Sunday, January 16, 2022

Meet the creator of the Gaborone 2014 logo

Just as big brands are known for their logos or emblems, there is always a name behind every image.

Sunday Standard linked up with the brains that engineered the now famous Gaborone 2014 Africa Youth Games logo and discovered a confirmation of the saying that dynamite comes in small packages.

Gofaone Fana Sepotoka-Maswabi’s artistic prowess is monolithic and in direct contrast to his pint size. It was this artistic ability that created the Gaborone 2014 logo, an image that captivated Botswana and later forged immeasurable pride in the whole of Africa. Today, that image is known and easily recognisable to the whole world. Narrating the story of the Gaborone 2014 logo, the 27 year old said it all started with a competition in which local graphic designers were invited to create a logo for the games. Gofaone dug deep into his creative spirit and came up with a captivating logo that eventually emerged victorious and won the P10,000 prize money. The Kanye born young man is just a modest guy, who lives an ordinary life despite the fact that he is the creator of such a monumental work of art.

“This is no big deal. I am just happy that I did something worthwhile for my country. I never had any high expectations. I have grown to accept that in our country art is not as rewarding and as embraced as in other countries,” he said.

But how did he come up with such a breath taking piece? Gofaone said they were first briefed by the Botswana Africa Youth Games Organising Committee (BAYGOC), who said they wanted a logo that closely resembled the Olympics logo.

“They wanted a logo that reflected zero tolerance for discrimination and portrays a winning spirit,” he said.

And so he got to work. In the logo there is an athlete who is celebrating after reaching the finish line. The logo also has different colours that were used to symbolise zero tolerance for discrimination. It took him just a week to create the logo.

“In fact, I planned for a week and designed the logo within a day and a half after making my final decision on what I wanted to create,” said Gofaone.

But winning is not new to the graphic designer. While still a student at Greenside Design Centre in South Africa, he submitted a typography school project for a Craft Award in the Loerie Awards of 2010. He emerged as the winner of the Craft Award at the Loerie Awards, which often attract big advertising, graphics design, marketing and media companies. Surprisingly, Gofaone was not an art student at school. He was just led by passion in his later years and that worked wonders for him. He is now a holder of a Bachelors of Arts in Graphics Design and is currently employed by a local advertising agency called Voodoo Advertising, where he works as an Art Director and Graphics Designer. However, Gofaone lamented that art is not that rewarding in Botswana primarily because it is treated as a hobby and pastime that is done just for fun. He encouraged young people to focus on their artistic abilities and help diversify the national economy.

“People think art is easy but it’s not. It takes a lot of thinking and execution and it doesn’t come as easily as it may seem to most people,” said Gofaone.

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