Hosts in Khayelitsha offer inspiration for South Africa’s unemployed youth

Two men pose next to their bikes in South Africa.

On Thursday 13 February 2020, Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his annual state of the nation address. During the President’s much-anticipated speech, he focussed on the benefits of the digital economy, which he said, “will increasingly become a driver of growth and a creator of employment.”

Ramaphosa’s address was delivered two days after Statistics SA released unemployment statistics for the fourth quarter of 2019, stating that approximately 40.1% of South Africa’s youth aged 18-35 are unemployed.

The President called for innovative solutions to, “unlock the agency of young people and provide opportunities for them to earn an income while contributing to nation building.”

This is something which comes naturally to two Experience Hosts on Airbnb featured in a recent article, published by the Cape Argus. In the spotlight are Ayanda Cuba and Buntu Matole, two hosts from Khayelitsha who have turned their passion for sports and community development into a thriving experience on the Airbnb platform, immersing travellers from all over the world in their community and culture.

According to the Cape Argus: “The pair first started Sporting Code – an organisation that aims to use sport as a positive influence in the lives of children growing up in under-resourced communities. A welcome side effect to this venture: changing the narrative around townships and the way in which townships are often negatively perceived.” 

In seeking out additional revenue streams, Ayanda and Buntu listed on the Airbnb platform as Experience hosts. 

For our first year on the platform, we hosted just one Experience – running through Khayelitsha. There were already walking tours happening around Khayelitsha, but these felt quite invasive as it felt as though people’s lives were on display – and some people don’t want this. However, running through the township comes across as less intrusive as it’s looked at as a fitness activity and not necessarily as a tour of people’s lives.

Ayanda Cuba, Experience Host on Airbnb

With no formal tertiary education, Buntu and Ayanda now act as role models to youth in their community, showing how technology can be harnessed to create entrepreneurial opportunities. 

Ayanda said: “We hope that young people all across South Africa use the talents they have, their passion and their determination to get far in life – with or without a degree or diploma.”