December 4, 2019 100

Saki Mafundikwa: Ingenuity and elegance in ancient African alphabets

Saki Mafundikwa: Ingenuity and elegance in ancient African alphabets

I moved back home 15 years ago after a 20-year stay in the United States, and Africa called me back. And I founded my country’s first graphic design and new media college. And I called it the Zimbabwe
Institute of Vigital Arts. The idea, the dream, was really
for a sort of Bauhaus sort of school where new
ideas were interrogated and investigated, the creation of a new visual language based on the African creative heritage. We offer a two-year diploma to talented students who have
successfully completed their high school education. And typography’s a very important
part of the curriculum and we encourage our students
to look inward for influence. Here’s a poster designed
by one of the students under the theme “Education is a right.” Some logos designed by my students. Africa has had a long
tradition of writing, but this is not such a well-known fact, and I wrote the book “Afrikan
Alphabets” to address that. The different types of writing in Africa, first was proto-writing, as illustrated by Nsibidi, which is the writing
system of a secret society of the Ejagham people in southern Nigeria. So it’s a special-interest writing system. The Akan of people of Ghana
and [Cote d’Ivoire] developed Adinkra symbols
some 400 years ago, and these are proverbs,
historical sayings, objects, animals, plants, and my favorite Adinkra system is the first one at the top on the left. It’s called Sankofa. It means, “Return and get
it.” Learn from the past. This pictograph by the Jokwe
people of Angola tells the story
of the creation of the world. At the top is God,
at the bottom is man, mankind, and on the left is the sun,
on the right is the moon. All the paths lead to and from God. These secret societies
of the Yoruba, Kongo and Palo religions in Nigeria, Congo and Angola respectively, developed this intricate writing system which is alive and well
today in the New World in Cuba, Brazil and Trinidad and Haiti. In the rainforests of the Democratic
Republic of Congo, in the Ituri society, the men pound out a cloth
out of a special tree, and the women, who are also
the praise singers, paint interweaving patterns that are the same in structure as the polyphonic structures
that they use in their singing — a sort of a musical score, if you may. In South Africa, Ndebele women use these symbols and other
geometric patterns to paint their homes in bright colors, and the Zulu women use the symbols in the beads that they weave into bracelets and necklaces. Ethiopia has had the longest
tradition of writing, with the Ethiopic script
that was developed in the fourth century A.D. and is used to write Amharic, which is spoken by over 24 million people. King Ibrahim Njoya of the Bamum
Kingdom of Cameroon developed Shü-mom at the age of 25. Shü-mom is a writing system. It’s a syllabary. It’s not
exactly an alphabet. And here we see
three stages of development that it went through in 30 years. The Vai people of Liberia had
a long tradition of literacy before their first contact
with Europeans in the 1800s. It’s a syllabary and reads
from left to right. Next door, in Sierra Leone, the Mende also developed a syllabary, but theirs reads from right to left. Africa has had a long tradition of design, a well-defined design sensibility, but the problem in Africa has been that, especially today, designers in Africa struggle with all forms of design because they are more apt to look outward for influence and inspiration. The creative spirit in Africa,
the creative tradition, is as potent as it has always been, if only designers could look within. This Ethiopic cross illustrates what Dr. Ron Eglash has established: that Africa has a lot
to contribute to computing and mathematics through their intuitive
grasp of fractals. Africans of antiquity
created civilization, and their monuments,
which still stand today, are a true testimony of their greatness. Most probably,
one of humanity’s greatest achievements is the invention of the alphabet, and that has been attributed
to Mesopotamia with their invention
of cuneiform in 1600 BC, followed by hieroglyphics in Egypt, and that story has been cast
in stone as historical fact. That is, until 1998, when one Yale professor
John Coleman Darnell discovered these inscriptions
in the Thebes desert on the limestone cliffs in western Egypt, and these have been dated
at between 1800 and 1900 B.C., centuries before Mesopotamia. Called Wadi el-Hol because of the place
that they were discovered, these inscriptions —
research is still going on, a few of them have been deciphered, but there is consensus among scholars that this is really
humanity’s first alphabet. Over here, you see a paleographic chart that shows what has
been deciphered so far, starting with the letter
A, “ālep,” at the top, and “bêt,” in the middle, and so forth. It is time that students
of design in Africa read the works of titans
like Cheikh Anta Diop, Senegal’s Cheikh Anta Diop, whose seminal work on Egypt is vindicated by this discovery. The last word goes
to the great Jamaican leader Marcus Mosiah Garvey and the Akan people of Ghana with their Adinkra symbol Sankofa, which encourages us to go to the past so as to inform our present and build on a future
for us and our children. It is also time that designers in Africa stop looking outside. They’ve been looking
outward for a long time, yet what they were looking for has been right there
within grasp, right within them. Thank you very much. (Applause)

