Makhelwane fest returns in Soweto and set to lure more tourists

Young and not so- young will be descending at the annual Makhwelwane music fest in Soweto from 15 to 17 at Lebo’s Backpackers.

Having  said that, the annual Makhwelane Festival returns to Soweto from December 15 to 17 at Lebo’s Backpackers, an initiative by Soweto-based youth-owned enterprise Locrate Market supported by Gauteng Tourism.

The concept is to encourage local and international visitors to camp at Lebo’s Backpackers, under the beautiful ‘kasie’ skies and enjoy the ambience through music and wine with the locals.

It is the first backpacking spot that will also host a story-telling session and a night market on the opening night, before moving to Poka Street in the Soweto neighbourhood of Mzimhlope on Saturday.

“The street will be brought to a standstill and turned into a commercial hub with different houses rented out to businesses to sell their wares and services.  The hosted brands will occupy a house or share a house, which the can turn, within limits of course, into whatever space they for the weekend to promote their brands,” says Sifiso Dlangamandla, an organizer and one of the entrepreneurs behind the Locrate Market concept.

Some of the brands that will occupy the houses are fashion enterprises Floyd Avenue, Dope Stores, Siyafonds and Muzi Mabena’s Originally Kasified.

Gauteng Tourism Authority CEO Siphiwe Ngwenya says: “The event provides market access for a wide range of emerging township enterprises and that is in line with the primary objectives of the Gauteng province under the leadership of Premier David Makhura and MEC of Economic Development Lebogang Maile.

“The fifth Gauteng administration has made the revitalisation of the township economies one of its primary objectives. It is, therefore gratifying that the young entrepreneurs are coming to the party with initiatives such as Makhelwane that will assist in in promoting the Gauteng City Region, especially its townships, as a 24/7 entertainment and lifestyle hotbeds.

One of the houses used for exhibition during the three-day fest.

“From our perspective, as the Gauteng Tourism Authority, we particularly excited by the fact that the event will bring tourists to Soweto and help us grow the visitor economy. Last year, the event attracted visitors from across the province and some from abroad even. Hope that this will continue this year and in the years to come.”

Ngwenya adds that the accelerated drive led, by South African Tourism, to encourage South Africans to travel more within their country will be benefit from Makhelwane.

The spin-offs will be great although no figures were given on how much was spent and the return investment thereof.

The entertainment line-ups for Saturday and Sunday are as follows:

Saturday: Housecatz, Thami_537, Alpha & Omega, Shezi, Zakes True Soul, Mrx Slique, Doda, Bhuts Tunz and Nadia Nakai.

Sunday: Kuniyuki Takahashi, Johnny Cradle, BCU, Selekta, Kayb, Nicky B, Pule the Don, Mthuthu, Domenic & Supreme socialist.

All campers at Lebo’s Backpackers automatically get weekend passes to the festival.

Tickets available at Ticket Pro.

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