Since its inception in 2014, the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival has been successful in creating a platform for tech innovators, digital artists and creatives to collaborate, exchange ideas and learn from each other.

The festival was founded by Prof. Christo Doherty and Tegan Bristow of the Digital Arts Division at Wits along with Prof. Barry Dwolatsky of the JCSE and Tshimologong Precinct. The festival’s aim is to not only develop skills and engage technology but to ask important questions around the role of creativity and culture within the digital and technology innovation sector.

Where Art, Culture, and Technology Intersect

Aptly titled Fak’ugesi (switch on the electricity or turn on the power in isiZulu), this digital innovation festival aims to ignite the city of Johannesburg by using digital media, technology and art to engage with urban youth culture. Digital innovation in Africa is growing year by year and Fak’ugesi is creating a space for innovators and novices to bear witness to the advances that have been made and get an idea of how far we can go as a continent taking part in the digital revolution.

The festival aims to do the following:

  • Celebrates African technology and innovation through creativity.
  • A platform that brings together diverse digital and technology sectors to collaborate and share skills in digital media and technology innovation.
  • Explores the importance of technology across sectors, from engineering to gaming, to music, to public life and social development.
  • A publicly engaging festival that brings technology and innovation to people in a fun, accessible and playful way.

Fak’ugesi 2016

What to Expect in 2017

As with all the other years, you can expect to be blown away by innovative developments in art, technology and music. The festival will run from the 6th to the 16th of September. You can expect to engage with creatives, gamers, developers, musicians and digital artists. The schedule for the festival includes workshops, talks, electronic music, installations, exhibitions, parties and so much more. Braamfontein will be set alight and the city will surely be known as the pulse of innovation.

“Some incredible highlights at this year’s festival will include the Fak’ugesi Conference, the hugely popular Making Weekend, as well as our annual Market Hack event at the Neighbourgoods Market in Braamfontein. We’re also thrilled to announce an exciting new curatorial partnership titled Fak’ugesi Beats, a beats, music and technology focus curated by Weheartbeat, who will go on to lead festival finale Fak’ugesi Beats Bloc Party as part of their larger program,” says Tegan Bristow, 2017 Fak’ugesi Festival Director.

For more information on the festival and to see the list of events, visit

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