Friday 24 June 2016
Train to Fish Hoek station, bike to Masiphumelele. Met with Solomon ‘Morgan’ Chikumba, proprietor of the Masi Bike Shop, a Bicycle Empowerment Centre founded by the Bicycle Empowerment Network in this vibrant informal settlement.
Morgan and I spoke for several hours. I explained the aims of my research. He felt strongly that research was constantly being conducted, requiring donations of time and effort from the Masi community, without tangible returns. I made the case that my research, combined with James Irlam’s study on Masi from earlier this year, would together be of use in assisting those trying to raise funds for future NMT improvements in the Far South. My current plan to ensure that this happens after the dissertation is complete, is to give a series of talks on my research, write op-eds, and deliver a printed copy to the NMT department at the CoCT and Province.
Another topic was the remuneration for research participants – Morgan suggested that a grocery voucher from Pick ‘n Pay would be a respectful gesture, and had been used before with success.
Morgan will be leaving Masiphumelele for a few weeks to travel home to Zimbabwe, where he must renew his passport. This means that he may not return to Masi until late August, giving me just one month to hold this last focus group, transcribe it, note my findings and conclusions, and complete the draft before final draft submission on 30/09/16.