100 Replies to “Saki Mafundikwa: Ingenuity and elegance in ancient African alphabets”

  • elquetocapiano says:

    how could it be that you allowed so much ignorance in your life ?
    What a poor soul you are… don't you like poetry or music?
    Do you hate children?

  • Julian L says:

    Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa are quite different though.

  • galacticspin says:

    Reading some of these comments makes me feel sad about humanity…

  • waqqashanafi says:

    This was the worse TED talk ever. I learned nothing new. Thank you African person.

  • Bolle Trie says:

    One thing I notice about youtube. Whenever someone african or of african descent has something positive to say about their heritage or history, out of nowhere you get all these hate filled bigots posting all kinds of insults and degrading comments. I mean, if you hate us that much why even watch a video that does not concern you or your kind of people? It would seem logical to steer clear of something you don't like. It just seems weird to me to put all this energy into hate.

  • andreinla says:

    I hear your pain. Unfortunately racism is not logical nor conscious. I apologize for what is being done by people infected with it.

  • Glenn Heston says:

    I've seen them both.
    The African people are behind the rest of the world with the exception of what technology has been brought to them by people not native to the last 150 years.
    What don't you list a few technological advancements that have come from Africans in the last 50 years. Not someone whose genes come from somewhere else, but a true African.

  • Glenn Heston says:

    "Egypt/Kemet is African."
    The first people to leave lower Africa had to go somewhere. They left the "cradle of civilization" and some stopped at what is now Egypt.
    "did you know that the Nubians (who are also Black) had more Pyramids than Kemet?"
    What does this have to do with modern technology? Strawman much?
    The only one here being ignorant is you for trying to make an argument where there isn't one. You're just hurt because your ancestors chose to stay ignorant.

  • Glenn Heston says:

    Mine wasn't a strawman. The societies that stayed in the areas where humans originally evolved never moved beyond hunter/gatherers without outside influence. The people who left the areas where humans originated from built societies.
    "Actually, my ancestors are the same ones who educated your ancestors."
    Wrong. Your ancestors are from the group that never left Africa. Genetics proves this. Search "Larger Genetic Differences Within Africans Than Between Africans and Eurasians".

  • Glenn Heston says:

    Again, you're trying to claim Africans advanced at the same rate that the rest of the world did and that is just not true. Africans only advanced when an outside influence gave them the technology necessary to do so.
    Yes, that technology was from other societies that shared technology between each other, but with Africans it was always in one direction. Africans adopted technology, but never dispensed any because they didn't have any.
    When I say Africans I mean sub Saharan Africans.

  • Glenn Heston says:

    "A racist troll like yourself"
    This is the reply of a racist. In society anymore if you say anything a black person doesn't like, they label you a racist. Why? Because it makes the black person the victim.
    So now you've straw manned, and cried racism. What's next? Your dad can beat up my dad?
    Maybe you should go back and read my original comments. Race has nothing to do with my claims.
    I claimed Africans became technologically stagnant because there was no reason to advance.

