Riding along on the African Crossroads’ “Dala Dala”
December 19, 2022
The African Crossroads gathering returned this year with an engaging two-day event held in Harare, Zimbabwe. While many participants were able to attend in-person, an even larger part of the audience from across Africa connected online.
This year’s edition was titled the DALADALA edition, a reference to the term used for minibuses in Tanzania. The creative manner in which these dala dala minibuses are designed connects clearly to the African Crossroads community. The combination of likeminded creatives hopping aboard a colorful vehicle and moving in the same direction was the inspiration for the event.
The participants convened with the aim of mapping a vision about the community’s future, after having explored processes and achievements since 2018.
The journey to the 2022 edition
The kick-off of this year’s edition started by putting ideas on the table about what African Crossroads should look like in the period 2023 – 2027. This process involved pre-event consultations with community members, which in turn informed the scope of the main gathering.
“Together we curated the main gathering, which took place on November 23 and 24. This year’s African Crossroads came at a time when the community needed to reshape the relationship that has collectively built a Pan African community,” African Crossroads’ Project Officer Shamiso Mahomva said. Key to the Crossroads initiative is the emphasis on shared power distribution, making every voice equal in shaping the discourse for the development of the African creative.
A gathering of experiences
During the event there was great engagement in laying out what was termed the “African Crossroads 2.0 Blueprint” – a document designed to mold the future of the community. Experiences from various thought leaders, creatives and members deepened the shared understanding of what the future might have in store.
“We explored what a prototype of this network could look like in terms of membership, vision, mission, core values, operations and governance, activities, and partnerships,” Shamiso Mahomva added.
From the panel discussion on optimizing the role of women creatives:
“As a feminist, I believe that women need to be given voices so that they can speak about their struggles in the creative sector, and about how to mitigate them.”
“We talked about opening doors for other women to come through.”
Reimagining the future
African Crossroads 2022 helped to envision the pathway towards a more connected and advocacy-oriented community for the near future. The gathering helped in categorizing the needs of the African creative and in exploring how these needs would find a place within the Crossroads’ next phase.
African Crossroads continues to be a Pan-African network that is inspired to reflect and act together on pressing issues across the continent.
With the new blueprint in place, the community will have a reference based on their own preferences, experiences and shared ambition for the future.
“African Crossroads continues to be a Pan-African network that is inspired to collaborate across countries – to reflect and act together on pressing issues across the continent. Being part of this community means to see, feel, and support each other’s impact,” Shamiso Mahomva said.