Zulu theme to thrill UK
Shaka statue, restaurant, murals for well-heeled
A TOWERING nine-metre bronze Shaka Zulu statue, an upmarket yet authentic SA restaurant, a nightclub, a cocktail lounge, and an African Theatre: This is what South Africans in London can look forward to when the R66 million theme venue Shaka Zulu opens its doors in Camden Market.
The venue, situated in the north-west of London, will have 18m wooden murals covering the walls and ceilings, a dance floor, a water-garden with crystal leopards and a seating area for 750 people. And the developers fully expect the venue to be a regular haunt of the rich and famous.
Endorsed by Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, visitors will be able to eat South African food and drink SA’s favourite wines and beers.
A huge display cabinet is being built at the entrance of the venue to hold all kinds of South African goods including artwork from Zulu people.
Shaka Zulu – developed by world-renowned entrepreneur and leisure empire boss Roger Payne – is also meant to promote South Africa in the runup to the World Cup when it opens it doors in April.
Payne is in South Africa to meet the Zulu monarch to discuss the venue and a possible working relationship with Bayede, a KwaZulu-Natal jobcreating enterprise. It produces a range of Zulu-inspired products, predominantly made by local communities and is already endorsed by Zwelithini.
Payne and his team have also been trying to do as many deals as possible with South African companies like Distell which produces Savanna cider which has recently become very popular in the UK.
The Shaka Zulu project is also hoping to create a relationship with Education Africa, the charity that helps disadvantaged children.
Paul Bannister, CEO of the Inter national Marketing Council, said the Shaka Zulu venue would play a positive role in promoting tourism by creating an experience within an important market.
Bannister added that the Zulu tribe has become one of the world’s best known “ethnic brands”.
The Zulu nation was brought to the attention of UK citizens in 1879 during the battles of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift.