‪Townships float and flourish against the capital city tide

SPRAWL— As they sprawl, they don’t densify. They trap the air of access from moving around because they were built that way. A design culture that continues to spread land so thin that it becomes a waste of space over the hills. Yet again, without the dignity of property, land and a suburban yard many people’s dreams would fade off. Few fantasies ride the urban narrative because it’s still far from home, yet economics prevail and retail stocks its finger at every corner clustered with a petrol station, shopping mall and micro taxi rank of not a bus stop. Very little goes down the industrial throat, a tough pill to swallow down a long morning commute to the capital.

Law enforcement pressing against flesh, hope and conviction. The capital stands defended but pilfered from within. What if the capital rotated across different locations, and towns. Each one getting a fair chance at various infrastructure and security needs. More than anything, it would give elected representatives in parliament, presidency and governance a chance to taste the living conditions of our people.

Even after elections, parties are full and boards strung up on our street light posts. Every election season, young men and women put these boxes of posters up, and no one pulls them down for recycling or anything useful. Typically symptomatic of the cognitive state of how our contemporary managers think, reflect and engage with their constituencies on the ground. They all fight for the capital, but the future is not in the capital at all. The capital is only a small part of a bigger nation.

They will talk about building towns, they will talk about the neglected communities, but will they invest their energy in marketing their beliefs over demonstrating their worth? Townships and villages are a profound place to start: have a presidential meeting there; establish a Premier’s office at the most inconvenient locations; and release one’s eyes from a birds-eye view of the world.

The only limitation to townships’ potential is a national addiction to the capital city state, in policy, funding, media and culture.

As technology and information systems evolve, there’s a greater chance now, more than ever, that local communities will garner more local influence. This influence could be the fight for preservation, attention and to be heard. It may remain stuck in the wooden poles, axes and tyre smoked from exhaustion. Alternatively, it may manifest into and through organized movements fighting for a voice through legal, enforcement and dialogue oriented approaches. By the time mayors realize that communities on the ground have gathered and formed a microcosm of development agendas, it would be too late to offer a helping hand. Digitization, and localism combined with education will challenge the capital city’s empathetic facade because communities have become their own entities. While townships remain fabricated limbs of the “city”, they’re now a given norm ripe for adaptations well beyond the loxion. Access to local opportunities is propelled by effective transportation systems, and yes, as townships become entrepreneurial hubs they too may agglomerate and form new places of development. The only limitation to townships’ potential is a national addiction to the capital city state, in policy, funding, media and culture. Technology and information systems underpinned by mobility and access; and reinforced by suitable land-uses… oh, that’s just going to shake things up.


Thank you.

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