Richie Moalosi
Culture Through Ergonomics

Welcome to Season 2 of the Afrika Design Podcast.

In this episode, Richie Moalosi, a professor in the Department of Industrial Design and Technology at the University of Botswana, takes us through the connection between culture and ergonomics in the design of products and services.

We look at the impact that indigenous communities have in the creation process. Furthermore, we look at how cultural differences inform the design process and how ownership of projects impacts the long-term sustainability of the solutions proposed.

*For the best experience, please use a headset/earphones.

IG: @richie.moalosi

E-mail: richie.moalosi@gmail.com


Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Richie Moalosi: For Africa to have a footprint

in design, we need to sell what we know better.

[00:00:05] Hosts (A/N): Welcome to the second season of

Afrika design. This season, we're going further and deeper with our creative

tour of Africa.

[00:00:12] And the aim is to meet a creative from every country on the continent. 

[00:00:16] If you head to the show's website, Afrika design, you'll find a map of all the episodes to see how far we've come so far. And so you can track your journey with us. 

[00:00:26] We put a lot of time and effort to make sure that this show is as accessible and inclusive as possible.

[00:00:32] Every episode is transcribed. And the full transcripts can be found on the website. As well as more information about the guests and the images of their work for your reference.

[00:00:42] If you want to know what else we do besides the podcast, head to nairobidesignweek.com. 

[00:00:47] And always feel free to send us a message. To let us know what you think. 

[00:00:51] I'm Adrian Jankowiak and I'm Naitiemu.

[00:00:54] On this episode, we have Richie Moalosi; he's a professor in the department of industrial design and technology in the University of Botswana. He's trained as an industrial designer and specializes in design and culture.

[00:01:06] Richie Moalosi: That's where my heart lies and I've been involved in teaching undergraduate and supervising postgraduate students in the M field and Ph.D. students.

[00:01:16] I'm also have been given a new portfolio to start, an innovation center in our university. I've researched a lot on design and culture because my take is that nobody can come and teach us our culture.

[00:01:30] We are experts of our culture and we can translate our culture in terms of products and services, which we can sell to the whole world. But if you were to copy or emulate, Italian design or Japanese design, we are always going to be followers. We're

not going to be leaders. And my interest really is that to see Africa leading one aspect of design which is cultural design. We can do that. This is what I'm always teaching our students that, this is a niche market, which we can really, have a global impact in design. And usually when people come from abroad to visit, maybe our countries in Africa, they don't want to buy something which they can buy in their countries.

[00:02:12] They want to buy something which can tell a story about the product, about the country, or about the culture of the people who designed that product. Because people buy stories more than the actual product per se, what is the story behind the design of that product or service? My interest is that we can make a mark on that, and

one of the projects which we are currently undertaking is that if you want reference material on how to design cultural products from African perspective, it's very difficult to get that. So, we have decided with colleagues, Mugendi is one of the co-authors.

[00:02:47] We are writing a book and, we will be starting to review the test run chapters. We have authors from Ghana and Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, South Africa. Multiple countries because we wanted to tell a story of African design, how to design from an African perspective.

[00:03:09] So we are anticipating that maybe by the end of this year, the book should be out. We've signed a contract with Rutledge in the UK. We are supposed to submit the manuscript in February, so this is something which is keeping me going in terms of, you know, telling the African story by Africans.

[00:03:29] Naitiemu (Host): How would you define culture and, how does design actually influence culture? 

[00:03:35] Richie Moalosi: Culture, it's a way of life. I think around four layers of culture, the first, the inner core layer is the basic assumptions and values. And then the second layer is beliefs, attitudes, and conventions. And then the third layer is systems and institutions. And then the fourth layer is split between artifacts and products and then rituals and behaviors. So, the top part is more of tangible products while the rituals and behavior are intangible aspects. But what you tend to happen is that designers don't design using the inner core layer of values. We need to design products

which, you know, speak to the values of our culture.

[00:04:16] One of the basic assumptions when I was in Australia, if I'm to give you something using my right hand, the left hand would be closer by more or less like this, it's something which is a basic assumption.

