Creating An Alternative Future For The Wild Coast

Creating An Alternative Future For The Wild Coast

Courtesy of Mandy Uys, Ph.D., East London, South Africa. Dr. Mandy Uys is a member of a group of sea-sunned East London Open Water Swimming Obsessives. The passionate group of swimmers are embarking on an unprecedented swim in June in the estuaries on the East Coast of South Africa. Their swim is in response to a previous swim project called ‘The Wild Swim’ which was a planned 22 km swim in the very unpredictable ocean along the Wild Coast of South Africa in support of ecotourism, ocean protection,  appropriate development, and the training of environmental watchdog journalists. She explains, “Unfortunately we had floods exactly when the Wild Swim was planned, so Fred and his team had a 30 km Wild Walk along the Wild Coast instead.” Dr. Uys is now in full focus of the Wild Walk sequel, “Living in East London in South Africa, we have easy access to the Wild Coast.  We have all retreated there along 4×4 tracks and beach trails over many decades. We have loved this wild frontier, its rivers, beaches, landscapes and people as well as the Nguni cows that roam the shores.  Our time spent in the ‘Kei is transformative and earthing. But unwelcome developments loom and threaten the people, heritage, and diverse ecosystems of this wise coast. As a group of Friends, we would like to stand (well…swim) in support of an alternative future for the Wild Coast. One informed by indigenous understanding, fueled by earth-centred enterprise, and invested in local people and their land and simple, sustainable lifestyles. The Wild Swim generated an idea of creating a Bootcamp where young and old journalists could be exposed to the gritty enviro-social issues of the ‘Kei and beyond, and to rugged journo training and honest writing, right in the heart of the Wild Coast. This initiative appeals to us as a bridge toward such an alternative future. The hope is that this sort of training could give rise to a small army of fearless enviro-social journos willing to take up the pen and wield it for change. This is what our Swim is in support of. The swim involves 2 Bridges, 2 Rivers and 22 km, the same distance proposed for the Wild Swim. The rivers include the Bushman’s River and Kariega River which border Kenton on Sea, in the middle of the Province.  The East London Open Water Swimming Obsessives will swim on June 1st and 2nd, are supported by the Bushman’s River Sandbar floating restaurant and good-time spot. If you too are passionate about the future of the Wild Coast’s wild and free land and waterscapes, and fair development for those who live there, please add your voice and a few pennies to building a form of journalism that will provide a voice for this alternative.” Visit here to learn more about The Wild Swim.  To donate, visit here. Copyright © 2008-2019 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones