THESE DAM BLACKS, NPC
Proposal for Funding
Registration number – 2018/377529/08
21 Karee Acacia Park, Parliamentary Village, Goodwood 7460
Contact: 0712919959/0794975100 I Email: [email protected]
These Dam Blacks is a networking, collaborative and solutions-driven platform for purpose of harnessing the collective potential power that black people have on socio-economic grounds and thereby addressing the totality of our social plight holistically in an effort to restore our humanity. Our aim is to grow towards self-sustaining projects of different scales across different fields that span but not limited to: agriculture, culture, mentorship, crowdfunding, humanitarian aid, youth development, entrepreneurship, education and so on. While there is an ongoing networking in between events, the events remain the biggest draw card and the flagship of These Dam Blacks to initiate new partnerships and connections and reinforce the existing ones.
The conception of the set of ideas that undergird the formation of These Dam Blacks is borne out of a realization of a tenable professional and social alienation amongst black professionals, especially young people. The reality is and continues to be that the work professional culture is generally alienating to indigenous people and discontentment has long reached alarming levels of mental health problems for black professionals in the work place. The need for a space like These Dam Blacks had purchase as there was a yearning for face to face interactions at a social level to unburden the social ostracization and further to explore other opportunities for livelihood in mutually inclusive ways. The connections in the space also facilitate networking amongst black professionals about opportunities in various walks of life. So the space has a transformative disruptive and constructive agenda to maximize the potential of black professionals in the private and public sector as well as civil society.
In the first gathering in 2017, a core group of organisers was constituted by popular vote and remains the engine behind the activities of the group to organize events and facilitate activities in between. Since the first gathering, the challenges facing especially young black entrepreneurs in a world where much is said about the role of entrepreneurs and small businesses a huge gap remains between available support and the businesses. There is no doubt about the potential of economic opportunities from small medium enterprises and start-ups. This theme remains a central drive and therefore a consistent feature in all our gatherings since inception.
Our natural progression has also opened up the space to black people doing various things and how they can interact with other black people on intersecting interests. We have several people who come to (re)present their organizations and businesses at different stages of their maturity and expressed their different needs and/or what they can offer to others in the space. We work and connect to support each other through other ways like exchanging contacts, giving time to technically help others in their individual or organizational capacity.
Our name derives from our place of gathering which was initially Emmarentia Dam and that it is a space to gather, support and enhance black people in Johannesburg first and South Africa as large later. Further, the name is a play on the word “damn” which we believe as our position in the world as black people as espoused by Frantz Fanon in his seminal book The Wretched of the Earth coined in the French original Les Damnes de la terre, translating literally translating to the damned or condemned of the earth. From this, however, we have decided to exercise our agency to do something about our “damnation” and refuse a condition of perpetual subjection hence the creation of These Dam Blacks as an affirming, collaborative and networking space characterized by a free-spirited and easy-going approach that is different to the usual suit and tie networking events which are often high-class and intimidating to a lot of people, hence our choice to host our events at public parks for accessibility at no cost to attendees, only donations at will. The usual set up is that of a picnic at the park by a dam, usually on a Sunday afternoon so a family-friendly and oriented networking space with games for adults and children, something we think is a rare trademark of These Dam Blacks.
NEED FOR SPONSORSHIP
Since we began, we have operated largely as at minimal scale however with a growing demand across the country, there is an increasing need for administrative and financial capacity on our side. The core group of the original organisers has sustained the platform, mostly through personal donations, time and resources because of the sheer belief in the cause and the value we know it creates among the patrons.
Whilst we want to retain our autonomy and ensure that our gatherings remain spaces of free thinking, unfettered creativity and productive collaboration, we welcome partnerships which seek to strengthen the initiatives, including funding and donations.
These Dam Blacks delivers a burst of energy that electrifies all its congregants and as said, we maintain the central theme of black-owned businesses, conscious customer consumption patterns, producers, managers, and ultimately as investors.
