An unsung champion of Camps Bay—Joy Chimwemwe Chisemphere—helped fill up bags and bags of trash that rolled in with the New Year, resulting in his own personal record for the amount of waste collected. While his efforts are top-class, the same can’t be said for those who left a mess in Cape Town’s midst:
Camps Bay, South Africa (04 January 2023) — After a New Year’s session that was so packed in Cape Town you’d be forgiven for wondering if there are still motorists stuck in traffic along the Atlantic Seaboard, it comes to no one’s surprise that an abundance of trash was sadly left behind.
It’s the unfortunate irony of the New Year celebrations where, for as much as the opportunity to embark on new and helpful journeys is presented to all of us, there are those who wish to pack old and harmful perspectives for the ride.
However, thanks to heroes like Joy Chimwemwe Chisemphere from Malawi, the trash scales were somewhat balanced, bashed, bagged and eventually banished from the beach!
Joy was one of the powerhouses who dedicated the beginning of 2024 to taking on the brunt of what thousands of beach goers left behind in bags and bags of litter and an estimate of almost 1000 bottles. From Bakoven Beach to Houghton Road and Camps Bay Drive, waste took up way too much space. However, volunteers at initiative Camps Bay Clean were instrumental in making sure other people’s carelessness did not stick around for long.
According to Chris von Ulmenstein, who is Joy’s teammate in cleanliness at Camps Bay Clean, fifty-nine bags of litter were filled by Joy alone in total. This was the largest number of bags Joy has ever tackled in his time tidying up—which is a testament to just how much trash would’ve made a home on the beach without efforts like his!
While we are immensely grateful to the helpers and heroes, we can’t help but wonder how people are still confusing natural spaces for bins in 2024. We take our hats off to heroes like Joy and Chris. But, in the same breath, we can’t wait for the day when there is simply no trash in sight for massive clean ups to be necessary at all. Is that too big of a New Year’s wish?