“The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” Muhammad Ali was right. If you think about the changes the world has witnessed in the last 50 years, you’ll know why your individual vantage point changes with time. Only in 1969 was the first ATM opened in Long Island, USA, and it was in 1973 that Motorola would unveil the first cellphone. Change can be slow, but once it comes, it can alter the course of history. The same can happen for a country. In 1967, Chris Barnard was responsible for performing the first human-to-human heart transplant at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, and several decades later, in 2010, SA would host the first soccer World Cup on the African continent. From Steve Jobs’ revolutionising our music with the iPod to Mark Zuckerberg forever changing our lives with social media, the last 20 years have brought some huge changes, both locally and globally. 

Whether you like Twitter or Instagram, social media has changed the way we interact with each other and has, for better or worse, made the world smaller. It has become increasingly easier to reach other like-minded people in the diaspora and beyond. Former news anchor, Refiloe Mpakanyane, gives us a list of 10 Africans to follow, from Facebook to the ’Gram.

This, our 50th edition, is an incredible milestone for us. Much like our country, this magazine came about as a result of a collective dream. Our publisher Sean Press sits with Kaya FM managing director, Greg Maloka, to talk about what it means to be an Afropolitan in modern day South Africa. This sounds like an easy question to answer, but when you consider the political and social upheaval we’ve faced in the country recently – what with xenophobic attacks and racial tension – being an Afropolitan is not as clear as it was 20 years ago when Kaya first hit the airwaves.

And yet, the future is just as important as the present and the past. Zamahlasela Gabela and Mbalenhle Sibanyoni delve into the future by telling us about how artificial intelligence is improving our lives, as well as some of the jobs that will be created by the digital revolution. As much as it looks like machines are set to replace us, our connection as human beings is what is going to move us forward as a species.

Sadly, this also marks my last issue as editor of this great publication. It has been a privilege putting together content for you and meeting you at Afro Events. I’m grateful for the time we’ve spent together. I look forward to Afropolitan’s upward trajectory, and to the next 50 issues.

The future is just as important as the present and the past. Zamahlasela Gabela and Mbalenhle Sibanyoni delve into the future by telling us about how artificial intelligence is improving our lives, as well as some of the jobs that will be created by the digital revolution.

View the digital magazine here: http://mags.contactmedia.co.za/afropolitan/50/

Onwards and upwards! 

Lerato Tshabalala