Johannesburg – Gauteng Tourism in association with the Soweto-based youth-owned enterprise Locrate Market presents the annual Makhelwane Festival as part of the drive to grow the visitor economy in the townships and promote its Festive Summer Campaigns on the 2nd – 4th December 2016 in Soweto.
The festival will bring Poka Street in the Soweto neighbourhood of Mzimhlope to a complete standstill with the houses rented out to different enterprises to sell their wares or services. “The idea behind Makhelwane is to create a commercial hub that involved the local community,” says Sifiso Dlangamandla, one of the entrepreneurs behind the Locrate Market, which hosts a popular monthly market in Soweto.
“Similar to a market where brands occupy 3m x 3m spaces, we host brands but in this instance each brand will occupy a house or share a house. The brands will be allowed to turn the house, within limits, into whatever space they wish for the weekend to promote their brand. Furthermore the local community policing forum is enlisted to provide event security services truly bringing all community stakeholder on board”
GTA supports Makhelwane Festival because it anchors with its strategy of using events to attract growing numbers of visitors to the Gauteng City Region. “Events are the lifeblood of tourism in Gauteng and it is with that in mind that we have thrown our weight behind Makhelwane Festival, which has grown steadily over the past four years and is replete with even more potential,” says GTA Head of Marketing and Destination Promotions Barba Gaoganediwe.
“Even more important, the current provincial administration, led by Premier David Makhura, has placed the development of township economy at the apex of its priorities. Makhelwane, through bringing in visitors and providing opportunities for township youth-owned enterprises to exhibit and sell their products, advances this agenda.”
Gaoganediwe adds that the other features of the festival that are worth emulating include that fact that it provides a collaboration platform for several township products. These include the award-winning Lebo’s Backpackers, Soweto Outdoor Adventures, Fixin Diaries, Thesis and Vilakazi Night Market to name a few. These products have understood the need to collaborate and leverage from each other instead of competing which is always the case with our youth companies operating in the same space.
“In keeping with the spirit of community as implied by its name, Makhelwane will benefit the broader Soweto community including BnB’s and through further entrenching the historic township as a place to go to for fun and entertainment,” Gaoganediwe says. O Makhelwane is a Zulu phrase that literally means neighbour but could refer to a community as in this instance. In addition to the market, there is host of entertainment activities planned to amuse patrons over the three days. The activities starts on Friday 2nd December 2016 with a Night Market, Story Telling and Musical Extravaganza at Lebo’s Backpackers and on the 3rd and 4th December 2016 it’s a full street activation with lifestyle apparel on sale ranging from vintage cloths, kiddies cloths, accessories, food, music and cycling experience on offer. Some of the leading bands and dj’s scheduled to perform at this annual street community festival includes:
Live Bands: The Maffinz, Urban Village, Aya Zungu, Shef and the Kitchen, Okmalumkoolkat and Kitchenmess. DJ’s: The Rhythem Session, Kenzhero, Bubbles, Kid Fonque, Themba Lunacy,Just Themba, Brian and many others.
This is another #GPLifestyle event aimed at promoting Gauteng City Region especially its townships as a 24/7 entertainment and lifestyle hotbeds.