Nexus and the Honeycomb Conjecture

Nexus and the Honeycomb Conjecture – by Lindani Mchunu

The Bees use the shape of a hexagon to build their honeycombs, they somehow knew before we did that this is the most efficient shape. This shape produces the least amount of waste in terms of area covered and wax is a valuable commodity to the bee. Whether it’s the bees that figured out this incredible phenomenon or it’s one of nature’s principles in dealing with shapes, energy and waste in mechanical construction, what cannot be argued is the efficiency of the Hexagon shape. 

Why am I talking about all of this? Because it’s how I see our community here at the club. The academy presents an incredible opportunity for the members of this club to deposit something to our honeycomb. By way of example, a member of the club overheard me in conversation talking about skills development for our academy sailors. The member has subsequently made contact with me and we will be working on value-added service, which will benefit Gr 10 – Gr 12 learners to prepare them for their school exams. Every time a member approaches me and wants to get involved in the academy in one way or another it brings hope. It brings hope because, at times, I am jaded about the lack of integration between our academy members and club members.

At times I hear comments like, the academy is for black kids, no matter how many times I have addressed this false notion. I am jaded because at times I hear comments like, we have to have the academy. After all, we have to, its government policy. I’ll say it again without fear or favour. Before I came to this club, I was convinced that the majority of white people in South Africa of a certain age are intrinsically racist, because of our past. It did not shock me to encounter racism from a white person above the age of 50. I just said to myself, well they grew up in a different era. Where black people were the help and nothing more.

What has always broken my heart though was when I would encounter a young white girl or boy that was racist and had very archaic views of a black person. Then I arrived at Royal Cape and my eyes were open to the fact that most of my views about white people were skewed and at best, downright false. I have met members of this club who understand the work that has to be done in this country and want to support this initiative of ours. I believe it is incumbent upon me as the manager of the Academy, who just also happens to be black, to keep sounding the clarion call. This academy is doing great work currently, but this academy can achieve the unimaginable if we could find a way to get our members involved in the shaping of the young people that frequent our club every week.

Thank you to all of you, who chat to me from time to time and share ideas about how we can continue to improve our product offering, thank you to all of you who continue to see the relevance of its existence, not because it’s government policy and not because it meets transformation objectives of the club. We are doing it because it is a collective reflection of the ethos of our club. I am not here to take the moral high ground and be a judge and wave a transformation stick around. I am here because I believe in the members of this club and their collective understanding of the social ills that rage on beyond the gates of Transnet. Members, who believe that we should open our doors, and find a way to integrate ourselves into the very fabric of our society. I am here to help, to lend a hand to the project that is the RCYC SAILING ACADEMY. A project that I hope outlives all of us. I hope this academy ultimately becomes a nexus for our members to deposit and withdraw from. I hope instead of becoming a government project that meets our transformation objectives, it becomes the very fabric of who we are.

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