[00:04:28] I can't just stretch one hand and say," yes, take". The second hand should be more or less like its supporting. It shows as a sign of respect. This is something which

that we need to use this kind of basic assumptions where we do them without

realizing that they've been ingrained in us when we were still young and this is something which is really unique, which we can use to change or influence culture because culture is dynamic. As we come up with new products and services. They have an impact on culture, they impact how we communicate, and how we relate to each other. So, in a way, they change culture.

[00:05:04] Hosts (A/N): Richie shared how the book they're writing integrates Ubuntu philosophy. 

[00:05:09] Richie Moalosi: The book is 'African Industrial Design: Ubuntu Philosophy In Practice', because, what we are thinking is that, Ubuntu is an African concept. Ubuntu has been used, the human behavior on, caring. I am because we are, caring for each other.

[00:05:27] It has been used a lot in solving African social problems. We feel that when you come with design challenges if you are to start a design challenge from what people know, it's easier for them to contribute. So, we are saying as part of the starting point, people have been solving different types of design problems using this concept

of Ubuntu. Now, why can't we as designers, if we are maybe designing community

projects, why can't we start from that strong foundation, which people know, and then It will build a rapport and trust between the designers and people. We're doing one project in a remote area and involving the same people who are the indigenous people of maybe Southern Africa. They were telling us that we are now tired when people come and do research and we never see the results of those research. But if you are to approach research from Ubuntu perspective, you are not going to have those challenges. 

[00:06:27] Naitiemu (Host): Are there some examples of how, we have put in our social-cultural factors in design and managed to do products that are really amazing, that you know of?

[00:06:36] Richie Moalosi: Yes, we have one gentleman called Mabeo Furniture. He has managed to penetrate, the international market.

[00:06:44] You'll find that his selling point is his culture in furniture design. So, I think you can Google, you will see the kind of furniture which he's designing, he's been selling to US, Sweden, Hong Kong, Italy all over the world because the selling point is

selling the culture.

[00:07:01] And one of the things which I like is that in some of the projects, which he does, he actually involves indigenous people. Go to indigenous people, design with them. And then after that, you will upgrade that kind of design into something, which can be marketed internationally. You know, a lot of people are saying, we want to buy

this.

[00:07:20] We want to buy this. We want to buy this. And it shows that there's a market for such kinds of products.  

[00:07:25] Adrian (Host): You worked on a research paper about design in Botswana and the cultural influences, and you have some categories there, and culturally specific factors within those. Can you talk us through that paper and that process?

[00:07:40] Richie Moalosi: Yes. I think I had about four categories of social-cultural factors. And then one is when you are designing you need to look at the material factors. What people use in their everyday life and this is part of sustainability that if you are designing, try to use local materials which are there and use them sustainably. So, the first one was material culture, and then there's also, tied to material culture, there're emotional factors because we want to design products and services which would hit customers emotionally. When they see something, they say, wow, I want to

buy this. I want to own this. When you talk of culture, people think you are talking of maybe 17th Century kinds of products. You know, culture is dynamic. We want to add a bit of technology within the products and services which we design so that we move with time. So, the other factors are design and technology factors which we also need to encode or integrate within the kind of cultural products which we do so that we upgrade what was designed maybe 10, 15 years ago to something which is more contemporary but still reflecting the people's culture or the societies culture.

[00:08:51] We don't want to design something which would misrepresent people's culture because once you start to misrepresent them, there's going to be a backlash from the society. But if you are to design something which involves culture, go the route of co-creation; co-create, co-design with the people you are designing for who

know the culture so that you don't offend them because you know, some of the

things we might take them for granted, and then it might be something very big,

a big issue, when you misrepresent that.

[00:09:21] But once you co-create with your users then those say that, no, we don't do this or we don't like this. We can't do it like this. And then you can correct it at an early stage where the design has not made any negative harm. 

