If your working day is devoted to questions of health priorities, policies, planning processes and resourcing, how useful is it to step into Indlulamithi’s socio-political theatre and experience the iSbhujwa, Nayi le Walk and Gwara Gwara nations? According to Prof Helen Schneider, who holds the Research Chair in Health Systems Governance at the University of the Western Cape, the experience is “incredibly compelling” and highly relevant.

Having participated in one of three Indlulamithi workshops in Cape Town, Prof Schneider appreciates the wisdom of selecting social cohesion as the end point for scenario development. She points out that, although her focus is firmly on the health sector, it is essential to situate health systems within their social, economic and political context.

Scenarios are often employed as tools for health planning – and were used widely in the response to the HIV pandemic. “But health scenarios tend not to think far into the future and are more task-centred.” Unlike the Indlulamithi methodology, health scenarios do not allow much room for creative imagining!

“Ultimately, the real value of the Indlulamithi project lies in the key driving forces and using those as analytical tools,” she says, commenting on the nuance the driving forces display – for example, linking the question of reconciliation and post-apartheid healing to issues of masculine identity.

While she says it is hard to pinpoint a particular instrumental purpose for the scenarios, Prof Schneider has been talking about them – at her journal club within the UWC School of Public Health and elsewhere – and sharing scenario documents in the weeks since the workshop.

The giraffe continues to move in unforeseen ways!