Langa ‘to become art, tourism destination’
But the vision Thulani Fesi, 32, has for the recently launched 16 On Lerotholi art gallery extends beyond simply showcasing up-and-coming black artists and encouraging school pupils to participate in the arts world.
“The drive is turn Langa into an art destination to impact on the growing township tourism market and to make tourism inclusive to the community, while creating a beneficial ripple effect and entrepreneurship and to empower others,” he said.
The dream is “to create a design and technology centre for the youth in Langa and across Cape Town, from all backgrounds... as we address the growing needs and concerns for the future”.
Fesi said that in partnership with the Masakhe Foundation, he planned, through art, technology, tourism and entrepreneurship, to have a strong economic development impact in Langa.
He said the 16 On Lerotholi art gallery was a concept that had been in the pipeline for the past three years, and “we had to save up a lot of money to fund this”.
Fesi is also one of the movers behind the Walking Art Gallery, which has seen portraits and murals appear on building walls around Langa over the past five years.
The idea was conceptualised in collaboration with his childhood friend, Skhumbuzo Vabaza.
“We decided to beautify the walls of Langa through street art, adding colours and narrating a new positive energy, and art speaks those volumes.
“Skhumbuzo’s style and use of colour is just amazing and we ventured into telling stories through walls,” Fesi said.
The plan is to turn Langa into the “most graffitied area” in Cape Town, with beautiful murals and stories and images.
Fesi said he was seeking to create an art destination in Langa because the township had always had a strong artistic contribution to make, whether with music, acting or art.
“We’ve been inspired by the achievements and unique stories that have resonated across South Africa, Africa as a continent, or the world.”@Mtuzeli