Hello Everyone, this time Lari’s CAFE will be profiling a Graphic Designer. The ultimate Nigerian creative; the one who every business turns to for branding. His name is *drum rolls* RUFAI KEYEDE!
What makes Rufai special? Well Rufai is not just a graphic designer, you could even call him a super hero because he also saves lives. Rufai Keyede is a graphic designer in the day and Doctor at night and Vice Versa. That’s cool yeah?
Rufai Keyede is a graphic designer born in Lagos in the late 1980’s. Rufai is from Ota Ogun state but lived all his life in Lagos. He schooled at Bright Day Nursery and Primary School, Jakande Estate, Isolo, Lagos. For secondary school he attended Oke-Afa Comprehensive College also in Lagos. After being in Lagos for so long, in 2005, Rufai left home to attend University of Ibadan to study Botany, but after a year, in 2006, he returned home and got admission at the University of Lagos to study Medicine. After graduating in 2015 Rufai says he enjoyed studying medicine but he also admitted it was tough in his final year. However, he had his internship in Katsina and his NYSC in Kano.
In Secondary school Rufai was the Senior Prefect (Head Boy); he also held other leadership positions in the University. He was the General Secretary of the Association of Medical Students University of Lagos (AMSUL), Creative Editor of Writers’ Club Medilag and General Secretary of MSSN Medilag.
Rufai started graphic design in 2007/2008, in his second year in medical school. It started out as a hobby so he didn’t bother getting any formal training, but he did a lot of reading online. He didn’t do any art work in his childhood asides those done in school art classes but he always had a flair for art because he always hung out with his neighbors who were fine artists and sculptors.
Rufai is a freelancer; he designs magazines, posters and general brand construction. Rufai hasn’t had the time to build a solid brand for himself because;
‘Medicine is a Jealous Lover’- Rufai Keyede.
Rufai gets his inspiration from ‘Everything’. He says;
‘The whole world is our stage and every experience is something to draw inspiration from.’
Working at Mad Comics
Rufai was brought into MAD comics by one of the founders, Hafeez, a colleague from Medical school. The idea of MAD comics is to create stories that are original, African and relatable to mature audiences using comics as the art form. He started working at MAD comics in 2017 where he is in charge of Quality Control. MAD comics has a universe of characters and Rufai keeps them true to form by researching on historical and cultural nuances. Rufai also does post production editing and critique, he occasionally designs posters, letters the comics and designs the site’s blogic section (Blog + Comic).
- Time Management: Rufai is not willing to let go of Medicine or Graphic designing so he is a Doctor in the Day and Creative at Night depending on his call schedule. In dealing with managing his time he said;
‘I’ve learnt I’m no Superman… I’ve learnt to know how far I can push myself and the limits to which I can go before diminishing returns set in.’
- Infrequent Power Supply: As for bad power supply Rufai said;
‘I’ve learnt to prioritize the things that are most important and find work-life balance.’
When asked, ‘If you could go back in time, what would you change?’ Rufai Keyede said;
‘You know the problem with time travel?… Either you are cursed to repeat the loop or you set off another cataclysmic series of event, so I guess I’m good.’
To reach out to Rufai and check out his work you can visit;
- Instagram: @rookey2
- Twitter: @rookey2