S1 E2 Design, with it there are no limits

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Charly Makwanya uses design to help change perceptions about and within Africa

When Charly was growing up in a ghetto in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, he wanted more than anything to bring change to his community. This change was usually seen in the form of being a professional like a doctor or a lawyer, but he wanted to be different. So he chose to follow his talent for design to use it as a medium to enable his passion for helping others.

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 Show Notes:

  • The story of designing a secret dining experience [04:30]
  • Charly tells us about a job that changed how he perceived his work. [07:13]
  • Charly tells us about what he does, the process he follows to ensure he gives his clients a quality service. [09:307]
  • Charly talks about how he diversifies his offering by putting on his fashion designer cap for festivals, so that he’s not just spending his money which could be used for his business, but still having fun [11:10]
  • Charly legalised Hustle and Funk in early 2016, but it really started in earnest in 2008 [12:38]
  • Charly describes how his savings and timing led to a “happy accident” that allowed the perfect circumstance for him to take the leap towards being a full time entrepreneur. [13:43]
  • The perks of working in design in a connected world, is that your business can be virtual – which opens up the market for Charly [16:20]
  • Charly believes that the world is moving towards a more virtual world of work. [17:30]
  • Charly enjoys working on various elements of his business, as it gives him a better understanding of how his business works [23:56]
  • Charly explains how doing a formal degree helps by exposing you to a variety of subjects that improve your overall design perspective [25:01]
  • Charly talks about the challenges of overcoming prejudices against his ethnic background when convincing potential clients to work with him [28:18]
  • Charly talks about the importance of paying for good quality designs up front to prevent further costs in the future. [32:13]
  • Charly tells us how is passion before design is about helping people [34:40]
  • Charly is building up a network of collaborators throughout the African continent, finding them through social media and on the internet in general most of the times. [36:29]
  • Charly talks about how you got into design / art; and how he chose design over being a doctor or lawyer to help people who came from the ghetto like he did.[40:10]

Significant quotes:

“It’s hard to think when you’re hungry” 06:39
“When you are desperate, you end up creating things for the sake of survival instead of changing the world.” 07:03
“I was amazed by how powerful what I do is, you can literally save a life just by communicating correctly”. 08:09
“With design there are no limits, I don’t think anyone owns design”. 15:10
“Hustle and Funk doesn’t have a location per say, I can do work anytime and anywhere”. 16:54
“What people need is discipline. Passion comes with discipline.” 18:09
“I look at myself as problem solver, designers are problem solvers.” 20:45
“My existence is a sign that there are still more problems to solve.” 21:14
“I believe every solution is a good solution, unless its illegal, I won’t do anything that is illegal” 22:40
“If anyone wants to change the world, then education should be priority” 25:49
“As a designer its very hard to work until you get paid” 29:14
“I’d rather change lives of 10 people in Zimbabwe where there is no design, rather than change the lives of 100 people in the UK where there is design” 35:00

Links Mentioned:

Charly’s Instagram account: Hustle and Funk
Charly’s website: Hustle and Funk
Between 10 and 5 website

The song used in the podcast is The Passion HiFi – Mo’ Blues.

About the author, Charlotte

Charlotte, or Charlie as she likes her friends to call her, is what you would call a multipotentialite or a jack of all trades if you must. She been an auditor, an English teacher, a consultant, an executive assistant and product manager. She loves to read, watch shows, learn, tries to exercise, eats a lot, travels and tries out new things.

Entrepreneurship excites her not only because of its capability to bring joy (read freedom) to entrepreneurs, but also because it can vastly improve a country or continent for the better.


  1. Ruth on October 27, 2016 at 06:34

    I’m indeed heartened to know there are so many young people out there doing amazing things and not just waiting for tenders. Thank you hustleflow for opening to us the hustles they go through. I am learning a lot from their experiences and tips. Keep going. I look forward to your weekly podcasts.

    • Charlotte Luzuka on December 5, 2016 at 11:25

      Thank you. It is heartening to think that there is indeed hope for our continent’s future 🙂

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