[00:09:34] Naitiemu (Host): Yeah. And that's such a wholesome way of actually understanding people by who they really are. And you mentioned materials, social, emotional, and technological factors. If we could break it down to what are these factors specifically to Botswana, we can just understand Botswana people a bit more. So, if we talk about material factors, what are these things? 

[00:09:56] Richie Moalosi: Let me just give you an example of say major factors are those factors which usually people maybe own or have around them, their environment.

[00:10:05] One good example, which I always give is that if you take water, it's a material factor. In Europe, they might take water for granted but in Botswana, three-quarters of the country is a desert.

[00:10:16] Water is a very precious resource. if you are designing something which deals with water is something which is going to be helping a lot of people because water is a very, very, very valuable resource and this something which in our countries that you cannot deny somebody water. Even if you have little, share the little which you

have. This is something which if you don't design with people, these are some of the things which you might take for granted and you might overlook. 

[00:10:47] I was just given an example of a traditional broom, this is another material factor that we have, and you can use it, tweak it a bit. This lady who is supervising, my student, you know, it's a broom, and now it's using the concept in designing a chair.

[00:11:02] We can take some of the inspiration from different products, all together, they call it I think: by association, where you take these two products which have nothing to do with each other. And then you borrow inspiration from different products together. And then use it in another product. 

[00:11:20] I have another good example where one of my former students, he won a jewelry design competition which was sponsored by DBS. He came to me, here's the thing I want to do something which is memorable. And I said, the bond between the mother and the child is unbreakable, and think how you can use that to design jewelry. And in Africa, when a child cries you take the child and put her at the back. So, he

drew an abstract drawing of a mother carrying the child on her back.

[00:11:50] And then he brought in a hat and imposed into that abstract drawing. And then the outline came up with a very nice shape showing that kind of love bond between the mother and the child. And it won. It went to, I think, around 21 countries in the exhibition. And this is one typical example of how we can use our culture to do

contemporary products.

[00:12:14] Jewelry design has nothing to do with a mother carrying a baby at the back but that kind of shape, influenced a new, it's not another square, rectangular or triangular shape. It's something which tells a story that this is how we grew up in a different context, in a jewelry context. And this is why I saying that for Africa to make

a mark in the world, we should use our own culture.

[00:12:40] Apart from the unique shape of the jewelry which was designed, it was really the story, the experience behind that jewelry piece. 

[00:12:48] Adrian (Host): Also, another object you mentioned in the material factors was the thumb piano. Is that a typical thing in Botswana? 

[00:12:55] Richie Moalosi: Yes. The student who designed the thumb piano. This is again one concept of taking two areas which are not similar, together.

[00:13:03] The piano was influenced by a canoe. We have one area you might have heard about it, the Okavango Delta, where people use canoes to move around the Delta. So, the shape of that thumb piano was influenced by the way of life of those people who live in the Delta. We are talking of music and then we are talking of a canoe. They have nothing to do with each other.

[00:13:25] So this way meshed together. And then we came up with that kind of unique shape of a thumb piano which people liked so much. Again, the story behind that is because people in the Delta, there are no roads there. The canoes are the mode of transport.

[00:13:39] Adrian (Host): So, it was a canoe and a thumb piano, and it was the size of the canoe or the size of a thumb piano?

[00:13:46] Richie Moalosi: The size of a thumb piano. You are supposed to play it using your thumbs. It's a traditional instrument.

[00:13:51] Naitiemu (Host): Some of the factors you mentioned include emotional factors I'd love to understand how emotions are related to culture.

[00:13:57] Richie Moalosi: Yes, emotions are culture-specific. Something which might be attractive to me, it might be something which is not that attractive in Kenya altogether.

[00:14:08] So this is where as you are designing products, look at some of the emotional aspects which appeal to the local people or to the people who you are designing for. For example, the way we interpret color is quite different. If you look at Southern Africa, they like colors which are not so bright but if you take countries like Ghana, Nigeria, they like this kind of bright colors. They have a bearing on our

emotions.

[00:14:33] If you come up with maybe something which is maybe not multi-colored for the West African market, that product is not maybe going to hit them emotionally. But if you come up with something which is multi-colored for the Southern African market, they will say, no, no, no, this is not for us. Emotions sell products and services.