  • Glenn Heston says:

    The Africans I comment on are from the sub Saharan area where all humans originate from. In reality, all humans are descendants of those Africans. There was a group that left Africa, and a group that stayed in that sub Saharan Africa. The Africans that stayed in sub Saharan Africa have only advanced technologically because other societies brought technology to them. There has never been a flow of technology out of Africa by Africans.
    Your lineage belongs to the group that left Africa.

  • Glenn Heston says:

    "my lineage hails from the Moors."
    Then you belong to the group that left Africa.
    The rest of your comment is just the racist in you coming out.

  • Glenn Heston says:

    No, you labeled me a racist because I said things you didn't like.
    I have tried repeatedly to try to get you to understand that the people who stayed in African became technologically stagnant, while the people who left Africa became technologically advanced because they had to deal with new and different situations.
    You just don't like that someone is saying things that you don't like.

  • Glenn Heston says:

    "Especially the europeans."
    Who influenced the Europeans?
    What technological advances came from sub Saharan Africans?

  • Glenn Heston says:

    I've been looking through the comments and you seem to call anyone who doesn't agree with you a racist.
    I said it before, and I was right. You are the typical black person who labels anyone who doesn't agree with you as a racist because that makes you the victim. There is just no way you could be wrong, so the other guy has to be a racist.
    Maybe we should change it from "the boy who cried wolf", to "the black person who cried racism".
    I know, I've heard it before. "Black people can't be racist."

  • Glenn Heston says:

    Nothing you mentioned came from African tribes. All the peoples you mentioned came from the people who left Africa.
    I never claim there weren't times of technological stagnation in the people who left Africa. Another of your straw men.
    What technological advancements came from the tribes that didn't leave sub Saharan Africa?
    Again, the Moors are part of the group that left sub Saharan Africa.

  • Glenn Heston says:

    "No, I labelled you a racist because of your bigoted views of Africans, and your willful omitting of facts."
    How is saying that some Africans left Africa a racist statement?
    How is saying that there are people who didn't advance technologically at the same rate as other people a racist statement?
    "Africa is harsher than other areas on the earth."
    Really! Harsher than the Arctic? The desert Southwest of America? Australia?
    Seems the only education you get is from TV.

  • Travilss says:

    These two goin at it

  • Glenn Heston says:

    Africans are no different than the tribes in South America. They are hunter/gatherers that haven't really changed in thousands of years. You just think anyone who doesn't see things your way is a racist. What a shallow mind you have.
    "Africa is harsher than other areas on the earth"
    These are the words you used, so how is that straw manning? You tried to imply that Africa is harsher than anywhere else.
    I guess all that time I spent reading books doesn't count.

  • Glenn Heston says:

    "The Moors are also a product of sub Saharan Africa."
    So are all the other races on the planet. The difference being that the Moors and everyone e4lse from outside Africa are descendants of the group that left sub Saharan Africa. I've stated this at least 3 times now, but you don't seem to be getting it.
    What religious book are you going to pull this out of? You post your supposed evidence with citations and we'll see just how it holds up. I bet the tribe isn't sub Saharan either.

  • Glenn Heston says:

    That's it? That's all you can come up with? They studied the stars!?! The Mayans, the Aztecs, the Native Americans all did the same thing. They also had knowledge that the Dogons didn't have.
    You are losing this debate miserably. How did knowing that Sirius had more than one star help them in any way? You are grabbing a straws now.

  • Glenn Heston says:

    It did surprise me you didn't use religion.
    I'm not splitting hairs, I'm waiting on that technological advancement from a sub Saharan tribe you've been claiming exists, and then giving me nothing but claims about groups that belong to the group that left sub Saharan Africa.
    I'm grinning!

  • Glenn Heston says:

    Timbuktu was settled in the 12th century by people from the group that left sub Saharan Africa. So they had a university. How is this relevant? In the 12th century there were quite a few universities in other parts of the world.
    The word is "wonder" not "wander".

  • Glenn Heston says:

    Why don't you stop trying to make things fit your beliefs and just show some evidence that a technological advancement came from the sub Saharan Africans like you claimed you would?
    The sub Saharan Africans have added just as much technological advancement to the world as the tribes in South America, and the aborigines of Australia. Nothing.

