Designing Mohamed Salaha

It’s been great to work with Mandela Washington Fellow from Mali, young journalist Mohamed Salah. His vision is to foster social cohesion by bringing the voices of the various groups particularly those marginalized to relevant audience.

One of my leadership development goals is to mentor young people in storytelling and to support Panafrican growth.

I believe in individual and collective action that is not limited by patriotism or geography. With technology we can now reach beyond our own borders.

We put our talents together and launched his Facebook page to help him transition from a journalist looking for a job to a consultant in storytelling. Storytelling is a powerful tool in bringing about social change.

The logo

He wanted his logo to present his persona and his heritage. So, sand dunes of Araouane, Mali head wrap, national flag and his name.

Below are some of the designs we made during the brain storming sessions.

We settled for the “MSC” design which appears in tricolor (mali flag) and monochromes of black or green.

The avatar

With all the other graphics in my drive, it was easy to come up with an avatar that we would use in his media kit, lazily titled MS avatar. The avatar resembles himself, with the skin left unshaded. The avatar will appear as a heas shot, a half body or full body in action.

The mascot

When we were done with the logo and avatar, it still felt like I should do something more. I wanted to portray my mission of creating awareness for national symbols and conservation of heritage. It kept my mind and fingers busy researching all sort of animals, plants, historical architecture, geographic wonders, literature and customs.

I finally decided on the Mali mascot, Mali fire finch, which would be featured solo and in companionship of the MS avatar.

It’s not until we developed one of his programs that we had a name for the bird, écouter, “listen” (be heard).

The other items in his social media kit

Facebook post background, écouter.

Facebook post background, personalities,

Check out his page at