News Brief

This University Student has an Affordable Solution for Cape Town’s Water Crisis

The student was unable to register in 2017 due to lack of funds.

Cape Town is in the middle of a serious water crisis that will see the city running out of water by March 2018 if nothing changes.

Third year Univeristy of Cape Town civil engineering student Nkosinathi Nkomo, who couldn't register this year due to lack of funds, has a solution for the crisis.


He invented a device that will recycle water from the bathroom, and filters it for irrigation.

But grey water isn't a new thing, so what makes his device different?

"The main challenge with grey water devices currently is that they are very expensive to manufacture and maintain, so the main challenge was to come up with an affordable solution," Nkomo tells eNCA in an interview.

The normal price for a grey water system in South Africa usually starts at R5 000. Nkomo's prices will start at R3000 depending on the size of the household.

Nkomo is assisted by three of his friends. Sesethu Mazangazanga as project manager; Njabule Gule is responsible for operations; and Monica Masetola does branding and marketing for the company.

Watch Nkomo's interview with eNCA below.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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