  • Glenn Heston says:

    I guess I am done. You can't stand the idea that your beliefs about history are wrong, so you are running away.
    Europeans shared technologies with other cultures, it wasn't a one way deal. Sub Saharan Africans didn't trade technologies, they only accepted technologies. You are splitting hairs.
    Oh, using the wrong word is called malaprop, not grammar.
    Unless you're stupid and don't know the difference.
    Since you seem to know from a typed sentence my emotional state, what color is my shirt?

  • Glenn Heston says:

    I see when you are pressed to produce the evidence to support your claims you bail.

  • Glenn Heston says:

    3:40 "Learned men from the north" From the group that left sub Saharan Africa.
    7:45 "At the end of the 10th century when Timbuktu was founded" That's in the late 900's C.E.
    8:15 The map shows the progression of the middle eastern people (part of the group that left sub Saharan Africa) and their journey to Timbuktu.
    9:30 "The bulk of the texts written in Arabic" Not a sub Sahara African language.
    27:10"Paper was imported from Europe and China" More outside technology coming into Africa.

  • Glenn Heston says:

    Your suggestion only supported my claim more. The people who settled Timbuktu were from the group that left sub Saharan Africa, and came back from the middle east. There is no evidence showing sub Saharan Africans providing anything to the culture of Timbuktu.
    You seem to think that anyone with black skin can only be African. I guess that makes Australian aborigines African too.
    You have yet to provide any evidence to show sub Saharan Africans produced any technological advancements.

  • Tonichi Edeza says:

    Don't be, Missouri, Alabama, and other deep south states in the U.S. have the highest search frequencies for "Ebony" on porn websites, this shit gives them some kinda rage boner

  • hakusho04 says:

    whats the name of the inticrate writimg system and any proof that they are used im cuba and brasil?

  • Bandit Anansi says:



    This guy Glen Heston thinks he's really proving or disproving something. Your arrogance proves your ignorance, you are not even arguing genetics/dna in the proper context. However I do agree that Aborigines are not African, they did migrate from africa thousands of yrs ago. I am not African per se…but my ancestry is african in origin, and so is yours "genius"

  • itscrazytrevor says:

    I'm writing a book called "The Modernization & Personification of Fontography" it's the history of the written letter from cave paintings thru hieroglyphics, sanskrit, cuneiform, modern forms of text to computer graphics and finally graffiti that give the letter human characteristics of movement as well as emotion! It's an evolution of the writing on the wall mostly showing the diversity and individuality of the graffiti font art form! Contact me if you have interest or funding thanks!

  • Sept 0 says:

    Everyone human being is of African descent. Lol.

  • QuasarPsychosis says:

    Listen, a common thing on the internet is that people like to wind others up, yes they may actually feel the way they express or they are expressing it to annoying people, essentially you are giving them what they want. Ultimately these people should be ignored as, they are meaningless dots. Or do you think a lot of people feel the way they do? If not, then don't worry, people like myself exist.

  • Miki Senisin says:

    Those of "US" that take the time to read or watch any literature or soft copy like a TED offering do so with the intention of broadening our minds and expanding our understanding of the human condition so i myself personally can learn to stomach reverse racism, know what I mean?, Eh?

  • Seth Erebos says:

    Actually they were united as one nation, that's why the vulture and the crown are pieced together to show that the country lies under one rule, one king, one throne.

  • Seth Erebos says:

    R u talking of all the inventions created by those of African descent in the USA, or are you talking of the people of the lands that were broken down the same way the Middle East and India in the 1800's were broken up by infighting. He might of brought up European countries out of reflex cause he was taught they were they main creators of civilization while his people wallowed around doing nothing, curious about nothing, contributing nothing. Which was a lie.

  • Seth Erebos says:

    The farming techniques they used in the USA came from Africa. The Portugese when they traveled there said African textile production and farming techniques beat their own. Plus inventions are at a exponential curve, combine that with Africa being conquered and torn apart, it stands that they might of missed a portion of time when inventions were coming to light.