The management of the database demands a lot of administrative work to ensure that is interactive in receiving and giving constructive feedback. More stokvels have since formed the space and recruite members from us and require further support in line with shared principles.
We also run a have fun and games children in the iconic Kiddies’ Corner with indigenous and intergenerational games such as black mapatile, puca, morabaraba, etc. together with face-painting, puzzle making, egg-and-spoon race amongst other things. We also experiment with alternative as we have specialist teachers in charge of the Kiddies’ Corner and we support a spread of educational initiatives in schools and outside through this channel.
The success of These Dam Blacks has since grown beyond the means of the core group or even donations from its members to and the only way to sustain it is to seek for respectful partnerships on mutual appreciation.
BENEFITS OF SPONSORING THESE DAM BLACKS
- We have a captive, engaged and economically active audience who have networks in their own right to disseminate and share information and contacts via social network as well as in formal settings.
- Ensuring that the circulate the Rand circulates within our networks farther thus creating long lasting value and empowering black people in real time.
- The value of our impact transcends money in breaking the social alienation and fostering ties that organically evolve to other relations.
- Network building has the power to have far greater spin offs than we would be able to see in the immediate term. We are interested in the long term growth and progression of all of our members and patrons and later we will provide a list that exemplifies this.
- The network of These Dam Blacks is extensive from black businesses to social activism and public sector thus initiatives are aligned to a number of private and public sector individuals for sectoral strategic partnerships in their respective objectives.
- A life-line is given to small businesses by exposing them to an interactive audience in attendance and their network beyond the event and we remain the reference point to connect customers and businesses in certain regards while we support specialist market initiatives.
THESE DAM BLACKS DURBAN LAUNCH
As with its birth and growth in Johannesburg and later in Cape Town, Durban has also added its voice in growing and expanding family of a black network. Teaming with the National Executive Committee of These Dam Blacks, local organizers in Durban have settled on the 28th of July 2019 as the date to host the inaugural gathering in Durban. The host partner in Durban is the Phansi Museum, a space that echoes our sentiment on the value, culture, orientation and business.
The Phansi Museum is the most natural and obvious choice for us because of aligning interests and goals. These Dam Blacks is a space we have co-created to affirm black love, Ubuntu, community and a sense of belonging and partnering with an institution with a vested interest in communal development is just the kind of synergy we need to move the black community forward.
The planned programme we have for Durban spreads over two days on the 27th and 28th of July 2019. The first day will be a fundraiser concert with living legends and upcoming sensations in the arts. The purpose of this fundraiser concert is garner resources for Cyclone Ida in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi and the human plight in the Sudan (here we are inspired by musician Msaki’s benefit concert for Sudan who is part of These Dam Blacks family) especially on women and children.
The second day, 28th of July 2019 will be the regular installation of These Dam Blacks which is networking-based. This begins with Welcome and Introduction, a word from our host Phansi Musuem, messages of support from partners and then an open platform with presentation from all the businesses, NGOs and other interest groups in the space. We break for lunch with live entertainment and our Kiddies Corner will have a special guest by Dr Gcina Mhlophe from another partner of These Dam Blacks Gcinamasiko Arts and Heritage Trust. We will close off and head back to our respective places with the networks made and the central committee to facilitate further connections as that is our core business.
The hosting of These Dam Blacks in Durban helps in the promotion of local tourism in lines with the Sho’t Left campaign of SA Tourism. For example, at our next event in Durban, we have patrons travelling from other provinces predominantly Gauteng and the Eastern Cape. In all of this, we insist on making use of black owned transportation, accommodation and restaurants while in Durban.
- The costs of production to put together the benefits concert which we estimate at R50 000 (fifty thousand rands). We are not drawing a penny from the concert and we have established a conversation with the Gift of the Givers where we have reached an in-principle agreement that we would entrust them with the funds raised to administer the money as they are a reputable and credible channel that champions South Africa’s humanitarian efforts across the world and they already have done work in these areas so our efforts will be in support of that. Your sponsorship will be to enable this effort while showcasing Durban’s local talent with the seasoned artists as well as new voices while encouraging collaboration with other artists from other places (we will limit these to three acts as we want to keep it as local as possible while upholding our core principle of collaboration).
