Alizwa Jonas: A Gen Z’s Concern on the Emerging African Metaverse
GatherVerse Africa Summit
Graphic Design Intern
Profile – https://gatherverse.org/africa/speakers/alizwa-jonas/
A Gen Z’s Concern on the Emerging African Metaverse
Talk Description :
An assumption one would make is that as a member of Generation Z, born in the year 2000.
Who’s been immersed in technological advancements from a young age that I would fully support the idea of the emerging metaverse?
Contrary to the latter, the idea of the metaverse quite frankly frightens me. Not only because our generation and the generations to come will be left behind to deal with the consequences of emerging in virtual worlds. But also because the future of the metaverse honestly feels like a foreign, absurd and dreamlike concept.
This is why I believe that, as Gen Z’s, we must participate in these deep and impactful conversations. Observe, ask questions, and realise our role in the African metaverse’s future.
We can do this by joining online communities, reaching out to experts in the field and attending metaverse and tech summits such as this one.
My passion for design lies in social impact.
How do the products, theories and concepts we design impact a drive for change and solve our current issues as humanity?
Similarly, my interest in the metaverse lies within the same pillar.
How will the emerging metaverse solve the current socioeconomic problems of unemployment, poverty and inequality, to mention a few? That we are experiencing in Africa? Now, I’d like to begin unpacking why the idea of the emerging metaverse frightens me.
I live in a country that is South Africa. A country that is dealing with and healing from its historical past of racial segregation and racial prejudice. Where the colour of your skin determined the opportunities and resources available to you, and sometimes, still do.
In South Africa, the unemployment rate among black South Africans was 38.6% and 10% among white South Africans in the first quarter of 2022.
My fear is this that we will design an African Metaverse where previously disadvantaged members of society, the black child and the black adult, cannot fully immerse themselves in these virtual worlds. Not only because of the extensive prices of emerging technologies but also because of the affordability of the world’s focus features that come along with the metaverse, digital land and digital assets.
My hope is that we do not design a money-driven world focused on social status and further intensify the current socioeconomic issues that we face as a continent.
My hope is that we create a virtual world on the needs of the African continent, a world that prioritises exposure and accessibility for minority groups and that no one is left out. This is a metaverse that I fully support and look forward to.
After high school, I pursued a Bachelor of Design, specialising in Audio Visual Design at Inscape Education Group in Cape Town, South Africa.
For my final project, I produced an integrated campaign titled ‘Restored Campaign’ that aims to restore ex-offenders into society and the minds of the greater public in South Africa.
After completing my studies in Cape Town, I moved to the city of Gold, Johannesburg, to pursue a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Design at the University of Johannesburg.
Here I produced a research topic titled “Census 2022: Discovering effective communication strategies in socio-economic campaigns for increased desired response with young people between 18 and 30 years old in South Africa.”
Throughout my studies, I’ve been fortunate enough to hold the position of social media marketing intern at the health sciences department at the University of Johannesburg and a marketing intern at UNTAMED Creative Society, a marketing agency based in Centurion, South Africa.
~ GatherVerse – May our gather be well ~