The popular Makhelwane Festival is once-again presented by the creatives at LoCrate Market with the aim of connecting neighbours and communities through local small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs. “Makhelwane” is a Zulu term that refers to one’s neighbour, but in African culture the term is deeper than that – it refers to a community.

The weekend kicks off with the business talks on January 27 at Thesis Lifestyle, 173 Machaba Dr, Mofolo Village. Soweto. On the Saturday and Sunday the festival moves to Poka Street in Orlando West, Soweto.

The opening event on January 27 introduces the festival and its partners and sponsors – Gauteng Tourism Authority, Joburg Tourism Company and Jagermeister – and provide a road map of what to expect from the festival with beautiful live performances and a number of local DJs.

LoCrate (short for Local Creatives) was born out of the need for young black creatives to develop local platforms to assist them to grow sustainable business trade: “The concept of Local Creatives is all about creating an environment that allows like-minded people to validate their ideas and create new business concepts that have never existed in townships before,” says Kgosi Rampa, one of the visionary co-founders of LoCrate. It’s all about bringing people home, encouraging South Africans to enjoy and support local, to return to the “hood” and reconnect with their roots.

The festival is a subsidiary initiative for township products, where LoCrate aims to develop and drive township tourism; to further create sustainable platforms for young creatives and entrepreneurs across Gauteng. The festival looks beyond domestic tourism but the idea is to encourage visitation from people outside of Gauteng and South Africa.

This year the festival is a tribute to all the highly influential individuals that were lost during the Covid years, important people who created the foundation for platforms such as these. This year LoCrate was able to create a platform for more than 100 small businesses to trade for free. They also pay homage to legends like Dr. Desmond Tutu, Wandile Nzimande and Lebo Malepa.

This amazing community festival is set to feature the best of the best township experiences. It aims to give Sowetans and visitors an aerial view of local amenities spanning youth-owned businesses and new dope spots to check out. The organisers have hand-picked unique new and old spots people can visit in Soweto. This will be done through a bike ride with Wandile Zondo of Thesis, which is the oldest township-based lifestyle apparel brand.

This year the festival will incorporate: a food carnival, music fest, arts and crafts, a movie screening, street dining and bubbly garden, exhibitions, entertainment for kids as well as a market run entirely by children and a series of business talks.

Freaky Friday, January 27, kicks off at 15:00 with the MY SIDE HUSTLE Business Talks focussed around shining a spotlight on different side hustles developed by well-known entrepreneurs, hosted by Barba Gaoganediwe – Matshogo an all-round activist, change agent, brand strategist and Chief Destination Marketing and Communications at Gauteng Tourism in SA. Happy Ngidi – Chief Marketing Officer at Proudly SA, guest with a side hustle include Jeff Rikhotso – Jeff loves Photography, Dr Katlego Lekalakala – Beatz Kaz and Saki Zamxaha – Gauteng Propeller. There will also be a night market and music to ease into the last weekend of the month.

Perfect Sunday on January 29 is given over to artists and musos who will be performing live at Poka St, Orlando West. On the bill is K.O, Langa Mavuso and DJs Lula Odiba and Thabo Phalatse as well as Rhythm Sessions, Deep Xcape, Themba Lunacy and Nicky B.

Follow the Makhelwane Festival on FB for ticket giveaways and updated information. Welcome drinks are by Jägermeister SA.

Makhelwane invites you to enjoy a “first-hand experience of Soweto.”

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