“…we as citizens need to actively engage to make sure that our voices are heard…”
This week we meet Rafeeqah Galant, a producer and writer based in Cape Town.
Voices of the City is a weekly feature that spotlights the everyday lives of our citizens, living and working in the city. By asking the same five questions to all our interviewees, we discover not only how our experiences of the city differ, but also what we share. It is a daunting task to try and capture the diverse experiences of our city’s inhabitants, but we feel that it is a worthy, and necessary, endeavor, in order to better understand the present and future of our city.
Question: What about Cape Town inspires you the most?
The most inspirational thing about Cape Town is its people. Irrespective of race, gender or circumstance most Capetonians are proud to be from the Mother City and this is reflected in a greater sense of pride for the country and a unity for South Africans. This is the most inspiring thing because it gives me hope for the future of the nation.
Q: Do you have a secret space or place that you enjoy in the city?
This is a naturally well lit city, as a filmmaker I pay careful attention to light and in Cape Town there is a variety of landscape that is perfectly lit. I like the city when it is quiet. A coffee shop at Muizenberg Beach in the rain or a studio space where I practice Tai Chi in the East City as the sun is dipping behind the mountain.
Q: What was the last exciting event you attended in the city?
The last exciting event, is also a regular event; the #LooseJazzJam Sessions at the Great Wizoo a sports bar in the Southern Suburbs. The Wizoo attracts an odd mix of UCT Students, Jazz lovers and middle aged football players from the attached soccer club. This eclectic group of people all convene to drink and eat with a Jazz Jam in the background. Conversations vary from philosophy, to business to PSL and it is quite normal for a group of men to be playing a loud game of dominos whilst having a beer after soccer practise. It is just as normal for a group of undergrad teens, with too much eyeliner, to be arguing loudly over the value of Plato in modern society. It is not glamorous or beautiful but it is certainly good fun.
Q: What frustrates you about the city?
Apathy. The biggest frustration is people complaining about the city but not involving themselves to make the change. I believe that citizen engagement should be driving change, so if you aren’t thinking about what you want in the city you live in and voicing that opinion then the city is not going to grow in the way that is beneficial to you. Apathy helps no one. There are lots of obvious problems in the city so while stakeholders are trying to improve those problems we as citizens need to actively engage to make sure that our voices are heard and ensure that the improvements are relevant.
Q: You can have dinner with one person living or dead. Who is it and why?
Coco Chanel – an artist, a business woman, a force of nature. I would love to hear her opinions on the world in this constantly shifting digital age, to get advise on being beautiful from the inside, on how to maintain your artistic integrity while growing an empire and on how she managed to remain completely feminine in the then male dominated fashion industry.
Galant is one of the creators of Echo Ledge Productions which focuses on creative story telling in short films and music videos with feature length projects in development. Using her passion for visual media and her business practicality.