Creativity, where are you?

According to the Oxford dictionary, creativity means ” The use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness”. Creativity is being banded around, as one of the 21st Century Skills that employers are looking for. This is something that I have recently been discussing with my Sixth Form Life Skills classes. Simon Sinek states in his video “Millennials in the workplace” that ideas and creativity will only develop if we get our noses out of our phones and tablets. We need to start interacting more with each other, face to face.

Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek

Last weekend was half term here, and my husband and I got a great deal on a flight and hotel and headed off to Johannesburg for the weekend. It’s about five years since we were last there, and we were quite overwhelmed by the development that has taken place. We stayed in the suburb of Sandton, in a quaint hotel “The Balalaika” which has been around since 1949.

Balalaika Hotel
The Balalaika

It is still a lovely hotel, unfortunately it is gradually being overshadowed by some serious office blocks. The one thing we did notice though, was that all of the new buildings that were going up were very boring. They lacked creativity, from the outside, although I can’t say what’s going on in the inside. But when I look at how creativity and interesting design has changed the skyline of London, it seems a shame that Johannesburg hasn’t learned anything from that.

The lack of creativity didn’t end there. Wandering around Sandton City all the shops had very much the same things on display. With two weddings coming up I was desperately looking for something to wear, without success. I know that it’s a difficult time of the season with most of the shops selling winter clothes, but even so, everything was so boring. But if I think about Simon Sinek’s comments then I can clearly see where they are going wrong. Everywhere I went, everybody had their nose in their phone. No eye contact, no verbal interaction, therefore no ideas!

Then I went to The Zone @Rosebank . Again this shopping area has seen some considerable development with The Rosebank Mall having been massively expanded. By the number of empty shops I did wonder if it had been extended too much.

Rosebank Mall
Rosebank Mall

I was delighted to see that The Zone has still managed to retain some individual, more interesting shops, such as “The Space” which features some of South Africa’s best designers and “Big Blue” which stocks t shirts and amusing retro gifts. The great thing about going to Rosebank on a Sunday is the Rooftop Craft Market . This takes place on the top floor of the car park at The Rosebank Mall. At last I found a mass of creativity, so many stalls selling the wares of so many talented people. This is where I purchased the cute lamp below. A present for someone special!


The downside of my visit to Johannesburg was that I had to put my own creativity on hold for the weekend. Consequently, I am now working flat out to try and get my quilts ready for the Zimbabwe Patchwork and Quilting Show at the end of August. One of the quilts is my own design! So watch this space as it takes shape over the next couple of weeks, and I expose my creativity in all its glory.