The township is still looked at by outsiders as a hell-hole where the most sinister of crimes take place. Yes, people struggle in the hood and most young people want to move out of there, which is understandable but through all the negativity the media touts, black people still have a great time in the hood.
The Kasiinstawalk initiative, started by Mawande “Manez” Sobethwa – an instagrammer of note – sees young creatives (mostly from the township) taking to the streets of different townships in Cape Town and telling their own stories through pictures. An Instawalk is when a group of people tour a place together and take pictures of it and Instagram them. Insta walks have been a middle class hobby, with the Cape Town edition taking place in Sea Point. “It has been a mostly white hipster movement really,” says Manez, the founder of the Kasiinstwalk. “With mainstream media not doing ekasi any favors by continuing to paint dark images of it, I saw a need to tell a different story.”
The Kasiinstawalk started in 2014 and has been to various Cape Town townships namely Khayelitsha, Langa, Strand, Mfuleni, Khayamnandi and Mbekweni – which was visited last Sunday, May 17.
Apart from the pictures, what is the bigger picture?
Many of us feel the tourism industry doesn’t put the dignity of township residents first. Township tours for instance have sparked major debates due to their intrusive nature. It looks like initiatives like the Kasiinstawalk may be the answer to portraying the township’s positive side. Manez has bigger plans for the initiative beyond just exploring and having fun. “We’re currently building a brand identity and looking to position ourselves as the kasi Sho’t Left movement that brings the spotlight to the beauty of townships,” says Manez. “[We also] push activism through creativity and raising awareness on the realities of township life but also paint them in a good light. These are places with a rich history, wonderful spirits and energies which we would like to reflect to the world.”
Check the gallery above for images form the Mbekweni iteration of the Kasiinstawalk taken by some of the attendees (called walkers). Some images are from previous walks.
For more images, visit the Kasiinstawalk Facebook page.