Local Knowledge Project
This is an ongoing project aimed at sourcing Capetonians to write about the topics they know best – so that you, the reader, can find trustworthy and knowledgeable information on the topic you’re looking for!
The local knowledge project is both a platform and a resource for locals and visitors to Cape Town. Every piece includes tips on exploring/engaging in a way that strengthens community culture and positive impact – and each includes links to further helpful resources, too!
Everything on WanderCapeTown was technically written by locals. But these are topics I have only surface knowledge of myself, and I wanted to find the people who are really qualified to write about them!
As the project grows, the posts will be split into categories to make them easier to navigate. But for now, it’s a happy little pile of information.
Posts by Cape Town locals
Diving into the deep South
Cape Town: the Mother of South Africa. We all know (and love, don’t get me wrong) the white, bosomy sands of Clifton 1st through 4th,
21 beautiful plants endemic to Table Mountain
Table Mountain is home to around 1 500 indigenous plant species within a 57km² area – that’s more than the entire United Kingdom of well
Awesome mountain bike trails in Cape Town & surrounds
Cape Town is a place that just has it all, don’t you think? From mountains to oceans, a bustling metropolitan centre and sleepy seaside villages,
27 Stunning native birds in Cape Town
Birdwatching is fast becoming a very popular pastime among nature lovers. Once thought to be exclusively the interest of old or upper-class men, it has
Cape Town’s indigenous plantlife | Local flora and conservation efforts
Cape Town is one of the most biodiverse cities in the world, and is at the centre of the world’s smallest and richest plant kingdom.
Slacklining in Cape Town | Best Slackline Spots in the Mother City
If you are looking for the perfect anchors, or you want to meet up with local slackliners, you’ll want to visit some of Cape Town’s
The Local Knowledge Project is funded by myself (Katja) after many months spent trying to figure out how I can best help my city when my own knowledge and skills are limited. This initiative took on a lot of different forms in my planning stages, and I thought I had it figured out a good few times before I actually did.
In the end, though, I settled on community-sourced, community-promoting knowledge sharing. A way for us to teach each other what we know. Whether that’s how to make local traditional recipes, or how to propagate our native plantlife, or where to go freediving off our coast and how to do it without negatively impacting the ecosystem. There’s so much to learn – things that only Cape Town (and in some cases, South African) locals are qualified to teach.
So that’s the mission of this project – to provide a simple, accessible platform, and to help people communicate effectively. And see where that takes us!
- Provide a publishing space for locals
- Learn from people who have lots to teach
- Prioritize and grow community support
- Draw attention to local issues and local solutions
- Do something new and exciting!
Follow along on Facebook
Share on your socials
What to include:
- Bio & image of yourself
- Links to helpful relevant resources
- Subheadings to separate sections of the topic
- Tips on how to engage ethically and without harm (if relevant to your topic)
- Original images if possible
- Knowledgeable/experienced/familiar with the subject
- Living in or have recently lived in Cape Town
- Not financially invested in the topic
FAQs for the local knowledge project
How does the project work?
For this project, we source local experts on a variety of topics, and work together to create an outline. We can do a light edit, a deep edit, or even arrange an interview. We don’t want the project to be limited by writing skills – it’s all about knowledge. And then we take the post live!
Can I write for the local knowledge project?
If you’re an expert, I’d love to hear from you. By expert, I mean you know your subject well and have a few years of experience with it – you don’t have to have a degree in the subject! The aim of the posts is to be informative, not to sell something. I do include links to your project or service, but that should be for readers looking to dive deeper into the topic or get further assistance. It shouldn’t be the goal of the piece.
Why should I write for the project?
This project is about creating a resource that is currently missing in South Africa – a place where people can find information on the topics that concern our city (such as our environment, cuisine, community initiatives and adventure sports). If you’ve felt our city’s lack of trustworthy and unbiased (or at least, non-profit-driven) information before, you can contribute to fixing it.
Posts are also compensated R0.50/word, so that’s another good reason to write! As is the fact that every post includes an author bio.
How do you source contributers?
Every week we’ll post a topic to our social media pages and encourage people to tag anyone they think would write a great article on the topic (or do an interview!). For example, your aunt who makes a mean lamb bredie, or your friend who who’ll talk about Cape Town’s amazing surf to anyone who will listen.
Anyone keen to write the article sends us a quick DM saying why they’re qualified to write the piece – in one or two sentences – and we pick the person best suited to the topic as far as we can tell. And then it’s go time!
What does the editing process involve?
You send your post to me in a Google doc, and my sister or I get editing! We edit for grammar and punctuation, heading structure, clarity and flow. We also fact-check where possible and applicable. The aim of the editing process is to make sure the content is clear, easy and enjoyable to read.
We’ll then send it back to you with edits and comments where we’d like a change or addition that we can’t make ourselves (often the case with niche knowledge!). If you disagree with any of our changes or recommendations, you can just tag us and let us know why. And if you agree with all of them, you’ll just let us know when you’re done, and we’ll upload it to the website.
As soon as it’s live on the website, we’ll send you the link to your authored article!
What should the content piece include?
You can use my brief writing guide to get an idea of what an article should include. But the basics are:
- Headings and subheadings to divide and introduce sections
- Images if possible – ideally for every subsection, but an image to use as the header is the most important
- A 1 – 3 sentence bio, image and full name of yourself
- Links to any further resource or reading you think readers would find valuable
How is compensation arranged?
Good question! Fortunately, we live in a time of easy payment. I ask that every contributor send me an invoice (you can find a good template here) so that I can keep proper track of things. You’ll be paid within two weeks of the post going live (usually within a week, but it’s best to have some leeway in case of unforeseen events!)
And in case you missed it above – every article is paid R0.50/word after editing. That means that if it’s 5000 words to begin with, but the editing process cuts it down to 2000 words, you’re paid for 2000. We’re not editing to lower wordcount, only to make content relevant and easy to read, so wordcount will seldom drop by very much in the editing process.