Tag Archives: Creative resilience

On History of Cycling in Zimbabwe

Last updated on August 8, 2015

History of Biking in Zimbabwe: Charles Duly's trip from Johannesburg to Bulawayo by bike in 10 days
History of Biking in Zimbabwe: Charles Duly’s trip from Johannesburg to Bulawayo by bike in 10 days

From the 1961 brochure commemorating the 50th anniversary of association between Duly & Co. Ltd. (Twitter) and the Ford Motor Company

“The first motor car to arrive in Rhodesia — a 6.5 h.p. French Gladiator. At the wheel is Charles Duly and beside him Mrs. Edith duly — the original Rhodesian [Zimbabwean] motorists.” Photo and caption from the 1961 brochure.
Modern bike enthusiasts might find it weird but it was the man who brought the first car into Zimbabwe, to promote the cycling culture perhaps more than anyone else in the Southern African nation. And he pioneered it in an a way that would be tough to repeat.

A Charles Duly Motor and Cycle Depot ad in 1908
A Charles Duly Motor and Cycle Depot ad in 1908

In 1894, accompanied by a Scottish carpenter (name unknown), Charles Duly, 24,  rode out of Johannesburg on a bicycle, travelled to Pretoria, then on to Polokwane, over the Limpopo river, through Tuli — Tuli being the first location north of the Limpopo/Shashe rivers where a ‘European’ style building, a police station, was erected — and Masvingo and then by the mail coach route to Bulawayo. Here is how the 1961 booklet explains the audacity of the act:

It was a country over which wild animals still swarmed, including lions. It was fever-ridden in a day when effective malarial preventatives were unknown.

The trip took Duly 10 days to complete. Over the same route an ox-wagon would have taken anything from 13 to 20 weeks. To beat Charles Duly and his companion today while cycling the distance on a tarred road would require you to average over 50 miles a day, in sweltering heat and with at least one mountain range to cross.

A 1905 Charles Duly ad of the 7th Avenue, Bulawayo Motor and Cycle Depot
A 1905 Charles Duly ad of the 7th Avenue, Bulawayo Motor and Cycle Depot

The year Charles Duly arrived in Bulawayo, the Bulawayo Chronicle was launched in what is now Zimbabwe’s second most populated city. Six hotels were operational:

  • the Charter,
  • the Queen’s,
  • the Caledonian,
  • the Masonic,
  • the Central and
  • the Maxim.

Board and lodging averaged some 10 pounds a month upwards. The city boasted a two-mile race-course, an athletic club, cricket pitch, tennis courts. It took passengers willing to travel to Harare four days by a mail coach (12 pounds single).

  • Pretoria (six days)
  • Cape Town (nine and a half days)
  • Beira in Mozambique (10 and a half days)

With the agency for the Raleigh bicycle brand, one of the leaders in its field in Britain, Charles Duly opened a cycle shop in what is now Jason Moyo Street (where Edgars is now).

This poster is of a 60's version of Raleigh's longest running campaign in Africa - which started just after the Second World War. The series of posters chart developing prosperity in Africa as original posters showed the rider in just shorts, but over the years he gained long trousers, a smart long sleeved shirt and finally a gold wrist watch
This poster is of a 1960’s version of Raleigh’s longest running campaign in Africa – which started just after the Second World War. The series of posters chart developing prosperity in Africa as original posters showed the rider in just shorts, but over the years he gained long trousers, a smart long sleeved shirt and finally a gold wrist watch.

One day, a khaki-uniformed man walked into Duly’s shop with a usual request of the day. After the Second Matabele War (1896-97), soldiers of the Relief Force were anxious to hire a bike to return to their base in Mafeking, or to go even further south to the Cape of Good Hope.

“Bulawayo, as it was shortly after Charles Duly’s arrival in 1894. The two horse-drawn carts are outside his first cycle shop in Abercorn Street [Jason Moyo Street, where Edgars is now]” Photo and caption from the 1961 brochure.
Around this time, in 1897 the first railway trains reached Bulawayo. Oh and guess what! — Bulawayo had electricity before London. One of those early trains brought Rudyard Kipling to Bulawayo. Two bicycles accompanied the popular writer on the journey to Africa. The epic railway journey was organised by Rhodes: “Cape Town – Kimberley – Bulawayo – Kimberley again – Johannesburg – and so back to the Cape. It was also on invitation by Rhodes that Rudyard Kipling came to Cape Town in 1898. He explored Bulawayo on bicycle, and visited the Matopos.

