2023-10 – The Fak’ugesi 2023 Awards celebrate digital creativity

by MMC
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– University of mind

Honoring 10 Pan-African innovators for their outstanding creative achievements as the Festival celebrates a decade of African creativity.

At a vibrant awards ceremony that lit up the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival, the 2023 Fak’ugesi Awards for Digital Creativity proudly revealed the winning projects covering animation , video games, visual arts, music and XR (AR/VR).

Fak'ugesi Digital Innovation Festival Awards 2023

These awards, now in their second year following a successful launch in 2022, have the distinction of being the only award of its kind on the continent, recognizing outstanding digital innovation within the African creative landscape. Commenting on the awards, Fak’ugesi Festival Director, Eduardo Cachucho said: “Over the past decade, since our inception, we have witnessed and celebrated the phenomenal growth of African creativity in the digital space. This year’s nominees demonstrated an exceptional standard, harmoniously blending multidisciplinary practices and digital creativity to celebrate the richness of African culture.

Selected and scored by an esteemed panel of external judges, leaders in their respective fields, these visionaries are recognized for their groundbreaking achievements in their chosen fields and for masterfully infusing creativity and digital art to reshape the landscape of African innovation.


Arowan Parker, a South African broadcaster, storyteller and writer, is the creative mind behind “The Present”. This award-winning project explores escapism in fictional narratives, rediscovery of human connections, and discovering the beauty of the present moment.

Nkem Nwaturuocha, co-founder and creative director of Disrupt DNA, is a passionate storyteller in the fields of advertising, film and animation. “The Song Maiden” is an animated short film depicting the struggles of a young girl caught between cultural norms, offering a captivating story of resilience and personal growth.

Lola Aikins, a talented 2D animator and visual development artist, is on a mission to promote authentic African aesthetics in animation. Her first short film, “NALEDI,” tells the story of a star athlete who must confront her immense heartbreak to regain confidence and complete her race.

Video games

Kushal Jeethendra Sithlu, a multi-faceted creative as a game designer, writer and founder of Pineapple on Pizza Studios. His latest project, “The Null Factor,” is an action-packed adventure in a post-pandemic world against a rogue AI.

Alkemaize, a game development studio, is on a mission to create inspiring and educational games that challenge perceptions. Their latest project, “Rapz!” follows the story of Rapulani, a young girl with a magical afro. The game aims to promote self-esteem, especially among young girls facing hair-related issues.

visual arts

Diane Cescutti, is a French visual artist of Cameroonian-Italian and French origin. Her latest project, “Nosukaay,” explores the connections between Manjak weaving and computer technology using a Manjak fabric as a keyboard.


Agnes Ndegwa is an imaginative 3D artist, VR content creator and illustrator, whose brainchild “Young Haven” ventures into the realm of virtual reality with a deep focus on the mental health and emotional sense of children. It serves as a sanctuary for children to play, relax and communicate with their caregivers, fostering open and expressive dialogues.

A Johannesburg-based digital artist and game developer, Aluta uses various digital mediums, from extended reality to video games, to convey his distinctive perspectives on politics, perception and pop culture. Their latest project, PHANTOM, is a digital art enterprise that explores the complexities of mental health disintegration using extended reality as a means of drawing parallels between the elusive nature of mental illness and ethereal, haunting apparitions .

Hailing from Kenya, Baruu Collective is a dynamic production and creative agency whose mission is to redefine and revive African narratives rooted in cultural heritage. “If Objects Could Talk” follows daring filmmakers who unearth Kenyan artifacts from the basement of a German museum, using immersive AR to revitalize them, and embark on a journey to share this cultural treasure in communities across Kenya .


|Kx’am, a non-profit organization, is dedicated to researching, restoring and promoting knowledge systems, culture, art and heritage |Xam and Khoe through new media . Their multimedia exhibition, !Habesi (Roots), features fine art, photography, poetry, indigenous instruments and augmented reality, highlighting the land rights of the |Xam and Khoe and honoring Ouma Katrina.

“As we celebrate the outstanding winners of the Fak’ugesi Digital Creativity Awards, we recognize that their exceptional projects not only captivate local audiences, but also resonate on the global stage. With opportunities for international residencies and participation in industry events, these innovators are ready to showcase their talents to the world. Recognition of these awards highlights Fak’ugesi’s central role in shaping the future of digital creativity, while these projects serve as powerful examples of how local perspectives can speak to audiences across the African continent,” says Cachucho.

About the Fak’ugesi Digital Innovation Festival

The Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival is at the forefront of the African cultural and technological scene. Founded in 2014 as a collaboration between the Tshimologong district and the Wits School of Arts, Department of Digital Arts, the festival was born from the idea that for technological innovation to succeed, a strong connection must be established between African cultural practices and creative encounters.

Now celebrating its 10th anniversaryth This year, the festival aims to present and develop technological, artistic and cultural skills in Africa.


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