The power behind Lafarge’s exhibition success

by Editorial Team
3 minutes read

The inaugural Zimbabwe Agricultural Show (ZAS) ended on a high note last week with many exhibitors winning trophies in different categories. One such entity is the global cement manufacturer, Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe which retained the 2019 best exhibition in the construction industry trophy.

Given the size of the giant cement entity one would rush to assume that behind the winning exhibition stand design was an agency of the size and experience of Barkers Ogilvy’s league but this was not so.

Business Events spoke to the 31-year old self-taught graphic designer and fashion model, Marvin Mukuyu (junior). Mukuyu, who is deaf, is employed in the Lafarge Cement’s communications department where he handles the design of all of the company’s publications, artwork and branding materials.

“It was an honour for me to work on this project and to have my superiors’ trust to handle such a huge task,” an elated Mukuyu commented after his company scooped the trophy.

“Winning this trophy proves beyond doubt that disability is not inability. Given the right platform and opportunity, people with disabilities can deliver,” said Mukuyu.

The graphic designer paid tribute to his employer for enabling him to pursue his dream and exploit his talent.

“Thank you Lafarge for empowering me to realise my potential and giving me the platform to nurture my passion. Thank you for looking beyond my disability and trusting me to deliver,” said Mukuyu.

Asked whether or not he had any graphic design qualifications Mukuyu revealed that he taught himself through observing other designers.

“I did not go to (any) school of graphic design. I trained myself through watching with my eyes when another guy was designing. This was in 2010 and over the years I have perfected my craft,” Mukuyu said.

On whether or not event themes helped him in designing the winning stands, Mukuyu stated highlighted he focused more on the products to be exhibited than on event organiser’s themes.

“I did not even know of the ZAS 2019 theme. Ndaiita basa ndisingazive nezve theme (I just carried out my job as I did not know about the theme). This is because I just focused on the various aspects of the Lafarge brand such as the various purposes which cement is used for to shape my design. I only got to know of the exhibition theme when I was done,” he said.

But who is Marvin Mukuyu? The talented graphic designer was born 31 years ago in a family of six children. He suffered meningitis early in his childhood which affected his hearing.

Over the years he developed a passion for fashion and modelling. Despite the odds which were ranged against him he refused to let disability limit his ambitions and success. With the love and support of his family he managed to achieve his aspirations. In 2013 he pursued modelling and won the Mr Deaf Zimbabwe title that year.

Mukuyu is married to Felistas who he said supports him especially in his work of championing the cause of the deaf.

Mukuyu encouraged other deaf people to persevere in life.

“To the deaf community I encourage you to never give up on your dreams.Keep working hard until you achieve them,” he said.

His message to employers was an appeal for them to support and give the deaf a chance to prove that they can deliver just like those without disability.

“I implore various industries to give equal opportunities to people with disabilities.We can and we will always endeavour to get the job done,” Mukuyu said.

Regarding his future plans, Mukuyu gave out that heintends to dedicate his free time to the needs of other deaf people.

“I will devote more of my time to supporting (other) deaf people and less attending to my own needs,” he said.

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