From the Christmas, 1902, issue of the Bulawayo Chronicle
From the Christmas, 1902, issue of the Bulawayo Chronicle

While in Bulawayo, he occupied a classic 100-year-old Edwardian building called Douslin House which now houses the National Art Gallery. Because the number of requests was huge, bicycle-pioneer-turned-entrepreneur Charles Duly made a policy of outright sale only. Even the stubborn request to hire from Rudyard Kipling did not change Duly’s sales decision. Kipling agreed to find a guarantor. “A good one,” insisted Duly. To which Kipling retorted he would bring two. One of the two was Sir Charles Metcalfe, Cecil Rhodes’s principal adviser on railway construction.

Hovering in the doorway enjoying the fun was Cecil Rhodes.

Rudyard Kipling hired Charles Duly’s bicycle for 7s. 6d. a day, including Sundays, an arrangement that lasted three months. He ended up paying far more than if he had purchased the bike. Seven shillings and six pence refers to the UK coinage before the introduction of decimal currency in the early 1970s.

A photo reproduction of a historic newspaper story -- the arrival in Bulawayo of the first motor car
A photo reproduction of a historic newspaper story — the arrival in Bulawayo of the first motor car

Although nearly half a century earlier he had not heard of Rudyard Kipling when he came to the Cycle Shop, later on Charles Duly became an ardent reader of this writer. And despite the growth of the automobile sales, the cycle track still called him. He donated a track to the City of Bulawayo.

It was an ironic fate that when Charles Duly was officiating at a race meeting, at age 79, he walked unsuspectingly into collision with a cyclist, and the old bike enthusiast was injured. That accident, unavoidable and comparatively minor, was quite likely to trigger the end of Duly’s life about a year later, on November 21, 1949.

Advertisements

Creative Economy: counter ISIS in Palmyra, imagine diverse new futures, invest in stats

lsplg As Isis — the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria — takes almost full control of the ancient Syrian town of Palmyra with its 2,000-year-old towering Roman-era colonnades, the humankind celebrates the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.

The ruins at Palmyra, a Unesco world heritage site just to the south-west of the town aka the “Bride of the Desert”, are one of the region’s most renowned historic sites and there are fears the extremists will destroy them as they have done after taking major archaeological sites in Iraq.

As we clarify in our recent Steppes in Sync animated presentation, local communities worldwide  — apart from those in the immediate warzones, sadly — are soon to gain a bigger say in the creative economy, which will certainly boost well-being of their members, cultural diversity and overall economic development.   Sure thing, there are still such aspects for further optimization as only a handful of connected creatives — who wouldn’t share their network benefits with the rest of us for fear of being disrupted — or the statistical data that target extra funding rather than solve problems. Mo Ibrahim, a Sudanese-British mobile communications entrepreneur and billionaire, explains:

In 2013, out of a total aid budget of $134.8bn, a mere $280m went in support of statistics. Establishing a statistical office is less eye-catching than building a hospital or school but data-driven policy will ensure that more hospital and schools are delivered more effectively and efficiently.

Even with ISIS on the doorsteps of the ancient Palmyra, it’s increasingly up to us to imagine those diverse new futures and generate creative solutions. Mo Ibrahim again:

For 38 out of 54 African countries, data on poverty and inequality are either out-dated or non-existent. Only 3 % of African citizens live in countries where governmental budgets and expenditures are made open.

lspoe Insights were gathered from:

  • CREATIVE ECONOMY REPORT 2013 – WIDENING LOCAL DEVELOPMENT PATHWAYS by United Nations/UNDP/UNESCO
  • From Creative Economy to Creative Society, a brief authored by Susan Seifert and Mark Stern, University of Pennsylvania’s Social Impact of the Arts Project
  • Understanding Creative Industries Cultural Statistics for Public Policy Making by UNESCO/Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity.

