Recently, we visited two of our most diverse Townships in Cape Town; Langa and Khayelitsha. We were so excited to discover the creativity of our townships! This is a great activity to enjoy when interning in Cape Town.
Once in Langa, we were welcomed to the Guga S’Thebe Arts and Culture Centre. It’s a space for exhibitions, exploration and new start for the youth. “Guga S’thebeKudala Usophulela” is a Xhosa idiom praising an aging serving platter for its enduring friendly service. The platter serves everyone welcomed in the house and has served many generations and different types of people from all walks of life, preparing and nourishing them for the future.
The site is located on the main street in Langa and Church Street. Close by is Maranga square, the site where thousands of people burnt their passes before marching to town in 1954. The centre deals with the significance of the site while clearly being a public building despite its modest size.
The aim of the project is to provide a home for arts, culture, and heritage for the Western Cape, which is unique and culturally reflective. The centre presents a lifeline for the community, especially for individuals who live and breathe arts and culture. We were taken on a tour of the centre. The centre houses five projects and works with aspiring artists and crafters who are from the Langa Township.
We walked through and got to see the fruits of a few of the projects.
Project name: Naledi
Art form: Pottery.
Beautiful works of art created from pottery are sold at the centre through this project. Clients include government and private companies and individuals. Anyone from the township who is interested in training is taken through lessons to attain the skill.
Project name: Beat it!
Art form: Dance.
We met some dancers who started flexing their muscles with our interns. This part of an on-going project at the Guga S’Thebe Arts and Culture Centre.
Project: Children’s Theatre
Art form: Drama and movement for youth.
This project is still being developed and is supported by UCT students together with other Chinese and German students. It will be officially donated to the community this coming October.
Project: Uthando Dance
Art form: Drumming circle project.
This project has a few people who run it and they teach drumming to children and other visitors. The place is a theatre in itself and we tested our drumming skills!
Project: Sand Painting Project.
Art form: Art and crafts.
In some ways, this was the most interesting project as you can see the pictures. Anything can be created and moulded just by using sand. The sand has different colours and the artists always bring out the best art from that.
Guga S’Thebe Arts and Culture Centre has a shop too where they sell all the amazing arts and crafts created by the youth. Remy, our intern, wanted to get the car-toy pictured below. To find out more, you can call the centre on +27 21 695 3493.