The 1st ever Durban Twitter Meet hosted by Yovanie Ganesh.
I know. I know. My darlings, I haven’t written anything for weeks. To be honest, things have been somewhat chaotic but now that I have a second let me tell you about something fun I went too a few weeks ago.
I was invited to attend the #DurbanTwitterMeet on Durban beach front, taking note of the Insta-Walks and InstaMeets founded by the likes of Gareth Pon in and around SA, Yovanie wanted to offer those on her favorite platform an opportunity to get together.
On the 08th November 2015 exactly that happened. The #DurbanTwitterMeet was not only the first of its kind, but for most of us the first time we had EVER met face to face. Some of us had been talking for days, weeks, months and even years without ever meeting each other. Including Yovanie and I. Durban being the beauty that it is, woke up early with a bright and sunny sky. There were no clouds to be seen and the sea looked like crystals on blue velvet.
As everyone arrived, we toasted to the opening and got down to networking. Eventually discovering that we are all in some form of creative business. Be it online media, teaching, videography, producing, blogging, baking or finance, marketing and travel, we had it all.
Conversation as you may expect touched almost every single topic I can recall. It was amazing seeing people talk to one another, share ideas, debate opinions and show passion for something so deeply. Tweets were being sent through out the day but I barely really saw anyone on their phones, unless they were snapping photos. The Durban Twitter Meet really achieved Yovanie’s goal by putting the “social” back into socializing.
Everyone spent the day sharing food platters, chatting, asking each other questions about our various industries. Seeking the answer to what we need to help support each other, to encourage others. To be at the forefront of change. We’re lucky we’re in a generation gap where we literally hold all the power, but we also suffer from some of worst finacial crisis and unemployment rates ever. We have easier access to a world that is literally “living” online, but we also have a reality to face that can often be much darker. So putting us in a room or at a table and asking us to open our mouths and speak is exactly what this was about.
And having a stunning venue like Wahooz at Ushaka, some beautifully colored cocktails and a band that kept the crowd going didn’t hurt either.
Durban is often “left out” of events, concerts, press tours, media coverage and awards it so deeply deserves. I often find myself trying to keep up with questions about my city when I am involved in a Live Twitter Travel Chat.
People around the world are so used to seeing two sides of South Africa in the media. The one sides is the poor, broken, dirty, dust bowl image that for some reason people love portraying in both media and film. And the other is Table Mountain (cpt) and Game Reserves (safaris).
Both sides exist. Yes. I am not denying that. Yet there is so much more to SA than people are being shown, educated about or even exposed too. Media and Press trips like InstaMeets and #DurbanTwitterMeet generally allow for exposure world wide to happen during the events. That’s why the guy in Antarctica is suddenly showing he’s friend a photo of Durban beach front, because he saw Yovanies Hashtag on Instagram. We have these tools, we have the people behind them, now we need to make them work together. People want to know.
During the day people sat and joined us, people just popped in and we had people asking about the event. Thanks to a signboard that Yovanie had specially made.
People who walked past the table wanted to know what the Hashtag was about, how they could get involved and when the next one was (Yovanie’s working on it). Humans are curious and its all about transferring that curiosity over to real relationships. This is just ONE example of doing that. The possibilities are endless.
From what I gather we all left this event with a lot more motivation, inspiration and a re-fueled fires. It was great to laugh with new people, to watch how everyone was so relaxed to let their offline characters show and come to life. Often you meet people or see people out of the context of their online profiles and its shocking to the system but on Sunday it was just amazing to watch all the bio’s I’d read sit at the same table as me.
Much like my attendance to the Good Food & Wine Show Township Cook out, I felt like we were the naughty ones in the back of the bus.
Fay from FayInTheMaze was there to back me up on this 🙂 We also had a chance to meet Mxoe a newer addition to the Durban Twitterverse. Brandon who’s twitter bio is “Aspiring to be a Voldemort in the sheets and a Dumbledoor in the streets” kept us 100% entertained. And Caz who I have known online for about a year now, ended up telling us all about her mom and sisters sneaky Christmas fruit punches and that “one time” with her gran 🙂
A day out with friends…
A huge thanks to Yovanie for hosting the #DurbanTwitterMeet.
And As Always….