This is how you care for stray pets as your city is shelled by internationally banned cluster missiles. A testimony by animal welfare charity in Kramatorsk, Ukraine

From December 2014 till end of March 2015, working in the climate of increasing geopolitical tensions and worsening economic conditions Droog, an animal welfare charity in Kramatorsk, Eastern Ukraine, provided with shelter and returned to their families 200 dogs and 234 cats. On February 10, 2015 Kramatorsk was shelled by internationally banned cluster missiles. Droog persisted undeterred with their mission.

The charitable fund was created in January 2008, with the active phase of operations staring in 2011. The first sterilization took place on April 19, 2012. That same year the total number of sterilized animals reached 115. From April 2013 till April 2014 the number grew to 181. Starting from end of April 2014 till now — a period when Eastern Ukraine saw the intensification of pro-Russian warfare — a total of 360 animals were sterilized.

Alexey Holub, a lawyer with the Droog (БФ “Друг”) charity explains:

Research conducted by scientists in Russia and Western Europe proves that sterilization is the only effective way to decrease — and eventually bring to zero — the number of homeless animals on our streets. All other methods like poisoning and shooting are inhumane, illegal and ineffective. The effect delivered by such ‘solutions’ is illusionary and short-term.

Droog’s volunteers found families for 900 cats and 750 dogs from January 2013 till December 2014.

Emergency rescue operations are not rare in their day-to-day work. They pick up the animals that became road traffic casualties, extract those animals that happened into the carelessly open manholes, got themselves on the roofs, high trees.

A Russian-language billboard by Droog invokes Kramatorsk, Ukraine residents to sterilize animals to curb the number of stray pets in their city (Photo by Andy Kozlov)
A Russian-language billboard by Droog invokes Kramatorsk, Ukraine residents to sterilize animals to curb the number of stray pets in their city (Photo by Andy Kozlov)
As part of Droog’s awareness raising and behaviour change campaign, the charity is making its presence felt on the locally popular social media like Vkontakte (almost 5,000 members) and Odnoklassniki (almost 3,000 members).

Alexey Holub adds:

Our volunteers organized a number of public events to raise awareness about sterilization, adopting animals and thus taking them off the streets. Parallel to talking to the residents and distributing fliers, we held a number of charity auctions. The lots for those were hand-made by our volunteers.

Droog is no stranger to the local mass media either. Publications in such local newspapers as Vostochnyy Proekt, Tekhnopolis and Novosti Kramatorska are accompanied by billboard ads throughout the city. Numerous times, Droog reached out to school-age kids with goodwill classes for the 22nd school students; at New Year’s Eve galas in downtown Kramatorsk and in the city suburbs, to name just a few events.

Supported by active residents and institutional partners we held several larger events. On May 30, 2013 the Donbass State Engineering Academy (“ДГМА”) hosted our charitable event to raise awareness among college students about cruelty against animals in Kramatorsk. The students and faculty of the Academy signed an appeal to the mayor advocating for the creation of a centralized animal shelter in Kramatorsk. Our volunteers used the occasion to distribute fliers and solicit donations.

Eastern Ukrainian animal welfare charity Droog lists its activities and solicits help in this Russian-language billboard on one of the thoroughfares of Kramatorsk, Ukraine (Photo by Andy Kozlov)
Eastern Ukrainian animal welfare charity Droog lists its activities and solicits help in this Russian-language billboard on one of the thoroughfares of Kramatorsk, Ukraine (Photo by Andy Kozlov)
Surely much more needs to be done to reach significant results in decreasing the number of homeless animals while practicing humane methods. It’s doable once we join our efforts. With support from overseas donors we are readying a facility for the Kramatorsk Sterilization Centre.

