On a normal Saturday, the Grove on Melle Street, Braamfontein – which has become a hub for art, music and good food – is bustling with people. This little corner is a bright and busy gem in the middle of our largely grey, poured concrete city. Yesterday, there was even more activity than usual, as makers and hackers from South Africa and abroad descended on the courtyard to set up for the Market Hack – a popular event that forms part of the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival.
After a few hours were spent setting up the various stalls, visitors who had heard about the festival online started arriving, followed by more than a few passersby, who were intrigued by the sudden appearance of the pop-up digital market. Some visited for just a few minutes, others stayed the whole day, but everyone enjoyed the exciting new tech that was on display.
Robotic arms, wearable game controllers, 3D printers, and a virtual reality headset that transported viewers to the Arctic for a sea voyage through glaciers, were just some of the impressive pieces on display. However, creativity was not limited to the digital only, and many people spent time building simple games using basic electronic circuits, or creating weird and wonderful sculptures from paper plates. Both young and old, tech-savvy and tech-uninitiated, had an opportunity to create, experiment, and play.
If you missed it this year, make sure you keep an eye out for the Fak’ugesi Market Hack 2016.