We can all agree that many things have not been conventional over these past two years and social media is proof of that.
Relationships are hard and making them work is even harder.
Making friends can be a little bit awkward for some people, especially if you’re an introvert.
TikToker Ameera Hassen has taken to social media to invite strangers to become friends.
The TikTok community has responded positively to this idea. If you're looking to make new friends, join the next picnic, at Green Point Park in Cape Town where strangers can make friend on June 26, 2022, at 2pm.
@molly.tarts PSA: i will bake for you too 🥰 #capetown #friends #matcha ♬ original sound - Peach Girl
Hassen, a sous chef, shares how the idea of a picnic with strangers came about.
“I was just looking to make friends, I recently just relocated to Cape Town from Johannesburg for work in December. I was always busy, and I was having a hard time finding people who would be my tribe. So I reached out to TikTok, which is basically our generation's holy grail, and the positive response I received was incredible.
“I must admit that I am a sucker for picnics; friends and picnics are a winning combination.”
The TikTok star says many people are lonely and looking for people to connect with.
“We didn’t know each other, it was just a matter of bringing people together who wanted to be there, and the positive response we got some people were actually bummed they didn’t attend. Which became more reason for us to host another picnic.
@molly.tarts The first of many more to come . Thank you all for coming and for the most wholesome afternoon 💛 comment below if you came and want to do another one ⚡️ #picnic #southfrica #capetown #campsbay #beach #sunset #friends #makefriends #speaktostrangers ♬ test n recognise - </3
“Strangers for friends isn’t only limited to just picnic dates, the group has become so dynamic that we created a WhatsApp group, so that everyone could connect.
“And if they are in need of a companion for whatever reason, they can just pop a text. For example, one of my friends in the group asked if anyone wanted to go to an art gallery with them and just like that, you’re making connections.”
Speaking about the picnic, Hassen highlights how the spontaneity of it all was authentic, fresh and wholesome gathering where people created small groups on their own and went out for drinks afterwards.
The picnic prompted a different aspect that she hadn't anticipated – networking.
"I met so many creative people from various industries, including graphic designers, authors and journalists, and social media managers, all of whom wanted to collaborate with me and help me build my brand.
"On the other hand, I met a lot of people who wanted to be pastry chefs or work in the hospitality industry and wanted to hear from someone who had done it before on how to navigate the industry. I have yet to meet anyone in the same field as me.
“I personally made genuine connections with the people I met. I go out for coffee dates with some of the people I met. It didn't just end at the picnic.”
Despite the fact that many people were sceptical, she says, “I told myself that positive people would show up, and they did. I don't believe in age, so if you want to try something new, go for it!.”
Courtney Walker, who attended the Joburg picnic, says it's a great way to meet new people.
“This is just one of several beautiful examples of how this meet-up is changing people's lives. Two woman started talking and discovered that they live in complexes right across from each other, and they ended up going home together. People brought snacks and introduced themselves to one another. I brought Uno because I thought it would be a fun way to spend an afternoon.”
With so many requests to have a similar picnic hosted in various cities, Hassesn's high school friend Courtney Walker, who lives in Johannesburg, says they have an idea that she would continue to host one in Johannesburg.