Episode 119

Hadeel Osman

Inspiring visual creativity in Sudan

May 17, 2020

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Episode Overview

This week, we talk to one of the honorees in Forbes Africa’s ‘30 Under 30 List’, Hadeel Osman.

Hadeel Osman has worked in the media and fashion industries for over seven years.

She had studied in Malaysia and the US, and had also worked in the United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe. But when she decided to return to Sudan in 2016, she found it hard to find visual inspiration from the streets. With limited resources, issues with infrastructure, and “mostly brown everywhere” as she described, Hadeel wanted to be part of the change and inspire visual creativity in her country.

“I wanted to inspire visual creativity… to help other entrepreneurs and other creators to create that standard… I wanted to be one of the people that are pushing this agenda that we as the people, we need to celebrate ourselves, our colors, our truths, our culture in all its diversity, and also have that addressed in a commercial aspect.” – Hadeel Osman

This desire led Hadeel to create DAVU Studio, a multi-disciplinary creative studio that fuses design, art, education and sustainability.

“DAVU stands for Designing A Visual Utopia. Coming to Sudan, you don’t really see a lot of visual inspiration… it’s hard for me to get inspiration. I couldn’t see a lot of what I wished I could see… I wanted to design my very own visual utopia with whatever I had.” – Hadeel Osman

DAVU Studio offers an array of creative services in the form of art and creative direction, concept development, branding, styling and most importantly, informal education through interactive, immersive and creative workshops. Through this, she has had the opportunity to work with Sudanese visual artists and designers, and was commissioned by the Sudan Independent Film Festival to train costume designers, jewelry designers and filmmakers.

In this episode, Hadeel talks about her journey in her career, the misconceptions about Sudan, and the status quo of visual creativity in her country. She shares her inspiring dream-come-true story of wanting to be in the ‘30 Under 30’ list since she was 12. Hadeel also shares some valuable advice to the aspiring youth of Sudan, as well as her goals and dreams.

what you’ll learn in this episode

  • Hadeel’s younger years, upbringing, and education in different countries
  • How her passion for the arts and creativity started
  • Her insights on the misconceptions about Sudan
  • Her insights on the status quo of Sudan’s creative diversity
  • Her inspiring story of wanting to be on a ‘30 under 30’ after first seeing it when she was 12
  • Why and how she started DAVU Studio
  • The journey and challenges of being an entrepreneur in the creative field in Sudan
  • The most valuable advice given to her
  • Her “I am…”


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