My Langa Open Streets journey

2016-10-06 06:00
 Mzikhona Mgedle hitting his space.

Mzikhona Mgedle hitting his space.

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In 2015, Langa was the first Cape Town township to host an Open Streets Day and its success was the result of local residents embracing it and becoming involved. On 30 October 2016 we will have another opportunity to come out and own public space for few hours. There will be a platform for everyone to participate; if you want to you can organise open mic platforms, games, dance cyphers, performing arts and anything else that can help show case local projects.

As a resident of Langa and Operations Assistant at Open Streets Cape Town (a local non-profit organization), I have experienced an incredible journey. The first time I heard about Open Streets was through a loud hailer announcement advertising a public meeting in Langa. I thought it was something about an official opening or ceremony for a new road and robots close to where I stay.

I attended one of the public meetings which was held at Johnson Ngwevela hall and signed up as a volunteer; that’s where my journey began. Open Streets as a movement has opened doors for me to a new future; I get to know people and engage with communities while learning about new places. I have gone from volunteering, to an internship, to finally being employed full-time by the organization.

At my first Open Streets Day I got a chance to perform and was selected to record at SAE Institute studios. I have also been able to share knowledge and skills with people I met during Open Streets; connecting to develop our communities and get to know our streets together.

I have learned how Open Streets Days are planned and take part in preparing for different campaigns. I enjoy working with people and support the philosophy for ownership of public space, seeing people using the space and developing projects and a movement of exploring streets.

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