“NEVER UNDERESTIMATE the power of your home dream”, exhorted KwaZulu-Natal born, Soweto Gold Superior Golden Lager brewer, Ndumiso Madlala to a curious assembly which numbered a team complement of former professional soccer players – at Chaf Pozi, Orlando East in Soweto.
Madlala’s words reverberated on an occasion purposed to introduce his well-nurtured brewery’s latest marketing strategy: that of revealing a humongous artwork on one of the Orlando cooling towers.
The handiwork of 25 year old Vereeniging graphic designer, Karabo Moletsane, the artwork, which can be seen from Chris Hani road as well as from other far-off traffic nodes of greater Soweto, took advantage of the vantage point which are the cooling towers, and constitute the landmark synonymous with the world-renown township.
The proportionately drawn art depicts cultural themes immediately resonant with the local lifestyle ranging from eclectic hairstyles; the role of taxis as relied-upon modes of transport among the community; the escape the game of football offers to the mainly working class folk and the evoking of the throb of music amongst residents, etc.
Moletsane offered that in executing the commission entrusted upon her by the brewery, she got to deliver on a narrative which went toward the preservation of the African aesthetic. The opportunity to undertake the task, she suggested, got her to reckon that she has contributed something historical.
The reveal was the culmination of around six months of toil, at the conclusion of which, “a new dawn breaks over the Soweto skyline“. The brief was for the tower to capture the vibrancy of Soweto.
“Soweto isn’t just in the people of Soweto, but in the people of South Africa,” asserted Moletsane.
Expounding on how he came to name the newest addition onto the alcoholic beverage market, Madlala, the friendly and visionary Brew Master at Soweto Brewing Company, said he combined the location of the iconic township and its proximity to the prospection of gold across the reef: Soweto + Gold = “wow, what a name!” he exclaimed.
Sans sounding as though he was beating his own drum, Madlala, as only an ambitious entrepreneur seeking share of pertinent market wallet could, also disclosed that since his entity’s tie-up with Dutch behemoth, Heineken – gains translated to the beer now being available nationwide.
At the reveal, with a complimentary helicopter ride over and around the tower thrown into the pomp mix, former footballing stars such as Doctor Khumalo, Lucky Lekgwathi, Maimane Phiri, in addition to DJ Ganyani – mingled freely with a sizeable media contingent and other guests, on a winter lunch hour pending the FIFA World Cup.
The soccerites’ presence at the pub and grub venue was part of the brewery’s marketing drive, where each player has assumed the status of legend brand ambassador representing most of the Gauteng townships from Sedibeng to Tshwane.
The players’ association with Soweto Gold goes beyond mere endorsement of an alcoholic product, as it entails a social responsibility angle where they form part of a 16-team, 5-a-side footballing initiative where prizes stand to be won toward good causes.
For those concerned about sporting heroes having to conduct themselves in a manner exemplary unto youth in particular, Khumalo offered a context more inclined toward their endorsement of the fledgling brand as being in the spirit of lending support to Black economic start-ups.
“It’s all about brotherhood”, qualified the man once recognized as South Africa’s most popular sportsperson. “Drink responsibly!” he beseeched of the attendees.
“Let the wheelbarrows come in!” commanded metrosexual-esque programme director, Vuyo Macoba, after the speeches part of the program have been dispensed with and guests approached the foosball tables strewn across the venue’s main area.
Some awe-struck guests proceeded on to either try their skills at the tables against yesteryear stars such as Jabulani Mendu, or capture selfies with the likes of Aaron Mokoena and Jerry Sikhosana, among others.
Having earlier being treated to a midday welcome light snack of curried chicken and rice; braaied chicken and boerewors and chips – the visitors later tucked into a spit-braai feast whilst they ordered half-litre helpings of the beverage punted as being born and brewed eKasi!
The content of the guiding press release concluded that the product was born eKasi and brewed with iconic South African pride.
Soweto Gold – Superior Golden Lager, it underlined, has been expertly brewed to achieve a smooth, rich taste that unites brothers.
A beer that honours the icons of Soweto, past and present – it embodies the spirit, pride, initiative and tenacity of Soweto, and of South Africa.