The golden miles in #GoldenArrow

I was making my way to the Cape Flats, passing faces, work bound. Staring into the vivid abyss, wondering if anyone had a phone charger. The crowd was silent.

I needed to charge my phone. Badly. I'd missed the opportunity earlier, that was a blunder. My mood was dropping as I gazed at the sky. I considered using airplane mode to pass the time.

What I would do for some electricity! You never miss the spark until its gone, they say.

Everything just felt off, could I manage without my music? Maybe sing along from my memory?

Then this happened, just when I needed you.

Photo Jul 25, 10 36 53 A seat usbM

Inception Connection

The transit system being a marvel on its own, I was blown away by the added level off connectivity that the Golden Arrow buses were getting. Being able to stay connected to my work and family with free electricity meant the world to me.

2 usb ports

 

 

From then, my day went as smoothly as electricity from an eel. I gazed upon slightly imposing wonders of nature. Sat with leaders of the future and discussed their way forward. Pondered the strategies applied by economists of yesteryear, guffawed. Discussed solutions to the education system with parents, their miniatures in tow. Rummaged through book donations to find an anthropology textbook beckoning from the chaos.

Travelled great distances through flat communities.

Cape Town's development signals its ability to handle the pressure of African politics. A little too well, in fact. The Cape Flats residents my tout a lack of consideration from the city but with this view, adjustments to that argument must be made.

table mountain 25 jul

 

Sure, the reminders of the city's rulers hover over the daily (and nightly) activities but hey, at least the buses are connected. That's something, right #Zille?

kind edward 7

 

#Financially disruptive 

Money rules the world.

Profit driven business decide how consumers spend their money and consumers influence demand with a subtle buying power.

Institutions harness the power of money in ways that the average Joe is too busy to want to notice (forgive the conspiratorial tone), take Zimbabwe as an example.

Is there a chance for the concept of money to be absolved? The human desire for it is set in our hearts of stone but the mutual trust in it might be salvageable.

An event is currently being held, conferencing bitcoin. #BlockchainAfrica 

Cape Town’s #commute

Public transport has its perks. It’s affordability being the main reason I use it, there is a lot I’ve been willing to look past (behaviour wise), just to get to my destination. However, as the city grooms me to be a more active citizen, I can’t help but wonder what I can do to help the city work better.

This city has five pillars that are the foundation of how it functions. One of the city’s pillars is “caring” for the individuals who live in the city. This calls for a more empathetic response to challenges that we see around us. An example would be the front seats in the MyCiti buses, designated for people with disabilities and other conditions that make it difficult to move with ease.

Now, as a daily commuter, I’ve been wondering what I can do to emulate this empathetic sense of citizenship…

I found this article that introduces this topic for me.

In transit etiquette…

Categorizing a #population

The first thing I’ve had to come to terms with is accepting that people don’t like being categorized.

The second thing that I’ve had to come to terms with is acknowledging that people are being categorized. By people.

Unfortunately for Southern Africa, the past is smeared with the blood of the categorized. Racially categorized that is. Unfortunately for me, in my amateur anthropologist state of mind, I find myself torn between different methods of segmenting Cape Town’s population.

Market segmentation involves a specific purpose, I’m looking for a neutral approach. Racial profiling has been ruined by apartheid and can’t be trusted any longer. As time goes on, I will go into detail but for now, I think language might be a good place to start.

Did you know that English ranks 5th (jointly) when it comes to languages spoken at home (in South Africa)?

Molding #CapeTown

Once upon a time, the African plains must have represented an untouched paradise. A paradise that would need some work but a paradise nonetheless.

A place free from stifling laws and regulations with an abundance of resources.

Today, it isn’t the plains that represent this utopia.

We, the people

As Africans, our predecessors have fought for freedom from different perspectives. Each believing in their own right to their way of life, enough to kill. This passion hasn’t left us.

Fortunately, we’re starting to engage the future. Envisioning the Africa that we would like to see 5, 10, 30 years from now and putting the foundations in place for that. As waves of fresh minds cascade from educational institutions with nowhere to go, organizations shift their focus to encourage and grow these entrepreneurs.

This is an example of one of the organizations that are future-focused and environment enabling. They have workshops, research and other valuable (non-financial) resources for the willing to to create Cape Town.

Silicon Cape

What a #community wants…needs…

It’s clearly a budget, it’s got lots of numbers on it – George W. Bush

Prescribing solutions to community challenges can be tempting. Especially after watching melodious YouTube videos that advertise an organizations ability to organize a community with Colgate smiles as proof of their claims. We all have a Facebook diploma in some field.

Deal direct

The reason I advocate for direct relational experience is that it’s a strong reminder that a community is, essentially, a big human.

Hundreds of individuals who live/work in a specific location. They may never interact but their goals are ultimately linked to each individual fulfilling their chosen role in that community. If we’re going to be pedantic, then let’s go with thousands of individuals.

If, like me, you’re looking for a human-centered approach then keep your eye out for the humans who are most invested in the communities you’re hoping to develop. Everyone has a specific skill and it isn’t up to you to perform all the tasks.

Next, first step

First things first, admit that you’ve seen the need. Your entrepreneurial mentality is a wave that you’ve ridden to get a meeting with the right people. But now you’re on dry land and if you want to make progress then you need to learn to work with other humans.

What are the foundations of your passionate desire to make a change?

Is there a need?

Essentially, a community developer is selling a problem. Selling a solution was the first mistake I made. I realized that I was selling my idea of a solution without fully understanding what the community needs are. I quickly lost a lot of energy when I saw key players shying away from their responsibilities (responsibilities that I had prescribed in my fervor to make tangible change) and forgot to establish a mutual understanding between stakeholders.

Write it down!

Once you’ve grasped that understanding, write it down. Make it real. I’m still working on this myself and reading sections of the book below, I’m learning how to put word to thought.

Community Development and breaking the cycle of poverty

#Accountable communities 

Mobilizing a community is a lot more complex than community organizers have admitted.

Stepping into a community, a change agent has to be careful not to take sides or show favour to particular stakeholders. For obvious reasons.

In communities that have an inherent ability to draw profit from their daily dealings, the complexities become even more abhorrent. 

Circumstances as they are, the ultimate beneficiaries become the victims of the amplified negative aspects. In South Africa’s case, drugs remain one of the major amplifiers.

The challenge here, like in the M&G article below is, visualizig the links between the stakeholders responsible for the state of the community and the participators (victims?) who simply respond to the state of the community.

Accountability is not the sole preserve of the government…