Web­site aims for pos­i­tive sto­ries

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - News - Siyabonga Se­sant

Peo­ple can also con­trib­ute by pro­fil­ing notable per­sons from their areas

It has been a promis­ing few months for com­mu­nity web­site Na­pe­dia, which hopes to be­come the on­line en­cy­clopae­dia of the north­ern areas.

The plat­form, which was launched in June, is the in­no­va­tion of the North­ern Areas Peo­ple Devel­op­ment Ini­tia­tive (Napdi) and seeks to high­light pos­i­tive sto­ries stem­ming from the var­i­ous com­mu­ni­ties.

It cur­rently fo­cuses on eight main cat­e­gories, in­clud­ing arts and cul­ture, sport, char­ity or­gan­i­sa­tions, re­li­gious bod­ies, schools or ed­u­ca­tion and busi­nesses.

“The main idea is that in­sid­ers, those who live, work or who have worked and grew up in the north­ern areas, tell their story in a fun and in­ter­ac­tive way,” project leader Thomas Terblanche said.

“We have re­ceived a cou­ple of pro­files [and] we’re still grow­ing our pro­file base, but what we want to get is the sta­tis­ti­cal in­for­ma­tion, and that is the sim­ple, ev­ery­day in­for­ma­tion [like] busi­ness’ de­tails, con­tact de­tails of schools, etc.

“What we’re hop­ing for in the fu­ture is hav­ing round ta­ble dis­cus­sions in our fo­cus areas,” he said.

Peo­ple can also con­trib­ute by pro­fil­ing notable per­sons from their areas, up­load­ing con­tact de­tails of com­mu­ni­ty­driven or­gan­i­sa­tions, writ­ing opin­ion pieces and shar­ing their own sto­ries.

Terblanche said the web­site was a work in progress and im­prove­ments were be­ing made to make it more user-friendly.

“Telling the story of a peo­ple group­ing is very com­plex, es­pe­cially if the peo­ple group­ing comes from a di­verse back­ground.

“What is in­ter­est­ing is when we speak of the north­ern areas, we just think of a group of

Thomas Terblanche PROJECT LEADER

peo­ple at the north­ern end of the city.

“But when we speak of the sub­urbs we af­ford it some sort of dig­nity, so it’d be ‘Wes­ter­ing’ or ‘Sum­mer­strand’ and so on.

“We don’t call it the ‘south­ern areas’ or the ‘west­ern areas’.

“So the web­site recog­nises that Malabar is dif­fer­ent from Gel­van­dale and Gel­van­dale is dif­fer­ent from He­len­vale; they’ve got names,” he said.

The head of Napdi, Michael Barry, said: “I think we must make more noise about the pos­i­tive sto­ries in the north­ern areas. There are a lot of good soc­cer play­ers from there and a sense of com­mu­nity.”

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