Interview April 2021
Could you tell us what has happened since we interviewed you in February 2019 with regards to your efforts to develop the Otrobanda and Punda area?
In August and December 2019 we organized two Kaya Kaya Street Parties with around 15.000 people who were roaming the city, taking in its beauty, its culture, and its ambiance. Since the first edition, the Kaya Kaya Street parties resulted in more than 20 murals, sculptures and art installations by known and upcoming artists. We see improvements in the social cohesion of the neighborhood through resident participation and the overall image of Ser’i Otrobanda. We created a multiplier effect for the area, and it has become an attraction for tour guides to host their guests and for creatives who use it as a backdrop for music videos and photoshoots. Also, two new eateries were established and overall, real estate demand has increased for various usage. The Kaya Kaya method works through its bottom-up and comprehensive approach based on social, economic, environmental, and cultural pillars. To tackle the developments structurally and to synchronize public and private sectors efforts, we created a Master Plan. 2020 started with looking like a good year, the beginning of the roaring 20’s, but then the old normal came to a halt.
We tried to adapt to the circumstances by kick-starting an Urban Community Garden, which is now operated by a passionate resident.
We are now in a second lockdown and at the same time people on the island and in most of the countries where tourists live that visit our island. How has this affect your resolve as an event organizer, community developer as one of the organizers of Kaja Kaja?Personally, I benefitted from Kaya Kaya’s success through subsequent requests to organize private events, and had also been approached to contribute to developments in other parts of our city. All these developments, as well as my own events such as Groove Lounge, have been on hold since March 2020. Efforts are in the works to continue where we left off last year, using Kaya Kaya’s positive vibe to leave it better behind. My resolve hasn’t wavered because community development is even more needed than before and the revitalization of our UNESCO World Heritage site continuous to be of great importance. That seed was planted years ago.
What are some of the obstacles that you are encountering and how are you finding ways to overcome these obstacles?
As an event organizer, I’m currently not in the position to execute any event projects. Concepts were developed, are in the fridge at the moment, but ready to be implemented as soon as it’s possible again. Can’t wait to go all out!
What are some of the next steps that you are planning to do in the short, middle and long term and how can we as share2uplift help in your endeavors via “Connecting, aligning and enabling impactful collaborations”.
In the short term, my goal is to acquire partnerships that strengthen my resolve and enable me to implement projects and programs aimed at community improvements and social entrepreneurship.
When that is realized, the next steps are to generate participation, to execute and create a BUZZ through Kaya Kaya activities, and projects through my company Enrich Creative Support.