It has now been two months as a fellow. We are not the same people we were in starting, two months ago. For the month we did not have any workshop but I will give an account of the digital and creative workshop that we had at the end of June (it was not discussed in the previous report). In July we also started to touch on more materials such as magazines.
We were also notified that because of the increasing Covid-19 cases the first contract will now be cut to two months instead of three. The report will give a brief account of my personal experience in the month of July with thoughts and ideas on moving forward.
The Nyenyezi ya ku M’mawa is a collective formed by Nthanda L Manduwi to help the youths (mostly consisting of University graduates) through advocacy, creative, digital, and entrepreneurship skills (These skills have been split into four cohorts which will be discussed further in the next section.) The purpose of the Nyenyezi fellowship programme is to see the youth support each other in their various endeavours while setting up the scene for the launch of the Rainbow Conglomerate, which will take place in November 2020.
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AND REFLECTIONS
July has been a quiet month on my end. A lot is still happening of course, such as the development of online digital courses, further development of websites, and more opportunities for the fellows.
I have grown to love the workshops because of the discussions that take place but due to the pandemic, the workshops have been put on hold. On the bright side, there is now an increasing demand and need for digital and content creation. Which as a writer should be something for me to seize. I have drawn up a couple of summary ideas and content concepts in the next section.
There was also a lot of insight and knowledge that was shared at the workshop on the 27th of June as regards to creatives and the digital space. On a general scale, the main thing that stood out for me was the idea behind solving problems and the fact that in Africa we have a lot of problems that need solving and everyone has a piece and part to play.
We are looking for easier ways to get people engaged in our magazines. There is a growing idea of having an app with summary stories that have additional links that lead to the full stories. This targets phone users who have complained about pdfs. This is definitely a convenient idea and it will work.
To add to that point, I recently thought of an additional idea that has to do with Instagram. I wondered why not have an entire page and present it as a magazine with monthly alterations through colours and topics/themes. As Digital designers we can present the page as a real magazine through the posts, where we will have the benefit of videos, link awareness for the online magazine, and a controlled way to get people engaged with all pieces of the magazine.
As for layout designs, I have referenced Father’s House and how they managed their Instagram page. The flow was smooth as they switched colours and themes.
Digital platforms are complex with all sorts of algorithms and intricacies. However, one thing that is obvious and remains grounded to a more real human nature is the CONNECTEDNESS. Everything is connected, I have a separate entity called “FLOP= Flip Of Perspective” which stands on this idea of connectedness. The motto/mantra is “Everything is connected”.
With everything being connected was have seen Social media cut the 6 degrees of separation to about 4.5 degrees (and it’s still decreasing). Meaning it is easier and quicker to get information passed on from user to user. Social Media has grown to be more about storytelling. With everyone telling their own stories, information is flooding the digital space/Internet. With that being the case do we have the time to truly get into all the stories or information being shared? Even important information, do we truly understand it all? If not, then that is where this idea comes in.
The idea is that it is almost impossible to tell a full story using one stream or platform. The story that we are sharing has to be broken down in various ways, strategically and randomly. At times it may seem like diluting the content or story but by sharing the small bits of the story either by using different platforms or different individuals it all ends up tying in together.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
In conclusion, the program is gradually improving and growing, not only as an idea but actual reality bearing fruits. Really exciting to be part of the group. However, on a more personal note, I haven’t done enough. There is more work to do and give. It has been challenging trying to figure out how I can truly help using my best abilities. With the contracts being cut short it has added a sort of urgency that I have normally never faced as I have always been able to prepare for uncertainties but this time it’s all new and it’s forcing me to grow. I am sure I am not the only one who is growing through this experience.
Above all, only good things ahead, for the Programme, fellows and individually.