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PlayScape in the Cape Flats

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We were buzzing with excitement when we received our first proper Kompan order. Customers had always shown interest in this exclusive high-end Danish product but the price wasn't something our local market could handle. Even the wealthiest residential estates and shopping centers in the country would end up ordering the cheaper Chinese alternative at less than half the price. And who could blame them...?
But we were hopeful we'd see something iconic in one of our SA parks. And one day the call came through. Only we were quite taken aback to hear that it was for a park in the middle of the Cape Flats... one of South Africa's most famously dangerous neighborhoods controlled by powerful gangs.
Colin flew to Cape Town to do the installation and it was suggested he hire a security company 'to watch his back'. He called them but they refused to come. They said that he was better off respectfully working with the main gang of that street and that bringing in any kind of security would invite conflict.
It reminded me of when a game ranger said that if a lion charges at you its just a mock charge and you should stand your ground and look it straight in the eye. And that's what he did. And so began the installation where Colin partnered a group of gangsters to develop one of South Africa's most upmarket and beautiful playgrounds.
It’s been many years since the installation and in an area where old cars are stripped and sold for scrap metal, not one piece of equipment was broken or vandalized.
These men and boys took such pride in the establishment of this park, of the role they played in developing it and continued to play in protecting it. We saw how much more connected people feel when they've been a part of something.
Had the park been installed with a team of security guards and then handed over as a form of charity from an authoritative cold government tender the community would have rejected it in the way a body might reject a foreign object. This park's development created a sense of ownership and inclusion. Another great moment exhibiting the power of play. Not just its impact on the children using the equipment, but on all members of its surrounding community.[/vc_column_text][minti_gallery ids="7022,7023,7021,7024,7025" columns="3" style="2"][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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