Langa's Hidden Talent
As the Sun gives off its light, its energy gives life to the bright yellow building, Guga S’thebe, that breathes talent in the heart of KwaLanga. This is the cultural empowerment hub of KwaLanga. “With the beautiful history this community holds, it had become a notable tourist destination. Many from outside the country and all over the world had the community of KwaLanga at heart, wanting to see, experience and hear more about the events that took place while learning about the South African culture and sharing in its experiences.” Said Mr Kala. It was in 2002 when The City of Cape Town bought land for Langa’s residents; and Guga S’thebe was built: A place where the natural talents of the residents would be showcased. It was acknowledged and recognized as a tourist visiting centre.
A number of creative minds and passionate souls saw a niche in the market. They came together and decided to add on a bit more to what the tourists would find. They used their skills such as beading, pottery and products made from recycled material and started a market that has generated revenue from the tourists and in return, the tourists would have a South African souvenir and a tale to tell of the beauty and wealth found in KwaLanga. Guga S’thebe has now grown to be one of Cape Towns’ most popular tourist destination centres. The centre is a hub of creativity which is now home to many upcoming and already existing local talents. There are many who are learning the skill of pottery, painting, designing, beadwork, just to name a few, with several artists now running their businesses of selling their products within the centre and community. Part of this great initiatives’ mission is to alleviate poverty and help improve the lives of the people of KwaLanga and surrounding areas. Through “mastering and acquiring skills” one can be independent and make a successful living out of the creative produce of their hands and minds.
“Isithebe is what is called a platter in the Western culture, where everyone comes and shares the meal that has been prepared. KwaXhosa, from the youngest to the oldest, they share a meal and have encouraging and inspiring conversations”
Guga S’thebe accommodates both genders and all ages, and nurtures all talents, skills and gifts found in society. The majority of the youth at Kwa Langa is unemployed, but here at Guga S’thebe we nurture these talents and provide a platform of acquiring skills and generating income. There are always opportunities here, creating networking while improving and acquiring your skills and more is found at Guga S’thebe,” said Mr Kala.
With the harmonious marimba sound in the background, Mr Kala, like a well tuned guitar stringed me into the beautiful meaning behind the name GUGA S’THEBE and said: which I believe that is where the experiences are shared and as it is with Isithebe in KwaXhosa it is so, even in Guga S’thebe at KwaLanga.