Sometimes you don't have to think if something is nice. It just hits you straight away that, wow, this is really nice. I need to buy this. I need to own this. And as we are designing products, we need to strive as much as possible that we designed products which are emotionally appealing to people.

[00:15:07] And for you to do that you need to study the users which you are designing for. You need to know deeper about what they like, what they do not like. And sometimes it's a bit difficult to do that but you can study. For example, if maybe the kind of colors which people like, then you will know that if I'm to finish my product

around this kind of colors, then people are going to like that kind of products.

[00:15:34] You can also look at what people own. The way they've been designed. The kind of finish which they have been given to those types of products and services. And then you can deduce or extract some of those kinds of emotional aspects which you can also use in your own products and services which would appeal to the target

audience.

[00:15:52] Adrian (Host): Let's talk about cultural ergonomics. Perhaps you can give us a quick introduction. 

[00:15:57] Richie Moalosi: This is where, I think, there's this new approach that we need to consider cultural ergonomics where now as you are designing this product looking at the physical maybe the cognitive and organizational ergonomics. Look at cultural products because they'll impact what you do. Traditionally, women in Bostwana we're not supposed to sit but it has changed. In rural areas, women are not supposed to sit on stools. They're supposed to be sitting on a mat, down. And then if

you are to design a stool for women, for the rural population, then you are missing the market altogether because there's going to be a backlash that women are now sitting on stools which are supposed to be meant for men.

[00:17:04] This is where cultural ergonomics come in. That as much as we want to change our culture, let's find out what are the traditional practices which are going on in different contexts, and let's build on those. And then if you see that maybe some of the practices are a little bit outdated like women cannot sit on stools, then let's design stools or chairs which would accommodate women not maybe men who are much slimmer than women. Let's really look at the social-cultural factors of the people who

you're designing for, at a deeper level, not at the surface level.

[00:17:38] Naitiemu (Host): If someone would like to design stools for women and it's not culturally accepted. Right. But it's something that they would like to introduce. How would you advise someone to go about it?

[00:17:48] Richie Moalosi: Design shapes and changes culture. It would be a tactful act whereby you need to design an attractive product which would be attractive to women so that you can change the culture which we used to have as it is changing. And if the product is not attractive, then women are not going to use it they'll continue sitting on the mats but if it is attractive, then it will appeal to them. And then there'll be in a position to use those. And this would be a lesson to men, but you know, women

are also human beings they can sit on chairs as well. And it's much more comfortable to be sitting on a chair than sitting on a mat, down.

[00:18:23] In terms of ergonomics, it's much more comfortable there. And I think it should be a lesson where you need to change the culture or some of the cultural practices which you feel are oppressing one gender or a person, other tribes. We need as designers to influence that kind of change.

[00:18:39] Change doesn't come, simply. Usually, there'll be resistance. And ultimately, people would accept it because once you change the status quo some people become unsettled, and ultimately, they'll catch up. We have early adopters of technology. And if you have designed such kind of chairs and then you target those early adopters of change or the change-makers. Those might be the champions who would ultimately change the culture. There were those who will be skeptical that what is this? Why the

change and all that.

[00:19:10] But ultimately, once they see that the change which is being proposed has positive benefits then they'll come on board as well. But on the other hand, there are those who will always be opposed to any change. 

[00:19:21] Adrian (Host): Do you have any examples perhaps of big, either Pan-African or international organizations, who have implemented cultural ergonomics well? 

[00:19:30] Richie Moalosi: On the 19th, I think 19th of March, there's a master's program at the training center of the international labor organization. It's a master’s in social innovation and development. And I have been advocating every year around February, March. And one of my selling points have been saying," as you do whatever you do consider people's culture, don't ever undermine people's culture." Whatever development which you do, take on people's culture.

[00:20:00] One lesson, which I always emphasize is if you are an N G O, you are to intervene within a society or within a setup, design your exit strategy very well. Because we have seen where people come in and say, no, these people, they don't have water. They will drill a borehole, they'll do this and that, and then they leave. 

[00:20:19] As soon as they leave, everything would just collapse. And the people were saying, oh, this is a UN project or this is an AU project. It's not their project because there's no ownership. The way these NGOs should approach the development agenda is that they need to build a rapport of trust and ownership with the local people so

that people should own that product.

[00:20:40] It shouldn't be a UN or AU or this organization, funding organization product. Once you see people labeling it that way, you know that there's no ownership. And that product or that project is just willing to collapse. But once there's ownership and there's a smooth exit strategy whereby, gradually, you leave maybe after a month. You go and see what is happening. If there are any challenges, you assist. And then after maybe two months you come back and see what is going on. Ultimately, people will take over. They'll run with it. But the kind of attitude of external NGOs which when they are intervening in different countries, it’s not working at all. And this is just wasting resources.

[00:21:18] And sometimes they prescribe to people that we know you have this problem and we're going to do this. And if you dig deeper, you find that it's not what the people experienced as the real problem. 

[00:21:28] I always advocate for the inclusion of culture, people's culture, at an equal level rather than imposing your belief. If you go with an open mind, you are going to learn a lot. But if you were there with a closed mind, you are going to come empty-handed. Once you go with an open mind, no matter the educational level of those people, you'll be amazed how much knowledge they have because they are masters of their own experiences. 

[00:21:53] Every year we take a community project as part of community service or social corporate responsibility, giving back to the community.

[00:22:01] It might be an association. It might be a small, medium enterprise. We identify together what problem they have. How they have tried to solve it? And then we solve it together and then let the society or that group to run with it. And we have

been doing this maybe for the past 10 years and it's working very well. And students, they appreciate it very much when they solve real-life projects which they can see that they've successfully implemented. 

[00:22:27] One of the good examples, which we did last year, it was on blending. I think it's a lady who's selling traditional coffee. The roots of a shepherd tree. She would roast those and then there's a special process of roasting those. When you taste it, it tastes

like coffee and it's a natural, more or less like an organic type of coffee. The coffee doesn't have all this caffeine. 

[00:22:48] We assisted her to go and test. what is this coffee made of? Any side effects, and all that. After that, she was trying to market her coffee in shops, big chain stores. The branding was not up to scratch. We assisted her and guess what, she managed to even sell to one restaurant in Sweden. And about five or six chain stores, like Shoprite, Pick n Pay. They've managed to accept her products on their shelves. 

[00:23:14] Naitiemu (Host): Well done, well done. I think a big part of what I understand from what you're saying is sustainability is a big part of infusing design into culture. And also introducing new culture is like, what is the way forward? How can we make this sustainable? And communal co-creation. 

[00:23:31] Adrian (Host): Are there any culturally specific things about Botswana that you'd like to share with us? It could be designing objects or something else that's a creative part of the culture. 

[00:23:42] Richie Moalosi: Anything can influence culture. It depends on how is it going to be used in solving that project. One good example is basketry. One of the big selling cultural products from Botswana and the patterns in baskets, they always tell a story.

[00:23:58] Someone might just look at it and say, oh, no, it's just, some shape or some decorations, but there's always a story behind that. I have a colleague who's working with those women and is taking some of the patterns which are being used in baskets into textile design where you design fabric which have that kind of meaning, in baskets. And I think 50% or something like that or twenty, it will go back to the women who have started that design. Now we are taking those patterns. We are now using them in a new context where we are designing contemporary fabric to be used or to sell the country's culture. 

[00:24:35] Adrian (Host): The fabric's really interesting. We actually had a guest Fungi Dube from Zimbabwe who did a really exciting project called Threads around being inspired by traditional fabrics. 

[00:24:45] How do perhaps some of the tribes differ or some of the cultural traits they have, perhaps, how are those influenced by how they've lived traditionally?

[00:24:55] Richie Moalosi: In Botswana, the way they speak in the Southern part is different from... it's more little dialects. For example, in the Southern part, maybe they'll say 'Nktla' and then in the Northern part, they'll say, 'ah', without an L. Those little differences at the end, it's more or less, they refer to the same thing.

