Tuesday 23 February 2016

British Council Connect ZA is delighted to welcome Geekulcha to their network of makers and design-thinkers!

Geekulcha’s enthusiasm and eagerness to create a space for themselves within a broad community of makers, Information and Technology practitioners, trainers, digital developers and more is what secured them a spot in the network as Gauteng’s next Maker Library.

As Geekulcha, we are super thrilled to be joining the Maker Library Network. This is a step closer to having a state of more producers than consumers. We shall use this platform to seek and expose untapped talent of our country for the world to see. Connections and collaborations with makers in the UK and other countries through MLN is an enabler towards a unified and highly vibrant maker culture.” - Tiyani Nghonyama, librarian and COO of Geekulcha

The story of Maker Library Network and Geekulcha began before the open call put out by British Council Connect ZA. They participated in 2015’s Innovation ZA MLN workshops, which focused on creative applications of digital and analogue technology for real-world solutions. Impressed by their existing repertoire, and focus on skills development, MLN invited the crew to host their own Geekulcha Maker Library Network workshop during the festival. The success of their session, during which they conceptualized and built the “HacXercise” prototype (check it out here: https://www.instagram.com/p/7IEB9OtcLI/?taken-by=connect_za& https://www.instagram.com/p/7IV8jiNcKd/?taken-by=connect_za), led them to participate in the A.MAZE. independent gaming x MLN pop in Joburg townships Soweto and Alexandra.

Geekulcha, joined by new MLN counterparts from the United Kingdom, and for the first time Nigeria, embarked on a week-long induction to the MLN programme in Cape Town and Joburg. The newcomers were guided by experienced Librarians from across the country, including Heath Nash (75 Harrington, CT), Steve Gray (Makerspace, Durban) and Lyall Sprong (Thingking, CT).

 “I am super excited about Tiyani and Geekulcha being part of the network. I think they have a huge amount of resources to offer the network and us. We can also give them a lot of interesting advice in terms of art making and design. Two different skill sets, two different kinds of making means we can enrich each other in some way.” –   Heath Nash, MLN Librarian.

Established 15 March 2013, Geekulcha is focussed on empowering young geeks through ICT skills development and training while giving them a taste of what awaits them in the big bustling world through industry exposure.

Geekulcha creates and enables platforms for Innovation and Creativity to develop skills and help grow the socio-economic structures of our society. They champion hackathons, start-ups, Big/Open Data, STEM, Maker Culture, Cloud Computing, Digitalization and others to unearth Innovation and create Impact.

Follow the activity on: Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MakerLibraryNetwork/

And also: @CONNECT_ZA on Instagram and Twitter #makerlibraries 

Notes to Editor

A Maker Library is a new kind of creative space for making, showing and reading. Each is made up of a makespace, a gallery and a library, connected to a global network via an online platform and led by a Librarian who programmes events and workshops that activate their local community of makers.

The Maker Library Network is a British Council project that enables the sharing of knowledge and encourages collaborations between designers and makers around the world. There are now Maker Libraries in the U.K., South Africa, Germany, Mexico and Turkey (and soon in Nigeria too).


British Council Connect ZA is a cultural programme developed between the UK and South Africa.

From 2013, the programme supported cultural connections between young people aged 18-35 in the UK and South Africa with series of arts projects and use digital platforms to build creative networks through live music, film, visual art and design.

Projects are ongoing and range from partnerships with arts festivals and workshops to working with artists, writers, filmmakers and designers.

British Council Connect ZA continues to develop projects, reach new and diverse audiences for the arts and stimulate innovation, whilst forging new collaborations with organisations and individuals on both continents. 

Profile links:

Tumblr: http://connectza.tumblr.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ZAConnect /

 Twitter / Instagram: @Connect_ZA


About the SA-UK Seasons 2014 & 2015

 The SA-UK Seasons 2014 & 2015, a project between the British Council and the South African Department of Arts and Culture, is a multifaceted bilateral collaboration between the two nations, with a particular focus on artistic and creative capacity building and relationship development intended to raise cultural relations between the two countries.

 Connect ZA is work initiated, managed and funded by the British Council and implemented by the British Council Connect ZA team.

About the British Council

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We are on the ground in six continents and over 100 countries, bringing international opportunity to life, every day. In the Arts we work with the best of British and international artistic and creative talent to develop events and collaborations which link thousands of artists, organisations and audiences worldwide.

In addition to staging shows and exhibitions, we partner with others on joint arts projects and help develop creative leadership, professional networks and cultural educational programmes worldwide.