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Ocean View residents hope new project will boost tourism in hard-hit area

The Fisheries & Aquaculture Development Institute (Fadi) conducted the training, funded by the Transport Education Training Authority. Picture: Supplied

The Fisheries & Aquaculture Development Institute (Fadi) conducted the training, funded by the Transport Education Training Authority. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 13, 2021

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Cape Town - Ocean View residents are well on their way to creating and boosting local tourism, showcasing the area as a cultural hub of activity.

On Friday, 11 residents completed their training as tour guides, with an inaugural heritage tour. The Fisheries & Aquaculture Development Institute (Fadi) conducted the training, funded by the Transport Education Training Authority.

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The group visited the Hannah Cornelius Centre, the Ocean View food garden, “Seven Sisters”, murals sites, and the Ocean View Care Centre.

Fadi Projects head Sulaiman Appoles said only a small number of residents relied on the ocean for income generation.

“The sea can only sustain so many people at a time. It’s most unlikely, that change with technology, even the harvesting of fish is not sufficiently labour absorptive. So we need to diversify the economy away from coastal fishing to something a little bit more substantive. There’s enough opportunities in tourism.”

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Most of the graduates come from fishing families.

Farmer Sophia Grodes said a group of five women, who had no prior knowledge or formal training in farming, now manages the extensive garden and other projects, now in its second year running.

“We knew nothing about farming, I thought I was going to come here and just plant my little flower and go home. Within nine months, we started the bakery, cafe, nursery and a juice bar.

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“When we started, the community said we were going to fail, it’s not going to work, it’s five females. But I want to tell you, girls rock. If you give a woman a spade, she feeds the nation but if you give a man a rake, he leans on it,” she jokingly said.

At “Seven Sisters”, mural artist and guide Jean America explained the process behind the art pieces depicted on the blocks of flats. It took just seven days to complete the three massive works in 2019.

The group then moved to the site of the old local cinema, now a skeleton of its former self. The cinema closed down about 20-25 years ago. The group visited the “Breaking the Curse” mural wall, where the names of those who lost their lives to violent crime have been memorialised.

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Artist and guide Marius Waries said, “All the people who we lost to gangsterism and violence, we would invite the families or loved ones. While we were doing the painting, we portrayed what we have in the ocean, (and) the tears that the mothers still cry at night. They had to come and paint their child’s name on the wall. It was very sad. After a while I got so angry, I didn’t even want to do the wall anymore because everytime it’s a different youngster (you’re losing).

Khoisan chief Ishmael Sabodien, known as Ishsaqua, provided a lesson in the Khoi language, culture with song and dance at the Ocean View Care Centre, where he teaches young children.

The tour included a visit to resident Levona Jaffer, to witness the age-old tradition of net-making. The tour concluded with a certificate ceremony followed by lunch at the garden.

Cape Argus

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