Inspiration Drawn From Everything

 Growing up in a township is a unique experience that a lot of us keep everywhere we go. A common denominator amongst a number of these stories is how unique the economic structure we all grew up in but later neglected, like how the smallest size or packets of any product either supplied or packaged by abo mkhozi { street corner vendors } or tuck shops originally ran by abo gogo. The genius in that approach was how it made all products affordable and accessible to all people at every stage of the township at an economic level.

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When we started making furniture, we found ourselves relating to abo mkhozi because of not being well resourced and having direct access to the township market. Furthermore by virtue of us being from those communities, instead of seeing the disadvantage in that, we saw opportunity in an abandoned market. This being the same market that abo mkhozi saw opportunity in. The young township market that wanted to develop them.

Inspiration is drawn from the evolution of abo mkhozi who now exist in different forms and spaces. Moreover from the guys who only use a box display unit held by a string around the neck while selling sweets at the taxi rank, the guy selling fake DVD discs only using a thin silky cloth that will allow him to pack within 10 seconds when the cops come around, straight down to the mammas who have a mobile stall to sell fruits and also uses the same mobile station as storage unit after packing up. We drew inspiration from all those characters and more to create a company called The Playground, to create mobile-friendly, multifunctional and affordable furniture for young African entrepreneurs. Our mission is simple, democratise capability for young people to enter the entrepreneurship space.

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In a world that has a high level of unemployment and disempowered youth, the God-given duty for those who have the capability is to own up to the responsibility of bettering each other’s future. That duty should not be divorced from lessons that come with the township experience which is based on making the essentials accessible and affordable to each other. Success does not have not have to be exclusive in our continent. Success should have a more humane face like abo mkhozi and traditional tuck-shops run by our grandmothers, like them we can and should play our role in democratising capability for and to each other.

 

 

 

Written by Playground