  • Seth Erebos says:

    of note, that's a catch 22. For them to be of note they have to be renounced over and over again by schools, institutions and people. A thing can't be of note if suppressed. Good try though.

  • Royston E. Smythe says:

    Indeed, But I don't have the right to go to Tanzania and live there do I? We migrated around a long time ago. Africa is where we come from as a species but it doesn't make me African any more than I am a fish because life evolved in the sea.

  • Jack Hoff says:

    if they let this guy talk why not neo Nazis I saw a black power symbol talking about education is a right lol who the fuck is teaching you turd

  • Jack Hoff says:

    afro centrists claiming Egypt lol what next will they have them claiming Europe as well or what about south america

  • leo hood says:

    he also mentioned liberia. which is west africa. no-where near egypt.

  • leo hood says:

    having pride in your continents early writing systems after hundreds of years of misinformation and oppression of culture is not racist. what exactly was racist about this?

  • Neville says:

    we are all africans remember

  • PussiesUnite says:

    I'd be more inclined to believe in the Christianity/Catholic Church…if they remade all effigies of Jesus into Black Jesus. Or better yet, Alien Jesus.

    Have an A1 Day!

  • Monty says:

    Most of the alphabets he showed were created in the last 4 hundred years. Not exactly ancient. But this was still an interesting talk.

  • Chris Young says:

    @Bolle Trie hopefully the changes made to comments will lessen that noise. 

  • twinkle tangle says:

    Excellent talk. I dont know why people bother to try to rubbish Africa. Its the motherland of entire mankind. Africans are lucky to occupy the motherland permanently. Poverty and wealth are transient phases. He who is reach shall be poor and he who is poor shall be rich. This is the cycle of nature. Nothing in the world or haevens can stop that.

  • TheWonderfulKushite says:

    It's good to see Continental Afrikans promoting the motherland and dispelling the myths and lies that have held us back for so long.  Great job!

  • David Carruthers says:

    Flying the flag! I'm interested in finding a "historically enlightened" form for contemporary African architecture. This is very inspiring. Thanks

  • Fonzy Aiyez says:

    The guy replying Glen foolish is wasting his time with such a dullard. Hunter gatherers. That's all you can say? Clsuming the moors are not sub Saharan? Yet the general who Crossed into Iberia leading the Muslim troops was a MOOR from SENEGAL. Idiot trolls like you don't deserve more than 2 minutes. Oops time's up

  • Bandit Anansi says:

    The scripts of Jokwe, Ekpe, Ethiopia and Ituri are very ancient probably some centuries before Europe laid foot on the continent while the rest seems have came about 400 years ago. 

  • Bandit Anansi says:

    Oh yeah there is also Gicandi of the Kikuyu peoples who also had a system of writing which was also pretty ancient.

  • rotatopoti says:


  • Oyibo Boy says:

    there is not a single example of an alphabetic language in his talk. all written languages in Africa were brought by the Arab and great white colonists. symbolism is not languagae although is communication. 

  • Oyibo Boy says:


    Afrikan Alphabets by Saki Mafundikwa (Oct 1, 2006)
    Formats Price New Used
    Sell this back for an Gift Card

    are you fucking kidding me, his book costs more than the GDP of many African countries.

  • Michael ADOS says:

    White people are the traditional enemies of African people. That's a fact!

  • Jay Ross says:

    Their is no debate , the original ancient Egyptians are black.

  • WhatsUpHufflepuff says:

    This is one of my favorite TED talks, because I love the subject of linguistics and the history of languages. I looked up his book, Afrikan Alphabets: The story of writing in Afrika, and HOLY CRAP IS THIS BOOK EXPENSIVE. Used on Amazon is around $200. New on Barnes & Noble is over $2,000!! I really just wanted it as an eBook, but can't find it in that format… Ah, well. :

  • Paul Hebron says:

    Fantastic Talk. Very key for global designers who are interested in increasing their visual vocabulary. Beyond that, this history is awesome. Would love to tour his school.