[00:25:11] For example, in the Southern part. If you enter a room, the one who is entering the room you are supposed to greet the people you will find there. But in the north, if you are a child you are supposed to always greet an elder. The elder would just come in there and sit down and keep quiet.

[00:25:25] It should be those young ones, start the greetings. If you embed yourself within the tribes, you will know those little things. And maybe somehow those can also be used in design because design is dynamic and then somebody might apply them in a very unique manner to portray that kind of culture.

[00:25:43] Naitiemu (Host): Nice. And what are the languages spoken in Botswana? 

[00:25:45] Richie Moalosi: I think they're over 15, the main one is Setswana, which is spoken by maybe the majority of the eight principal tribes. And then the others would speak different languages altogether. 

[00:25:58] Adrian (Host): Is that any more nomadic tribe or those who live near the water, et cetera, might have slightly different factors?

[00:26:05] Richie Moalosi: Yes. The nomadic tribe is the San. Those are the indigenous people of Southern Africa.

[00:26:11] They are found mainly in the Kalahari Desert. And some are also found around the Delta area. Their culture is quite different from the mainstream tribes. We did a project there. We had little funding from USAID. And we spent I think four or six weeks. The first week was just bonding, telling stories, building that kind of rapport

with the tribe so that they can accept us.

[00:26:34] And once that bond was built, that's when we started doing the projects. Because in rural areas, especially remote areas, to sustain your livelihood is really, really difficult. The income, you find that those will be maybe a police officer, a nurse maybe teachers in the school.

[00:26:50] And then the rest, it's either you are employed by one of those civil servants or else you are a headman. We wanted to come up with projects which they can do to sustain their livelihoods. We did a few projects there. One was Emuramabeni. It's a bean

which is found in the desert. So that bean you can make it to make flour, you can make coffee. The shell of that bean is so hard and they would take two stones and then hold the bean and crush it one at a time. But if you are to say, sell those, it's a laborious activity. So, we came up with a small, simple mechanical machine which can help them. It will crush about 30 beans per minute. Just a simple machine which you just wind and then crush it. They can now make flour. They can make coffee. They can make different by-products that they can sell to sustain their livelihoods. 

[00:27:40] And one of the projects which we did is that because the desert is sandy, the kind of wheelchairs, the commercial wheelchairs. They were not meant for such kind of environment.

[00:27:48] So we had to design a wheelchair which would be navigated easily in the sandy environment. We came up with a mold which they can mold bricks. Which they can sell. We also even taught them to do some bit of welding. I was surprised, I think after a month when we left, they actually made a donkey cart on their own.

[00:28:08] They designed it and they did it. And these are some of the initiatives which when we’re empowering them that you need to be in a position to sustain your livelihood. Because of this small funding which we bought some basic tools like drills, wielding machines and we had a small center and there were two people from the village who were selected to take care of that center. And then when people come, they will assist and then do activities which would bring in money so that families can sustain their livelihoods.

[00:28:36] Naitiemu (Host): Lovely, lovely. It seems like there are so many beautiful, interesting features in Botswana that are areas of indulging in design also. What are other features that stand out in Botswana? 

[00:28:48] Richie Moalosi: Botswana is one of the biggest exporters of diamonds. But I think because of issues of security and all that, I think we haven't done much on designing products which have diamonds or using diamonds to tell Botswana's products.

[00:29:05] And then the other one is the beef industry as well. Products or byproducts coming from beef maybe using the horns and all that. This is one area which I think we can do much well in and apart from the baskets and all that.

[00:29:18] I think there are several of them where we haven't done a breakthrough on but I think slowly, slowly, we'll get there. 

[00:29:25] Adrian (Host): Thank you. That's so in-depth in so many different areas. Really appreciate it. We don't want to forget, perhaps you can teach us and teach the audience how to pronounce your name and if it has a meaning as well. 

[00:29:36] Richie Moalosi: My name, Richie Moalosi. Moalosi means one who assists people to graduate.

