Finding the ‘Formula of a South African’

22 November 2011

Brand South Africa has launched an ambitious interactive project aimed at co-creating – with the help of as many South Africans as possible – “the formula of a South African”, a recipe for how we ought to behave as a people.

“When the New South Africa was created, and Madiba was in charge, we were like young children,” Brand SA says on the website created to drive the initiative,

“We had the feeling that the world was a great place, and that we were on the right path. Now the New South Africa is a teenager, and like most teenagers, it isn’t sure of who and what it is, and neither are we as a people.”

To help solve this, while placing societal accountability firmly in the hearts and minds of South Africans, Brand SA has commissioned change consultancy Bluprints to facilitate the collective formulation of the “DNA” of a South African.

What should we do more of – and less of?

The process will involve giving all citizens, across all demographics, the opportunity through NGOs, community initiatives and social media to have their say in defining what it is that makes us uniquely South African.

This will begin simply with getting people’s intuitive opinions on “what we need to do more of and less of to be more successful as South Africans” – the first phase of the process, which is now open online.

People’s suggestions will then be grouped into common behaviours, and – starting in early 2012 – everyone will be given the chance to vote, via their mobile phones, on the behaviours they believe are most important.

“The results of this voting will create a formula of what we need to do more of, and less of, to be great South Africans.”

How we measure up

The final Formula of a South African will then be expressed in an array of art forms “truly reflecting the cultural diversity of our nation” and unveiled in the second half of 2012.

Thereafter, every year, South Africans will be asked to rate how well – or how poorly – we’re behaving according to our own standards, in order to help create a genuine shift towards a more successful society.

“No formula of a South African would be complete without YOU,” says Brand SA. “We need your help to discover what it is that makes us great, and what it is that lets us down.

“The time for sitting back and pointing fingers at others is over. It’s up to YOU to help us to discover what it is that makes us, us.”

SAinfo reporter