  • Akram T.wold says:

    Many THANKS for these writting values of African trasures. Many respects to our mother "Africa".

  • DUB SHAK says:

    I think the information has tremendous value. These writings discuss what we know was the advanced state of African Agriculture, Science, Astronomy, Metallurgy, Medicine, Trade Transactions, and Industry. Even how to make black soap or the paper and the ink/dye the scripts were created with, and probably many other surprises once they are fully read . . etc. You get a solid picture of our African societies in these urban trading centers like Ghana and Mali and Nok, Kemet, Nubia, Zimbabwe when you can see what they were making, trading, selling, buying, observing, cooking, mining, smelting and etc. Africa was in its 3rd golden age just before the slave trade,(Arab and European) depopulation, and then colonialism sent her into a very dark age. These manuscrips, as well as the truly ancient ones written in ORIGINAL AFRICAN SCRIPTS (Medu Neter, Mende' & Nsibidi) let us see trough a great window before the invasions into Africa's independent past, and FORCE us to recognize that Africa has a literary history, that the Ancients have already written Africas pre-colonial history for us, regardless of what the 19th century historians and mainstream academia can say . . . . Thanks for sharing 

  • hahahahha1232 says:

    his he saying that africans didn't write before 400 AD !!!! what shame writing Africa goes back to around 60.000 years 

  • Chrispen Muchenje-Musekiwa says:

    This is an awesome delivery of great scholarly work on Africa's contribution to writing systems, some dating back to the BC era by our very own "Mzee/Mwalimu" Saki Mafundikwa, a Zimbabwean. His research into Africa's various ancient writing systems is meant to inspire both graphic and architectural designers from Africa to look within our own African heritage and not ape western designs which are, in most  cases, also inspired by the ancient African symbolic languages but presented in a European/western context. The presentation is thus an awakening, an inspiration, a story of Africa's journey into civilization presented by an African brother to the world. 

  • the LOGICian - theBeofox says:

    so the Jewish alphabet is the oldest of all, alep comes from aleph, the jewish letter x which also symbolized the ox, bet symbolized a house, and to this day, B is bet in Hebrew.

  • Sérgio Torres says:

    just a sidenote – 4:20 Mafundikwa says that Liberia had a long tradition of literacy long before their first contact with Europeans in the 1800s. Thing is the nowadays Liberia territory was probably visited countless times from the fithteenth century onwards. Since the Portuguese navigation era started late 1400s and by 1498 the sea route to India was first completed. That meant navigating along most of the African coast, and along their way, portuguese soldiers, merchants and priests built colonies and made contact with the local peoples.

  • Menzi Maseko says:

    A Great Initiative indeed

  • Luna Knight says:

    Ohhh I want more of this desperately!

  • Nsibiri says:

    Visit my channel for more on nsibidi learning for the Igbo language.

  • Jess J says:

    Y'all should look at Veve designs related the voudou. Haitian people use it today and it was passed down from Africa. I do not do voodoo, but I was always fascinated by the designs. Google Veve voodoo

  • Jesus Valdez says:

    well this was something alright.

  • Wenli Yan says:

    how about bandia scripts ?

  • OHM-968692 says:

    Interesting talk and a good start in inspiring the designers.

  • Anthony Dark King says:

    Brother this was a mistake sharing this knowledge was bad.

  • Derrick Austin says:

    This presentation is one the greatest lectures given: Dr. Thoephile Obenga (Dr. Diop's student) has been speaking these truths for 35 years. Now, the world has to listen!

  • CrowdPleeza says:

    Africans had writing systems. But it needs to be pointed out the difference between those systems that used symbols to represent concepts or ideas vs those that could be used to record events. It is true that many sub Saharan Africans in west,central and southern Africa had writing that represented ideas or concepts but not many had the type of writing that allowed them to leave written records. This is one of the main reasons not as much is known about pre-colonial sub Saharan history because not enough people left written records that recorded events in their histories.

