Leg 3- Durban – Day 1
We arrived in Durban in the wee hours of the morning and took an Uber to the hotel. A difference I noticed with South African uber drivers is they don’t call you but message you on the app. On arrival at Durban manor and Conference Centre the hotel checked us in and in minutes we were in our room fast asleep. The room was quite nice with DSTV a very cozy bed, a reading space with a kettle and a lovely bathroom. It was nice to sleep on an actual bed as much as I slept on the bus.
The Loeries take place at the Durban Convention Centre, which according to google maps was around 1.2kms from our hotel. So, we decided to take a walk since it would be a good way to see more of Durban. Also, we had about 2 hours before our sessions at the Loeries so the walk would do us a bit of good. We left the hotel and following the map below we made our way to the Durban ICC. My first impressions of Durban was the fact that it was very clean, nice, sunny and very well organized from a pedestrian view. Being a Thursday morning, it struck me as a busy town but not too far from Nairobi City Centre though the drivers obey the traffic lights and there are no boda boda’s.
In 30 min time, we were at the Durban ICC which is right next to the Hilton Hotel Durban. We walked in got our registration sorted, got some merchandise including a funky Vodacom branded travel mug and a t-shirt. We then got to mingle, get free coffee from Vodacom, get a back massage at the JC Decaux Stand, get a photo done at the South African Tourism stand and take photos at the Dove photobooth. Our 2 masterclasses were Shared Value by Vodacom, JC Decaux and Shared Value Africa and Advertising Leading Society by Dove & UN Women.
The Shared Value masterclass was an eye-opener as first it did a lot to demystify the differences between CSR, CSI, and Shared Value. Shared Value is when a company develops a product or a service to solve a consumer problem. There we some good examples of Vodacom providing school reading materials in South Africa but one of the best Examples was our very own Safaricom with m-pesa and all the m-pesa offshoots. JC Decaux an OOH company has created out of home advertising spaces that help solve a problem in the society like solar-powered public toilets or public bicycles in cities like Luxemburg. Shared Value Africa is currently working with African companies to help them understand how to integrate shared value into the different products and services they provide.
After the masterclasses, we left the Durban ICC to go explore the Durban beachfront. Durban’s Golden Mile, also known as ‘the mile’, runs the length of the Durban beachfront in the city. It includes the promenade and starts roughly at South Beach and uShaka Marine World ending at the Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World to the north. It includes Battery beach, Snake Park, Bay of Plenty, North Beach, Dairy, Wedge, South and Addington and the added safety assurance of shark nets and lifeguard patrols.
The Promenade is what I believe the Mombasa county government should do at Mama Ngina drive in Mombasa. It has parks, paved spaces for walking, running, cycling and skating and piers that let you walk right into the ocean. With restaurants along the promenade, the eThekwini municipality has also made sure the promenade is safe, well lighted and clean. They also have some public pools which are very clean right next to the Durban Fun-world meaning that the beach has people up and about till late into the night. Next, to the promenade are grass lawns where different people come to play football and other team sports. We walked down the promenade from the old Botanical gardens all the way to the uShaka marine world and the Moyo Restaurant at the pier.
At the Moyo Restaurant, we tried the Bunny Chow which is a Durban dish. The Ushaka Lamb Bunny Chow constitutes of a half loaf with the inside part removed and replaced with curry and to go with it some Shisanyama. The food was super delicious, with the location and service top-notch. We then took a walk back to our hotel having walked a total of 8.4kms around Durban. Durban felt quite safe and it was nice to walk around and many different places.