Making it big in South Africa

There are gradations of fame.

Personally, I never expect to exceed the fame my friend David Weinberger predicts for all of us: “In the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen people.”

But some of the folks I work with are likely to achieve so much more.

The scene: a toilet stall in the Media Matrix Africa building, the headquarters of the New Media department at Rhodes University.

The building is beautiful and new – it’s painted colorfully, and there’s wonderful art installations on many walls – colorful hats, homemade radios, vinyl records turned into world clocks.

So it’s hardly a surprise that the bathroom walls are covered with quotations from journalists and media thinkers. I scan a couple of interesting quotes, reading Hunter S. Thompson’s assertion that the reporter must be in the story more than once before I notice it.

And there it is.

Right above the toilet paper dispenser.

My friend and colleague Dan Gillmor is quoted, reminding us:

My readers know more than I do. And if we can all take advantage of that, in the best sense of the expression, we will all be better informed.

You’ve made the big time, Dan. What more can a man wish for that to have his name immortalized on the wall of an African bathroom stall?

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6 Responses to Making it big in South Africa

  1. Ethan:

    Hello from Kampala!

    Campus Compact, a consortium of university leaders who want universities to be the training group for democratic citizenship, asked me to write an paper for their October conference on what new technologies means for the way young people in engage in their communities. I would love your thoughts

    http://inanafricanminute.blogspot.com/2006/09/its-not-about-protesting-anymore.html

  2. Carly Ritz says:

    we love our bathroom cubicles ;) was fantastic to meet you. Thank you for all the commentary on the DCI, I will take it all into account, should I find the strength to start planning the DCI for 2007

  3. Ethan says:

    No need to speak, Dan. Let the bathroom walls speak for you.

  4. Saheli says:

    No need to speak, Dan. Let the bathroom walls speak for you.

    Quoted out of context, that sounds like advice for an acid trip. :-)

    Very cool though.

  5. Saheli says:

    I also find the use of typography interesting and somewhat baffling.

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