Aya is a young creative from the rural outskirts of Butterworth, Eastern Cape, with a background in software development. A strict lockdown in South Africa meant staying home and finding ways to cope with the severity of the pandemic and still be able to create content in the art space.
What inspired your innovation?
Mental health issues have risen drastically over the lockdown period as a result of the challenges brought on by COVID-19. People are losing their jobs and not finding means to provide for their families and in some cases they are getting depressed by not being able to move freely and visit their favorite places of entertainment or recreational activities.
I have built an online platform for art therapy. Creatives can join in the global fight and participate in collaborative projects that are aimed at addressing depression, anxiety, loneliness, and other mental health issues that are faced by communities across our continent.
How does this work?
#AfrikanCreate follows the creative commons licensing model and invites creative volunteers across the continent to collaborate with each other on various relief projects.
These could be songs, where remixes are made by different artists or groups. They could also be digital art projects, where images or graphics and animations are produced. They can even be spoken word projects like poems or short stories where creatives are able to upload their contributions and participate with other peers.
With this innovation, we are aiming to have a digital environment for such activities so that we connect networks of creatives across the continent to explore opportunities of virtual events or webinars to discuss how best to adapt to the ‘new normal’.