The following activities are to take place in the Centre:

  • The ongoing Catch, Sterilize, Release work. We are currently in talks with the veterinarians in Kramatorsk to increase the number of surgeries. We aim at  a minimum of 30 sterilization surgeries per month (360 per year). All of the animals that undergo surgery will be marked accordingly with bright clips on the ears. These animals will also be vaccinated (including vaccination against rabies) and treated against parasites, which will defuse the risks posed to the people.
  • We will partner with an international charity Four Pаws. This NGO engages in mass sterilizations if there is a city-wide centre for homeless animals and if they receive an official confirmation by the local authorities of the official ban on homeless animal extermination across the municipality. Back in 2012 Droog staff were trained by the Four Paws on the issues of mass sterilization and received a preliminary confirmation of their vets’ interest to come to Eastern Ukraine.
  • Droog will continue to seek partnerships with other animal welfare charities in Ukraine to join efforts to improve the existing legislation regarding homeless animal protection.
  • The Kramatorsk Sterilization Centre will be a great place to visualize Droog’s work for the welfare of the people and our four-pawed friends through monthly visits by groups of the youths, local and national media practitioners.
Our goal is to take homeless animals off the streets of Kramatorsk in a compassionate way while securing the residents from all the usual problems caused by homeless animals.

Our additional goal is to educate a new generation of people that are free from violence, a compassionate generation, empathetic with the weak, acting with responsibility towards animals. And certainly other human beings.

“We believe these are inalienable features of a developed society that Ukrainians aspire to be,” concludes Kramatorsk lawyer Alexey Holub.

He can be reached at patronat2009@yandex.ru

Resilience built by solution reporting to defuse Smerch cluster missile attacks on survival-savvy Ukrainians, save lives globally long-term

This week we were “utterly shocked” by the absence of cluster munition survival videos on the web. Check Google, YouTube. All you can get out of those communications is the utter shock of mutilation, death and devastation the murderers take pleasure in leaving you with. Georgia, Syria, now Ukraine.

Alright, shocked and killed we can easily be by just stepping out on the street. That’s not what we expect from the world wide web, folks! We look for life-saving information, we seek solutions to the problem.

Alright, shocked and killed we can easily be by just stepping out on the street. That's not what we expect from the world wide web, folks! We look for life-saving information, we seek solutions to a problem.
Alright, shocked and killed we can easily be by just stepping out on the street. That’s not what we expect from the world wide web, folks! We look for life-saving information, we seek solutions to the problem.

Staying resilient in the face of unexpected 300 mm missile attacks is as good a problem as washing your Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy. So why are we flooded by video tutorials about the latter and lack the solution basics of the former?

As our town of Kramatorsk, Eastern Ukraine was shelled by heavy weaponry earlier this week, we wondered what the public security experience will be for those who survive the deadly attack by Smerch BM30 rockets. And — here and now — should we really care who launched them as long as we know how to dodge them?!

Okay, let the Kyiv- and New York-based journos speculate about geopolitics. From the safety of their homes.

Most messages beamed by the mainstream based-not-in-Kramatorsk media just drummed up the confrontation tune highlighting the — otherwise important facts that — cluster munitions are banned under international law and that Ukraine was shocked by the attack on a community “some 50 km behind Ukrainian lines and [thus] considered relatively safe before the attack.”

Some bits of life-granting solution communication came from the Governor of Donetsk Oblast Oleksandr Kikhtenko. At a press conference hours after the attack, he shed some light on the mechanics and electronics behind the killing power of 300 mm missiles — sure we all wish we knew that information much earlier; and the media is to still stamp the survival drill into our minds.

Some kudos also go to the Odesa Oblast Administration (Southern Ukraine) and the local news outlet here in Kramatorsk named Vostochnyy Proekt for sharing these bomb survival videos:

Ukrainians come out of the cluster munition attacks more resilient, survival tactics savvy
Ukrainians come out of the cluster munition attacks more resilient, survival tactics savvy

Sure thing, Ukrainians start to come out of the cluster munition attacks more resilient, survival tactics savvy. But like in any awareness raising/behavior change campaign having the right communication tools is as important as repeating the vital message a quadrillion times.

Problem reporting is so analog age. In the digital 21st century let’s finally start to think and communicate solutions, not just problems.

To our global reader out there, next time you are “utterly shocked” and think of launching a Twitter campaign — think @clusterbombsurvival not just @banclustermunition.