Monday, 10 December 2007

Can you handle it?

By Inshaaf Isaacs

Escaping the hustle and bustle of the fast-paced city life, delegates from all corners of Africa engaged in the 8th Media Kidocracy Konference hosted on Robben Island for 2007.

The often-abused conveniences by teenagers were greatly missed and appreciated even after the first day. Among the most missed were the convenience of drinkable tap water, cellphone reception and spaza shops.

Teenagers from completely different backgrounds and ethnicities abandoned the norm of mainland life to reside on the isolated world heritage site for six days and five nights. Adapting to island-style life was really hard for the minority of the delegates but the vibrant majority made the most of every moment since they set foot on the island.

Technology as we know is now seen as a need by an overwhelming amount of youth but little did they know that the reception on the island was bad, bad enough that you’ll have a tough time logging into mXit!!! However, the delegates were not deterred from having the best time of their lives. Remarkable social activity was always under way and the soccer ball brought about new friendships and music bonded the boys and girls into one big family.

The exciting, informative and entertaining programme which MKK had planned took the place of the dreaded cellphone which consumes their lives during the December holiday. Youth visiting from other countries had the least amount of trouble adapting to island-style life but the Capetonians felt as if the bad reception and poor signal was outright torture. The spaza shops you find on every corner on the busy streets of the mainland were dearly missed by many.

“It’s difficult, especially if you’re used to having extra. The shop is far and it’s hot, really hot,” said Capetonian Christine Tshitoka. The only shop on the island (besides the tourist curio shop) stocks basic food, so the youth certainly became healthier too. Chumile Mangxola, a resident on the island, said that the only luxury food is pies. “Imagine a life buying a pie everyday. It’s depressing.”

However, this island is not anything short of a fun-filled adventure, especially if it’s your first time. On comparing entertainment on mainland to that on the island it was discovered that the reception was worse, the noise pollution less as well as social activity.

Overall the visit to the island was life-changing for many, and most of us would definitely come back in the future. MKK has certainly proven to be a success – congratulations crew!

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