I left Joburg on Wednesday last week. Apparently just in time to miss a massive drop in temperature. Not that it’s like the Eastern Cape was particularly temperate! I landed in a cold and rainy PE that night and while the weather was not bad, winter has definitely set in across SA.
In Port Elizabeth I did two workshops, a book signing at Fogarty’s in Walmer Park, was on Algoa FM for 15 minutes and visited the school I matriculated from… a busy and interesting visit. I was hosted by the N_mb City Project… a very cool youth based initiative to get arts and culture back up and running in PE.
PE could certainly do with a kick start. Almost everyone I spoke to was depressed, bleak about the chances of change or success and generally a bit of a downer to be around. Except the Numbers who are working away furiously to connect with loads of people and get some movement going in the city. They hosted a creative industry network event last Saturday with over 150 arty types in attendance. I don’t know if I could get that many people together in JHB! Well done Numbers!
Check them out at http://www.numbcity.co.za
I was then due in George on Wednesday night… today. But due to a lack of uptake that side, that was cancelled and I find myself in Cape Town instead. A cold and wet Cape Town! Here I am doing sessions with the Red Bull Studio guys as well as speaking at Mids (www.midscapetown.co.za) if you are in CT you should really come and check it out. A new initiative but one that I think can really go places!
These trips always prove valuable in unexpected ways. As it is, I had a great meeting with El Jimador Tequila who will be coming on board with some events I am plotting (more later) and in PE I met some amazing business people with big ideas whom I hope to shortly be working with. The workshops themselves are of course always educational for me anyway. I often wonder how different the world of funding and regulation would be if the powers that be had more to do with grass roots artists and organisations like I do… there is so much good and enthusiasm and hard work going on, but much of it fails before it can achieve anything because of the lack of cash and the inability to get heard in the noise. I wish I had a million rand on hand to help! All you benign millionaires, donations gratefully accepted!
Anyway, more after this weekend. Thanks again N_mb City, I hope to see you guys again soon!