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Written and Illustrated byKimberley Saul

What Happened at the Happening and Should it Happen Again?

On Saturday the 2nd of March an event dubbed ‘The Happening’ took place on the vibrant 7th and 4th street of Melville. Inspired by this new and curiously creative event, many other streets within the area as well as visitors from across Joburg flocked to see a community come together for something very much out of the ordinary. A community gathering motivated strongest by the celebration and socialization of a neighborhood. This is indeed quite the unusual sight as Joburg gatherings are often concentrated to bubbles of socialization disconnected from one’s own home. This burst of Melville expression however, was made up of artists, stalls, local businesses, music, and mutant vehicles all coming together in a voluntary nature in celebration of colour and craft close to home for many involved. This left its mark in the form of the glittering new streetlight hangings and freshly painted walls of a revived Melville. 

After experiencing The Happening’s AfrikaBurn inspired social environment that was unmotivated by commercial sponsorships and advertising a question loomed: what happened to the art of the neighborhood street or block party? The little sister to an event like The Happening, though a less extravagant affair, could still have the potential to impact a suburb positively and compassionately. In our suburban bubbles, we’ve become distanced from the possibilities that lie within our streets and the fellow neighbors that they hold; often feeling lost and alone with the promise of community just a wall away. 

Similarly, the idea of saving an entire world and keeping up with all that is happening on a larger scale than we’ve ever known before has made many of us feel powerless with the ever-repeating “what can I dos”,” I don’t matters” and the “I’ve given up on others” that find a rather long term residence in the head. Though this is a very understandable thing in today’s time, it shouldn’t doom those in search of a community to the fate of soulless branded interactions and getting ghosted on the Internet. The community-driven motives behind festivals like AfrikaBurn don’t have to be limited to a yearly desert trip. There’s a whole world out there but sometimes the suburb we live in, with its local small businesses and home residents is really all we need. Baby steps are sometimes the best steps we can take and finding purpose within helping just one person up the street or becoming a regular to “Kevin’s dog washers” could add that sweet something to your life that you may be missing every once in a while. Oh and if someone ends up calling you a try-hard screw them! You’re actually pretty cool for trying and you may just make a great friend. 

Keep safe on your adventures out there and when in doubt, neutral place meetings are best! Oh and don’t forget to give yourself that pat on the back for trying to create close-to-home spaces of community. Read on for a more in-depth look at what Happened in Melville in the words of the area’s local photographer and knower-of-things Snaps on 7th! 

An Interview with Melville’s Own Snaps on 7th!


  1. KS: Are you a resident of the Melville area or were the vibes just too cool that you found yourself hanging out here often? 

S: Born and raised in Melville and currently a president *resident * coughs * sorry 😉


  1. KS: How did you come to be Melville’s own resident Snaps?

S: I was hungry, needed work, couldn’t sit and wait so I decided to capture things around me, people valued it and just like that 🫰I had a job, the rest was history/fate. 


  1. KS: What’s your opinion of the Melville area and community?

S: ⁠⁠I love the area and community but we are currently going through a tough period. I’d like to see more unity, more ubuntu, and more pride in our neighbourhood. Young people don’t really like hanging out here much… it sucks. 


  1. KS: I see you were snapping all things “The Happening” last week! How was the fest and did you see any moments that stuck out to you in preparation of, during or after the fest?

S: Yeah The Happening was amazing. It was super cool to have people see Meville how I’ve been seeing it all along! A special moment for me was just being free and safe to walk in the street, chat to your people, and request your uber in peace. 

  1. KS: Do you think festivals and street/block parties similar to The Happening could have a positive impact on other neighborhoods of Joburg or would it be a bad idea?

⁠S: Never a bad idea to bring people together, especially neighbours and people of one community – as long as it’s safe and regulated I can only see good. 


  1. KS: Do you have any parting words or thoughts about Melville, The Happening, or introducing block/street parties to the more areas of Joburg?

S: No, the only thing I can say is thank you to the people that came up with The Happening and that rallied everyone to make it happen. I know that it must have been tough, but I just wanna say from the people I have been talking to mostly… we appreciate you. I think it’s the Meville Business Association. Thank you! 🤍🤍🤍


References/Features to Create Links throughout this Article to Improve Leads/Traffic and also Inspire Further Reading of Neighbourhood Coordinated Efforts and Community Events: 


Instagram Tags: 

@snapson7th (featured Interviewee and photographer) (event page) 

@ilovemelville  (community page)

@thegardenofweeden.afrikaburn (mutant vehicles)

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