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Showing posts from November, 2016

At TEDxJohannesburg, “Ideas”, “Technology” and “Innovation” are not Four-Letter Words

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The theme of TEDxJohannesburg 2016 was “Abundance”, and the speakers on day one (24 November) demonstrated that our world is indeed overflowing with ideas and opportunity.
As guests settled into the auditorium at the Riversands Incubation Hub (Fourways), it felt like we were about to bear witness to something great. I was excited to be getting a behind-the-scenes look at how the inspirational YouTube videos we watch are made.

Akiva Beebe, a leadership guru who specialises in new approaches to “human potential” in business, immediately set the tone for the morning with a presentation on the importance of facing the unknown, and preparing oneself to make the best of an ever-changing society. Specifically, Beebe referred to the need to embrace the fast-paced technological advancements that characterise our modern world. Globalisation, the internet and, by extension, all personal smart devices are changing the way we communicate and interact with one another. This, according to Beebe, is n…

I am Not Looking Forward to the December Holidays...

Each year, around the 30th of November, I start to feel this sense of doom creeping up on me. School is out, all the sisters are home, our friends have gone away with their families, we are eating more out of pure boredom, and there is no wi-fi. It’s bleak. This end-of-year dread is compounded in the two week waiting period during which the final arrangements for the trek to Limpopo are made. The questions whirl around in the air. Yes, we’re really going to N’wamitwa. Yes, we’re really going to be spending Christmas and New Year’s Eve there – again. No, we don’t know when we’re coming back. On the day of the four-hour drive, before we have even left the house, I am stressed. There are nine people, and about 20 bags. That’s excluding the groceries and meat. My dad is calling everyone to help hitch the trailer to one of the cars and then stuff all the bags in. It’s a mission that I feel I should be exempted from, since I only have one bag and all I want to do is mind my own business. Bu…

That One Time: I Spoke to The Real Ones

When I got the chance to meet with Mbali, Bee and Iindirhe from the YouTube channel Real Ones SA, I first asked them about the meaning behind their name. Iindirhe immediately made it clear that being “real and unfiltered” is a top priority for them. They also wanted something catchy and familiar that would cross boundaries. It’s important to these women to reach as many people from as many backgrounds as possible. Mbali adds that the name works because it piques curiosity: people will be asking “Real Ones? Sifunuk’bona – why are they real?”
The realness of their video series comes from the way they present their daily reality in their vlogs. They are moving away from the standard vlogging style that focuses on one person sitting and talking straight to camera (similar to the “storytime” videos that are popular on YouTube today) and bringing something different and exciting: they are bringing movement. Showing themselves on the go in daily situations draws the audience in.
When they pic…

In "Love and Kwaito", Sacrifices are Rewarded

Set in Kliptown, Love and Kwaito gives the viewer a glimpse into the lives of two siblings who, having been orphaned at an early age, strive to make the best out of their lives. In Kliptown, Love (Lerato Kala) is working hard to pass Matric while also making sure that her brother Kwaito (Siphiwe Radebe) is well taken care of. With some help from their neighbour Sis Rumbi (Maduvha Madima) and Love’s teacher Mrs Mthembu (Lucia Mthiyane), the children get by just fine.
The children’s parents, who passed away after years of alcohol abuse, are an ever-present spectre in their lives. When elders in the community suggest getting help from social workers, Love resists because she knows that that would mean separating from Kwaito. Kwaito has nightmares about being forced to leave his sister, but Love promises him that wherever she goes, he goes. She is adamant that she will not continue the pattern of abandonment that her parents started.

In one of the moments when she is particularly desponden…