce startup, Betastore received $2.5 million in pre-series A funding from 500 Global, VestedWorld, and Loyal VC.
Talk360, an international calling platform based in South Africa, secured $4 million in seed funding from HAVAÍC, 4Di Capital and several prominent fintech angel investors, including unicorn founders and executives such as Gaston Aussems (ex-Mollie), Robert Kraal (ex-Adyen), Gabriel de Montessuss (president of WorldPay International) and Marnix van der Ploeg (ex-Booking.com and EQT).
Finclusion Group, a Mauritius-based fintech secured an undisclosed amount in funding from the Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund (CASF).
South African e-commerce startup, Shopstar raised an undisclosed amount from Launch Africa Ventures.