[00:29:43] Yeah. I'm assisting students to graduate here. That's officially what it means. Yes. 

[00:29:52] Naitiemu (Host): Perfect. It seems like names actually define who we are. 

[00:29:56] Richie Moalosi: Yes. Yeah. 

[00:29:58] Adrian (Host): Great. Well, have you got any questions for us or our audience?

[00:30:01] Hosts (A/N): We had this conversation before the festival, which happened in April, and Richie Moalosi wanted to know more about what our plans were for the festival. 

[00:30:10] Adrian (Host): Sure. The theme this year is where we live' and that starts with our minds and our bodies into our surroundings, neighborhoods, and the planet and online. 

[00:30:19] And we've got urban farming, we've got virtual reality projects. We're going to have skateboarders there. 

[00:30:26] Naitiemu (Host): We're doing research into conditions like synesthesia, and neurological conditions. We're going to have workshops on mental health awareness and NFTs and green spaces.

[00:30:37] Richie Moalosi: Wow. Interesting. So, this is keeping you busy. It will be very loaded. Very. Good luck. I think I'll join you online. 

[00:30:46] Adrian (Host): Thank you. 

[00:30:46] And like we mentioned as well, we're helping with the first-ever synesthesia research on the African continent, synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon that connects different senses. So, I see, for example, different letters and numbers in colors, and different people might taste music or might have other connections.

[00:31:08] So we're researching the cultural significance of your upbringing on synesthesia and doing now for the first time around African cultures. So, starting with Kenya but really hoping to expand that project Pan-African as well. Perhaps it's something you'd be interested in Botswana as well. 

[00:31:26] Richie Moalosi: Yeah.

[00:31:26] This is quite an interesting project. 

[00:31:28] Naitiemu (Host): I'm going to be working on a project called Enkang'ang', which means our home in Maasai. Maasai is one of our tribes. And it's going to be a VR experience inside a Maasai Manyatta, homestead, where you meet the women. They tell you the stories. You get to understand the objects, the cultural significance of these objects.

[00:31:47] And then you get into this surrealistic universe of a performance art piece which kind of visualizes a future that's boundless when we learn from our culture. 

[00:31:56] Richie Moalosi: Yeah. Working with indigenous people is an enriching experience. You will learn a lot from them and it's fulfilling after that you feel different. True. You are no longer the same person who you are and this is something which I really love doing. 

[00:32:10] Adrian (Host): Yes, absolutely. 

[00:32:11] Where do people find you by the way on social media or how should people contact you? 

[00:32:16] Richie Moalosi: Yes, I'm on Facebook. I'm on Instagram. You just type my name. It'll appear there, Richie Moalosi. I'm on Gmail, richie.moalosi@gmail.com. 

[00:32:27] Adrian (Host): Thank you. Thanks a lot. You have an amazing weekend; we hope to see you in person at some stage. 

[00:32:33] Richie Moalosi: Thank you. 

[00:32:34] Hosts (A/N): Coming up next time is Senetisiwe from Eswatini who will take us through, casted silhouettes.

[00:32:40] A poem and performance art on a journey through queer love. 

[00:32:43] And then that conversation, we get to learn much more about the culture of Eswatini as a country and its history. 

[00:32:50] If you have any ideas for episodes we should do, people we should host on the show. Please let us know. We're really, really interested in hearing your thoughts. And if you've made it this far, A review would mean so much to us as well on whichever

platform you're listening to us on. 

[00:33:09] Or even the recommendation to one of your friends or through a tweet. We hope to get these stories out there to more people.

[00:33:16] I'm Adrian Jankowiak and my co-host is Naitiemu. This episode was edited by David King'ori with music by Ngalah and Mercy Barno. Thank you for tuning in to Afrika Design.

Episode Credits

Produced by Nairobi Design Week

Hosts: Naitiemu and Adrian Jankowiak

Editor: David King'ori

Shorts & Artwork: Felix Owaga

Music: Ngalah Oreyo and Mercy Barno

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