The changes Aslam would like to see in his position, is a program such as Ignite that brings the community together.

“The ways things are in Ocean View are reluctant to come together, especially in the flats area, you have these flats, children staying in these flats, and children don’t cross boundaries, causes what happens in communities like Ocean View, our community is divided by invisible lines and those lines are the gang turfs and parents naturally don’t want children to cross those lines. So, it’s very rare that you can see that we have events like this, I know this is the second time ignite program. It’s very rare that we have programs like this inside the community where children from right on top there, I’ve seen children from the top that stays on top come to the bottom so this is the changes that we would like to see in the community, is the community coming together.”

Councillor: Aslam Richards

Mr Richards is connected to Arts Vibrations Inc II through being acquainted with Alvin Castro who is the Director of the  organization, therefore Mr Richards shows his support by being present at events that shape Ocean View for the better.

“An event like this brings children together and I’m sure today that if you look at crime rate at the police station and get the statistics, we will hear how much crime has happened today, I can tell you that there is no crime, because there is nothing happening inside our community. There is absolutely nothing happening in our community for our youth to do!”

Mr Richards adds how a program like Ignite brings so much more to our community other than bringing our children together. As well as with programs like these running, the entire community wins!

We posed a question asking, ‘being a councillor, if there is any way a program like this could run for an entire year instead of 5 days?’ Mr Richards answered by saying it should be running for a year!

“We should have programs like these throughout the year and not just in communities like Ocean View. If you look at poorer communities like Lavender Hill, Steenberg, you know if you look at those communities you know basically, have the same community, and social issues and community problems. And a program like this should be run throughout the year, throughout the city. Not just in one community, all communities should have the benefit of this program, the Ignite Program, so definitely to have this program through the year would be a blessing.”

“My advice to the youth is to get involved in your community, if you look back in time our community was always vibrant. We had things like karate, scouts, Uncle Melvin Letsape with his ballroom and times have drastically changed. Much more people were involved in our community and therefore all children were always busy. Become more interested in your life, invest in your life, do more sports and take care of nature!”