A challenge of innovation, creation and social rehabilitation
After much deliberation and days spent poring over scores of entries, we’re proud to announce the finalists of the Codebridge Re-imagine Storytelling Challenge!
This challenge invited journalists, activists, and anyone with innovative ideas about how to solve problems affecting their communities. We wanted this challenge to go further than just producing journalism, but to push the boundaries of storytelling to create lasting change.
In deciding on who would make it through to the final round, we considered the seriousness of the issue, the story’s impact potential and the innovativeness of the storytelling. The projects chosen are a combination of these and not only do they have the potential to develop further, their level of impact and public interest is particularly high.
The feedback we received was overwhelming, and the ideas were nothing short of inspiring.
With such an extraordinary response, we took longer than expected to go through all of the entries and due to the quality, landed up with more finalists than originally planned. Instead of just eight finalists, we now have ten wonderfully creative, thoughtful finalist teams, whose story ideas will no doubt have a long-lasting impact.
Teams will have just under two months to complete their projects. Each team will get a small budget, as well various resources, to produce publishable stories.
Looking to address current, complicated social issues, the finalist teams and their stories are as follows:
Children raising children in Mpumalanga: Adele Schormann, Dale Hes & Beatrice Shongwe
This team will place their focus on child-headed households in Mpumalanga, which make up 10% of the country, despite the small size of the province. They will produce a piece that puts names and faces to the continuously growing crisis. Read more here.
RezIsHome: Amanda O Mathe & Smangele Rantsoabe
This team wants to raise awareness about the variety of issues surrounding student accommodation, with a focus on the country’s biggest university, the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Their aim is to find a solution to high costs and a lack of safe housing, by bridging the communication gap between students and the communities surrounding university residences. Read more here.
Communitree: Frances Taylor, Nomaphelo Mzimba & Paul Hoekman
Using their work in Delft to demonstrate the concept of ‘city greening’, this team aims to work together with local government, other organisations and the public to integrate the their vision for the community of Delft with a citywide strategy of urban greening and gardening. Read more here.
Green Camp: Jona Venter & Vanessa Meintjes
This team will highlight how urban degeneration can lead to crime and poverty, even on the smallest of scales. By telling the story behind the Green Camp Gallery Project, they hope to inspire and empower other people and communities to transform their own, similar spaces. Read more here.
NuDurbanComic: Angus Joseph
This team of storytellers will, using their futuristic graphic novel, look at future city planning in relation to our cities’ current infrastructure. They will playfully explore different approaches to future planning, different key elements and solutions, against the backdrop of an alternative future world. Read more here.
Safer taxi stops: Abigail Kemper, Lyse Comins, Maria Schuld & Mark Fingerhuth
This team of public transport enthusiasts plans to use transport data to map safe and dangerous zones for taxis to stop at. They will develop a web-based dashboard that looks at a ‘day in the life of a taxi driver’, and can be used by anyone to help raise awareness about some of the issues surrounding public transport. Read more here.
People with disabilities: Mildred Ngcobo & Bradley Downs
By addressing a very serious and widespread social issue through the eyes of a disabled student, this team aims to use this case study to highlight how little is understood about the challenges disabled students face. With the aim of making an impact that starts out seemingly small, they hope that changing one person’s life will inspire the public to do more for the disabled community throughout South Africa. Read more here.
Shop local: Lisa Higginson & Chris Bova
For the Challenge, this team will tell the stories of local artists and innovators, with the aim of showing that when we buy from small and local enterprises, the financial support counts immensely. They plan to create a platform to celebrate local talent and promote community spirit. Read more here.
Sanitary Dignity Conundrum: Chani Macauley & Tim Flack
Despite various government-endorsed campaigns being implemented to address the provision and prioritisation of dignified sanitary provision, the problem has not improved even a little bit. This team aims to create awareness and deeper community-wide understanding by using new media to tell this very important story. Read more here.
Water Wars - To be or not to be?: Mpho Raphata, Tunicia Phillips & Nhanhla Sehume
This team aims to tackle the dire situation in South Africa and on the continent as a whole. They want to implement an awareness campaign around innovative community and household water-saving methods, and to promote proactive water-conscious habits. Read more here.
You can follow their journey - on their official project pages and on social media - as they put their projects together and deal with some of South Africa’s most important and serious social issues.