We hope that you will agree to partner with us on this important initiative. We regret the short notice of the request and thus appeal for discretionary funding that may fall outside of your main grants for such initiatives.
PORTFOLIO OF EVIDENCE OF THESE DAM BLACKS:
The scope, nature and character of our work is extremely varied and below we will only mention some of its success and progress made since inception. These include but not limited to:
- Fire relief efforts in the recent devastating disasters in Khayelitsha and Alexandra in partnership with the BrownSense Foundation. We coordinated and delivered through our national network all types of aid and those efforts were well received by the concerned communities and we have continued relations with the NGOs working in those areas.
- We partner with LukArts which is a specialist creative-based education projects and provides our Kiddies Corner with interactive and transferable skillsets that prepare them for life. We pride ourselves in this programme as it cultivates early childhood development including communication skills, creative skills and critical and analytical thinking skills, through the medium of play.
- Recently we were filmed for a documentary called The People vs The People that is currently screening at SterKinekor, where some of our members are featured as the production team of the documentary came to attend our event at the Workers’ Museum in Johannesburg.
- Our partnership with Molo Mhlaba School as a flagship low-cost independent school that focuses on a African-centred curriculum continues to grow. We hope to see the growth of Molo Mhlaba in other areas of the country as well as These Dam Blacks remains a constant link for Molo Mhlaba in terms of funding and other support including but not limited to technical personnel and book donations.
- Facilitating and aiding with connections to South African Embassies and High Commission across the world for These Dam Blacks affiliated brands such as Bridge of Hope Wines, Lathitha Wines, Ses’fikile Wines and we’ve had wine tasting educational sessions with our members to be informed about their wines.
- We have also supported the growth of locally produced gin by black people from Mayine Gin, Moringa Gin and Eleven28 and these have seen growth with some selling nationally now through major retailers.
- We have also supported a range of businesses in the beauty, skincare and haircare product ranges that are black owned and These Dam Blacks continues to provide a market for these busineses and patrons directly communicate with the suppliers after meeting them for the first time at These Dam Blacks.
- We have consistently facilitated book launches for the writers within our ranks as These Dam Blacks throughout the year in whichever city or town they go to. This we do in line with our conviction that readers are leaders and leaders must be readers and we are also associated with the Abantu Book Festival which is an annual pilgrimage of black book lovers in promoting African literature.
- We also remain a contact point for when some of our patrons have job opportunities in their respective companies and wish to advertise on our platform.
- We also partner with the Black Events Calendar, an online plaform which profile black arts and culture events across South Africa.
- Within a short space of our existence, we have even garnered the support of one Master’s student at the University of the Witwatersrand who is currently writing their dissertation on These Dam Blacks as a space of black love and belonging.
We hope the brief list above provides a clearer sense of the work of These Dam Blacks as a platform upon which other platforms can advertise, network, emerge and partner with their desired target group.
We are committed to absolute principles of transparency and good governance and will comply with all the ethics of receiving grant money for our events with declarations and financial audits at the end of the financial year.
We hope that this proposal will receive your favourable consideration in support of our event in Durban on the 27th and 28th of July 2019 and the resultant benefits which will emerge from this event chiefly the Sudan humanitarian relief efforts, restoration efforts in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe due to Cyclone Ida and of course the regular economic and social spin offs These Dam Blacks events and programmes.
PLEASE SEND YOUR PAYMENT TO:
Account Name: These Dam Blacks
Account Number: 62774289261
Branch Code: 250655
Reference: Your Name
Email POP to: [email protected]
OR Cell No: +27 (0) 60 411 9084
Thank you for your support!
SIGNATUREDate: 14 July 2019