Interviews

Good Vibes Only!

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Today we are living in the age where everyone craves great aesthetic pleasure; whether it’s the room we sleep in or the restaurant we dine at, everything has to be aesthetically pleasing. And for the youth of GDh. Thinadhoo, Rockport Café is bound to cater to their taste buds, as this drinks-only café provides them a home, away from home.

With an atmosphere that speaks “good vibes only” – your first steps inside the café would leave you longing to know the story behind the art that hangs on the walls which surround you – from ink drawings to paintings and coffee art, your eyes would be greeted by the best of local artists in Thinadhoo. As the owner of Rockport, Ali Abdul Basith Ahmed noted that his vision was to support the youth of the island by providing them a platform to develop their talent; and Rockport happens to be just that.

With Basith and his wife Deena Ahmed helping out several talented youngsters from Thinadhoo such as photographers, musicians and artists, Rockport has become the go-to-place for the youth of Thinadhoo. From chilling out to jam sessions with friends or a personalized anniversary or birthday celebration, it’s all possible at the café.

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When asked about the different kinds of art that was displayed at the café, Basith revealed that all of them has been gifted to the café by local artists – and they have been put on display as a mean of reiterating their support to develop local talent. In addition to that, the café frequently holds live music nights – people from any corner of the country are welcome, with the locals being the most popular.

With the urban-rural differences in their way, Rockport has faced several challenges in becoming a hangout for the youth. The café being the only place that serves hookah in the island and its love towards art has had different rumors fly around – but they still believe that they have done quite a good job in trying to change people’s perspective of what art is.

The success of Rockport Café also highlights the different kinds of business prospects in the southern island of Thinadhoo. It’s not just limited to traditional businesses such as a retail shop, but indeed open to new and innovative business methods adopted from cities across the world. The island being the administrative island of Gaafu Dhaal Atoll also adds as an advantage, as it sees a decent amount of cash flow – from several families who reside in rental households to the ferries that are operated between all the islands of the atoll and Thinadhoo.

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“I used to own a retail store before this, and we were able to make sales of about eight thousand a day. There is no doubt that there are great opportunities for all kinds of businesses in the island – there are about a hundred or more shops and more than ten Cafés, speaks a lot for a small island to have such great businesses,” – Basith

The works of Basith and his wife Deena – who strenuously puts in an effort to develop the island and the youth of it are commendable. Their beliefs are surely what helps a nation build itself, and what is essential in the development of an island with such a location as Thinadhoo.

The success of Rockport Café can be taken as an example – that new ideas are always welcome whether it’s the capital city or not, and that nothing is impossible without giving it a good try first. While the idea of such a business in the heart of Thinadhoo may have sounded ludicrous in the beginning, their hard work has proved that it’s worth it. Basith thanks his parents, wife and all those who have helped in making this a reality.

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