  • Lotus Television says:

    I am most thankful for this video it expresses exactly what I have been told by many

  • What Doyouthink says:


  • Megaredronin says:

    yes used as a religious language in trinidad by the spiritual shouter Baptistes hmm did not know that

  • Darlan Marinho says:

    Os alfabetos de origens africanas são muitos variados.

  • Tw Mb says:

    Thank you for bringing this to a life. Finally. Would like to work and collaborate with you.

  • Wesley Lewis says:

    If Africans were never enslaved and colonized Europe would be in third world countries and Ethiopia would be the world power

  • vin russo says: This will back up everything he's saying.

  • Blue Dude says:

    I like literature and symbolic literature us my favorite because it like a code you really want to crack but you can't until the end finding out how complex it is. If I made an alphabet it will be weapons,item,faces,human body,elements and the earth in general

  • Mr K says:

    01:00 The alphabet is already based on images. All letters are abstractions of Egyptian Hieroglyphs.

    For instance A is the abstraction of a cow's head with two horns, called Aleph in Phoenician, which became Alpha in Greek.

  • C Mayne says:

    Lol Ignorant, Fraudulent, BS platform (TED), Ignorant "talk"… queue the ignorant comments!

  • collette caraway says:


  • frank scott says:

    Forgot to mention Kurshive (cursive) developed in Kush.

  • Black Diamod says:

    Why Africa has became weakened? The white slave Turkish and slavic female slaves was the beginning of the downfall of Africa. In the second place, is because the Mizerams (the Ethiopians, Somalis and Sudanians), they have joined themselves and conspiracy,   against the rest of afri pleoples, with the invaders of Mongolian Turkish drains. And have converted to the hacked and manipulated, "ancient canaanite beliefs indoctrinations". And all that radiates power, such as the Moors, Tuareg, (all of African roots,) they will trying to makes it as if it is from there own. As is the case with the strong and powerful peoples of the American Indians. see the Apache and the Tomahawk helicopter.

  • Yashayah Ayayi El - Janet Brockenbough says:

    I seeCeltic symbols too, Egyptt, Amaharic, Mesopotamia, Phoenician, etc. Wow!!!

  • Yashayah Ayayi El - Janet Brockenbough says:

    OMG I recognized and understood everything he said!

  • mike askme says:

    I must get his book. I do have one question, i am reading the comments here and i am wondering why are white people so triggered about African history, culture, tradition and achievements, its almost pathological with you guys, why?

  • Simon Charwey says:

    I keep coming back to this TED talk; it was relevant over 5 years ago and still continue to influence my thought process as a designer of Afrikan descent, as evidently demonstrated in my works on instagram (@simoncharwey). It was a humbling moment for me to have had the privilege of meeting Professor Saki Mafundikwa in person, during the Pan Afrikan Design Institute (PADI)'s International Design Education Conference (iDEC) 2019, held in UEW, Winneba, Ghana. An event that brought together design educators of Afrikan descent, thought leaders, researchers, environmentalists, designers, system architects, developers, artists, etc all of Afrikan descent.

  • motheo moiloa says:

    he left out the dogon and proto-saharan but good presentation.

  • Alain Jean says:

    Wow, I am haitian and I am just discovering this. In haitian voodoo religion, we have something called "Veve", but never knew it was a form of writing language. It's very interesting to see how my ancestors kept on the tradition. Until today, not anyone can translate these symbols. It's only known by the voodoo priests and people who are deep in voodoo. I used to hate voodoo I must confess. Now I understand how dump and stupid I was. It's crazy what christianity does to black people arround the globe. We must remember who we are.

  • MOMOTAROtheHERO says:

    It looks more like “Origami” than fractal.
    Nature isn’t really just fractal, but it’s pretty odd too.
    “All” is just one and never multiple. And “1” is an odd number.

  • Naftali Sawe says:

    I need a 2 hour lecture from this man

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